The end of a training I gave at the Rebecca School on how to work simply, effectively and respectfully in the world of developmental challenges. This episode includes goals for science from simple curriculum, and includes some homework for the original audience of the training, and maybe, for you as well. Can you make simple, conscious decisions to move into the world of symbolism and abstraction, and improve your teaching, simply?
We make things more complicated than they need to be. Good developmental work is more effective than convoluted, technology bound interventions, and make for better workplaces, happier staff, and better results for consumers. Change can come quickly, and easily, and it only takes someone to guide you on your adventure.
In Part 3 of this lecture, I discuss simple ideas, like how you came to know that when two things are next to each other, they have a relationship, and that there is a meaning to that relationship. This seemingly simple concept, so often difficult for kids and adults with developmental challenges, is at the core of many much more complex academics. I go on to discuss many other seemingly simple concepts, without which you cannot enter kindergarten, but which get passed over in traditional curriculums, and typical support for kids with developmental challenges. I created a term, “Foundation Academics”, which I first presented in a lecture at Rebecca School seven years ago, to describe all of the basic curriculum which really needs be the basis of any support for persons with developmental challenges. I also talk about the ease with which you could write meaningful, measurable academic goals from such a seemingly simple curriculum.
This is Part 2 of a lecture I gave at the Rebecca School in which I talk about how to add symbolism, on the way to abstraction, in all parts of out interactions with our kids, our patients, and our consumers. It doesn’t really matter if you are a teacher at a school for “neuro-typical” kids, or are working with adults with developmental challenges, the idea that, “one thing can stand for another thing” is the foundation of all of our academics and communication. In the first part, I tell some illustrative stories, particularly about my daughter’s experience at her Waldorf School, and the lecture will make much more sense if you watch all the parts in order.
I believe that simplicity is a virtue, and that DIR/Floortime is the simple, respectful, effective support for kids with neurodevelopmental challenges, and for all kids, and all people. Respect, support, and thinking, are really how we should be treating everyone.
This week, I interview three special educators successfully using an appropriate, developmental, sensory sensitive approach in public and private education settings for kids with neuro-developmental disorders of relating and communicating. The discussion ranges from the tremendous success of a couple of Vermont public school teachers very early on in their use of the DIR/Floortime model, through our success at the Rebecca School in our Fairytale Literacy curriculum, and even touches on the complications of the Common Core Standards, and what it means for our children.
Kathryn Byrne Grossarth is a Special Educator in a small public school in Wells, VT. She attended a conference in Vermont this past summer that Rae Leeper and I put on, explaining how to do a relationship based model in a public school setting. She has implemented DIR in her public school with tremendous success. She is using Rae’s literacy suggestions and is finding that it is really working. She is working on creating curriculum and texts, and is passionate about the tremendous change she has seen in her kids, and herself in just the first four months of this school year.
Barbara Festa is a Special Education Supervisor in Wells, VT. She did not attend the training, but Kathryn’s enthusiasm has been so infectious that she began to use the model in her math curriculum, to great results. She sees that DIR/Floortime is directly in line with the Common Core Standards.
Rae Leeper is the Education Supervisor at the Rebecca School, and did the training with me that inspired these two Vermont Special Educators. She has been at the Rebecca School from the very beginning, and instrumental in creating and supervising our classroom curriculum.
If you hit play on this media player, you will hear the intro music for the radio show. It is a really cool jazz improv between a kid and a music therapist at the Rebecca School. Trust me, it’s worth your 43 second investment.
Click on the logo below, at 9:00 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, 12/22/13, or anytime after that, to hear the show.
Tonight is the premier of the Respecting Autism radio show on The Coffee Klatch Special Needs Radio Network. I have Christopher and Jacqueline Gauthier as my first guests, and they talk about their activism and their art in the world of Autism. Christopher talks about being an artist on the Autism Spectrum and his activism in the ASD community, particularly his “Facing Autism” project. Jacqui talks about her work with Christopher, and about her school. They are very cool, very political, and very funny. You’ll enjoy them. It is available now, as we taped it early, so please give it a listen.