Tag Archives: Toronto

The “Just Right Challenge” Teaching in the Neurodiverse and Neurotypical Classroom.

17 Jan

When I consult to schools I like to give the teachers as much time as possible to ask me questions, in a free-form setting. This video is part of a question and answer session at a great DIR school where I consult. A teacher wanted to know when she was pushing too much, as she was also afraid of pushing too little, and knew this would slow her students’ learning. It is very difficult to know when you are challenging a student enough, or too much. I  answered her question on this difficult topic, and explained why the book, “Where the Wild Things Are” is a perfect metaphor for the experience of teaching and parenting.

Teaching in Classrooms with a Variety of Developmental Levels

20 Nov

 

This video is part of a school consultation I did recently. I spent three days at the school, supporting teachers and therapists as they worked with students, talking to parents to help them understand DIR/Floortime, and generally helping everyone to make progress in their work in this developmental model. I take lots of video, and show it to the staff to give them the opportunity to be reflective about their work. I also sat down with staff and answered their questions for three hours at the end of the third day. I never speak from a script, and my answers to their questions were based in my understanding of their work, and my experiences and education. This clip is me answering a question from one of the teachers in the school, on the subject of providing appropriate instruction in a diverse classroom.

I suggest you use the Closed Captioning, turned on by clicking the cc on the video, if you have any difficulty understanding me. I sometimes speak very quickly.

This video is a little longer than my typical video because it is also on my website under “Consulting”, as an example of the services I provide when I consult to a school.

How We Inadvertently Create Aggression

12 Nov

I took about a year off of most social media. I wanted to clear my head of some of the “as-if” interventions I have seen in the last couple of years, and wanted to get back advocating for DIR/Floortime as a model of support for people of all ages with autism spectrum disorders. I am working on two different books, traveling a lot, consulting a lot, working in my private practice and working on the development of a not-for-profit.

Here is a short explanation of how we sometimes inadvertently create aggression in our children and the individuals with whom we work. The volunteer who comes up is my friend Hope from Oakwood Academy in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

I recommend you put on the Closed Captioning by clicking on the little cc at the bottom of the video. I went through and corrected it, and since I talk quickly, it may really help to understand what I’m saying.

Gil talks about Shrub Oak International School on “Affect Autism.”

15 Feb

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I love the blog and website, Affect Autism! I sat down with my good friend, and fierce developmental advocate, Daria Brown, while I was in Toronto at Oakwood Academy a couple of weeks ago, to do a podcast and interview for her influential blog. We talked about Shrub Oak International School, the school I am helping to found in Westchester County, New York. We ranged over a number of topics, but we focused in on how I plan to use what I have learned over many years of starting, running and consulting to schools to make Shrub Oak extraordinary. Specifically, we talked about how the fantastic 127 acre campus of Shrub Oak supports the sensory processing challenges of students, and avoids the problems that occur when classrooms are overcrowded and schools are loud and confusing.

Take a couple of minutes to listen to the interview, visit the Shrub Oak website, and then do a deep dive on Daria’s site, “Affect Autism.” I think you will find it worth the time you invest!

Foundation Academics: First Things First

26 Sep

Foundation Academics: What is it?

Foundation Academics: What is it?

Here is a podcast I did with Affect Autism, and it’s host, Daria Brown. She is a real leader here in North America, headquartered in Toronto, on the issue of respectful, appropriate, developmental support for people with autism spectrum challenges. I loved talking with her about a concept I came up with about 10 years ago, Foundation Academics. It is my attempt to explain to parents why we need to focus on early developmental levels before we get to reading, writing and arithmetic. It helps to explain that you need to do first things FIRST, and THEN we will get to those more traditional, “secondary academics.” I think this is my first publicly available full explanation of the idea of Foundation Academics, one of the cornerstones of my educational philosophy for folks with developmental challenges like autism spectrum challenges. Enjoy!

Gil on the “I” in DIR at Oakwood Academy in Toronto

25 Mar


This is a video of me answering a question for a parent in an open forum in Toronto, in support of Oakwood Academy, a school for kids with neurodevelopmental challenges. They are using the DIR/Floortime model as part of their comprehensive curriculum, and I have been supporting them, doing case conferences and coming to the school, as they work to create a great educational program for their kids. They are a really wonderful group of people, so hard working and dedicated, and they are doing a great job in the model.

During my recent visit, the Oakwood Academy people rented a local gymnasium and invited their parents, and others in the community, to come hear me speak about DIR/Floortime. The reception we got was fantastic, which is not surprising, as we talked about a developmental model, that takes into account who a child is, and respects that child for who he or she is. Parents are always excited to find that there is an appropriate, developmental model, which respects their child, and works!

There will be other videos from my three days with this great group of people at Oakwood Academy coming soon.

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