Opportunities & Occasions Optimized
Opportunities & Occasions Optimized to......
Improve A Child's Motivation-
Procedures to improve a child's motivation include: use of child choice, frequent task variation, interspersing previously learned tasks with new acquisition tasks, using less intrusive prompting, reinforcing the child's attempts, and incorporating turn taking within the interventions (Koegel, et. al).
Smith, T. (2001) also stressed this importance and stated that service providers have a critical and difficult task trying to discover ways to increase learning opportunities for children with autism and enhance their motivation to learn.
Practice Making Choices:
"Choosing" Preferred Items On A Choice Board Or Choice Chart - Ensure these are items or activities preferred by the individual vs. your or "someone's" opinion of what is preferred. Use choice in game play to increase language skills and interactive behaviors (Carter, C.M., 2001)
Interact With Peers safely-
In a structured group situation (e.g., assign child/adult a task tied to his/her strength - provide guidelines and prompts)
Teach Non-Verbal And Verbal Communication Skills - 55% of communication is nonverbal communication - facial expressions, eye contact, appearance, etc.
Practice A Skill Mastered -
For example,"waiting" when in a different environment or for a "different" activity.
Assist Others -
For example, "helping others" - handing out napkins, set up social scenarios (e.g, Prompt a child to purposefully drop a toy - then teach the child with autism to respond by handing the toy to the one who drops it)
Use & Practice Communication Skills-
For example, set up an environment where the child must use his/her communication system to gain access to a preferred item - can see preferred book, but it is on the top shelf - needs to request the book - (via verbal language, picture exchange system, , etc. ) therefore receives immediate reinforcement (the book) for using communication skills
Some Interventions/Strategies which can be used when opportunities or occasions occur-
Pivotal Response Training; Incidental Teaching; Reinforcement Systems; Parent Training, Stimulus Control; Visual Supports; Time Delay
Teach and Practice Critical Skills:
Knowing when to change directions or end a task is not always easy. This is an ongoing task - however, there are different expectations for different environments. Therefore, help the individual know: what to do to end a task, where to go, & how to go. What indicators or cues may be helpful so the individual can perform the task independently? What cues can be faded?
Prepare For Major Transitions- Possibly, knowing that a major change is going to occur can help alleviate some anxiety for caretakers and individuals with ASDs if there is a plan. Calendars marking down to the time period of the major transition. Video of the new environment or expectations in the environment. Pictures tied to the major transition. A visit to the new environment. A trial or practice session could also help. Avoid surprising a child/individual with a major change without some preparation.