So many educators are very eager to teach academic and language skills right away before ensuring that the child has the tools and skills necessary for learning. “Learning to learn skills” are the foundation to a child’s success in school. Once a child is able to grasp the basic process of learning, he or she is then able to quickly progress to learn many other new things. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) may have difficulty learning these critical skills and would require more direct teaching using ABA methods.
Some of the skills needed for learning would be:-
1. Attending - Can the student pay attention to the teacher or when materials are presented?
2. Keeping Hands Still - Able to control hands and not fidget with hands inappropriately?
3. Waiting - Being able to stay still and wait nicely while the teacher is preparing for the lesson?
4. Following Instruction - is the child compliant when instructions are issued?
5. Learning from Prompts - Will the child change what he or she is doing if assisted with various prompts?
6. Responding to choral or group instructions - Is the child able to follow instructions when given to a whole group?
Most of the time, children with Autism will come with range of abilities in the “learning to learn skills”. For example, a child may be compliant to instructions but have problems keeping his or her hands still. Another example would be a child having good attending skills but does not know when to respond to group instructions. Using reinforcement (something that the child really likes), these behaviours can be shaped. With ABA, each skill will be systematically taught and when a targeted behaviour is achieved, the child will be rewarded. The goal of ABA therapy is to eventually allow these children to succeed in a more naturalistic setting to reach their full potential. If you would like to find out more about our ABA at Autism Link Malaysia, do reach out to us at +603-79570795.