Teaching ideas and activities – Gaining Attention
As the founder of Watch Me Learn, I am constantly asked for information on how to teach skills or to provide ideas on how to reinforce the video teaching.
While our new products have a curriculum available, when I made the first 4 videos, there were no requests for this. Times have changed so I have decided to provide activity ideas on this Blog that will help generalize the lessons taught/modeled in the video.
The First topic is “Gaining Attention”
Yes – many books provide information, programming ideas on how to teach this skill, but I have found that many of them lack the friendly, every-day tactics that worked so well for my son. In these activities, I will include as much of that silly stuff that I know works!
These lesson plans were written as a TOOL to accompany video. Whether you use WML video or another video, that is entirely up to you – but if you have a visual learner, showing a demonstration of a skill is strongly suggested. Children on the autism spectrum seem to be very strong visual learners and from what I have seen over the last 9 years, it is a tool that works VERY quickly.
1. Gain Attention from Child.
Show video portion to child
Call child by name or say “Mary, look…” If child does not look, call again and if necessary, gently turn their fact to look at you. Immediately reward them with something appropriate that he or she WANTS!
TIP: ALWAYS make the activity FUN! And to do at an appropriate time (e.g. when you want the child to look at you or have something of interest for them to attend to, you know the child needs something or needs your attention)
When beginning to teach this skill, as the reward, use the MOST motivating reward you know of and most importantly make it FUN for the child.
Reward: be prepared to reward the child with one of their favorite items such as food, toy, stuffed animal, etc…) Have that item in sight of child before attempting to gain their attention.
o Be eating a favorite food of the child’s and have some available for child as a reward
o Be playing with a child’s favorite toy and prepare to share or give toy to child as reward
o Be prepared to go out to a place of interest to the child like the park, pool or playground
FUN: Children love fun…. And fun is EASY… ideas to make it fun and appealing – before attempting to gain child’s attention:
· put on a funny hate, wear the wrong clothing (child’s hat or clothing item)
· Get in the bathtub with your clothes on
· Prepare to go outside in winter with a bathing suit on
· Prepare to wash your hands with toothpaste
· Comb your hair with a spoon
· In general, do things that are obviously wrong and silly
On Wednesday, Look for the next steps to this program – and for regular additions to this series.