All learners have the right to communicate what they want and need. Before teaching vocal speaking skills, we need to teach our learners the prerequisite skills needed. When a child comes into our clinic or classroom, they don’t automatically trust us. As the adult in the room, we need to take the time to teach the learner that we are here for support, we are caring, we want to see them succeed, and that we are here to teach them the necessary skills to be independent and successful members of their community. The adults in the room should not be focused on teaching students that they’re the boss, or act as as authoritarian that students comply out of fear. The adults should be there for support and increase a child’s want to learn.
Where do we go after we’ve paired?
Although we want to introduce more social skills training for our learners who may be avoiding others, both adults and peers, pairing should never just end. Each new day and new session should be started and ended with pairing and continuation of relationship building is necessary. After there is data that shows that a learner has paired with all adults in their environment, the following are goals that may be worked on:
- Joint attention
- Tolerating adults in space
- Tolerating parallel play with staff
- tolerating peers in space
- Structured toy play schemes
- Imitation with objects
- Imitating staff play
- Imitating peer play
- Sharing and trading with an adult
- Sharing and trading with peers
- Commenting on play