Those who have seen previous “Whole Child” workshops will recognize familiar concepts such as reinforcement, extinction, NET (Natural Environment Teaching), etc.  However, the application of these concepts may need to be tweaked as kids grow older, particularly for those who are not functioning well in regular education for at least one hour per day. 

It may be easier to achieve the academic goals of a school or home program by teaching the individual to be proficient in the application of the goals.  For example, an individual may become better at adding and subtracting on paper after he/she has had experience purchasing items regularly at a store.  And for some learners, establishing the functional use of money may be more important than academic exercises for which he/she can see no purpose.

Community-based (and other natural environment) instruction is often necessary, but it also exposes many deficits that aren’t apparent in learners who work primarily at a table.  For example, learners may create dangerous situations by running at inappropriate times.  They may lack the focus to travel 10 feet and retrieve something.  They may not respond appropriately to “No,” or may have debilitating ritualistic behaviors.  Targeting these types of deficits is particularly important for older children, and increasing community-based instruction is only one way that programming adapts as learners age.

In this workshop, the presenters will:

Discuss differences in programming for younger vs. older learners across several critical dimensions

Show and describe examples of programming for older learners

Introduce a new assessment tool

Conduct at least one case study using the assessment tool

Problem-solve multiple programming issues with members of the audience


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