Bratty has sat in a state ASD classroom since the end of 2002. As part of this she has been made to attend "circle time" regardless of her ability to understand it, for the better part of 4 years. She had an assistant to get her to "attend" but in a class of 6 children to one teacher, it hasnt been possible to tailor scheduled activities to her interests. As a result she has had little input into the activities which come up in the curriculum as a matter of course.
Recently the class was doing an exercise on Shapes at "Circle time", and she began pointing at the shapes and naming them verbally. She is mostly non-vocal and uses PECS to communicate, so this was a BIG DEAL. She even answered on behalf of other children who were too slow for her.
News to us? NO, Bratty has been able to label shapes, animals, numbers and colors for 18 months in her home based ABA programme, because we broke it down into steps to suit her level and tailored it to her interests.
We started with PECS for labeling using "I See" and 12 months ago she was vocalising Kirkle (circle) and Gware (square). LION, and the rest have followed over time.
Why did she have to waste her time sitting in circle time for 4 years? Because there are 6 children to 1 teacher. The teacher gets no trained supervisory support and if they can attend a course they have to come back and instruct the “care assistants” in what they learned while managing the class of 6.
And in the IEP, there is no accountability for participation and improvement. So how do they measure and request the support they need?
How do we teach Bratty to learn?
We use the ABLLS to assess her daily and create a BASELINE
and we use the ABA principles of
TAILORING AND REINFORCEMENT to get her to interact both RECEPTIVELY and EXPRESSIVELY.
We MEASURE it to see if it is working and she is learning, and if she is not;
WE CHANGE it to suit her needs.
We have a suitcase full of data to prove that she progressed using this method, which the SENO reviewed and agreed was working,
but The DoE.S says that 4 years without an answer at "KirKle time" is an