Amy Clifford BCBA
Suzie Eaton BCBA
Students are able to explore the natural environment to gain a better understanding of the world around them. The main goal is to improve communication skills. Improving communication allows for wants and needs to be met by the learners preferred method of communication. Students are able to explore different sensory activities such as sand play, art, water play, messy play, etc. Further targets may require intensive teaching to understand the concepts of imitation, listener and visual skills. Students are encouraged to take part in their self-help skills, with particular focus on toileting.
From the outset, students are taught health and safety skills that can be generalised within the community. These can include walking next to and waiting with a caregiver, standing up, sitting down and walking towards their caregiver when called. These skills will follow the students throughout their time at Treetops Learning Community.
Students are working to develop the skills they have previously mastered. This can include expanding their communication skills to 2-3 words when requesting, labelling and listening in the natural environment. These skills can be supported by intensive teaching where required. Early conversation skills are encouraged as the students begin to provide answers to fill in (e.g., the wheels on the … bus) and WH questions (e.g., where is the cat).
There is emphasis to develop functional skills, especially within the classroom. Targets work on gathering materials, whether this be food items for their snack or items for teaching sessions. Students are encouraged to be more independent in their day to day and be able to occupy their own leisure time. Students will be given opportunities to develop social interactions with peers, during both group or leisure sessions.
Students will begin to develop their understanding of emotions. Tools and strategies can be provided to promote emotional regulation both in practice and when required. This will be continued throughout their time at Treetops.
Students focus on communicating in sentences including preposition, adverbs and adjectives. The natural environment will be set up to encourage students to seek out information and initiate conversation between others.
Pupils begin to focus on group instructions and access academic work. Students are given opportunities to engage in abstract thinking through matching and visual targets including multiple components. Some academic and leisure tasks are taught to be completed independently for increasing periods of time to encourage independent work.
Pupils start to show spontaneous social interaction between peers and are supported to engage in pretend play. Students are encouraged to be independent in their daily living skills, as well as following written instructions such as recipes.