Teaching Children with Autism: Teaching Beginning Learners
Once again I am reminded that there are a lot of people who would do a better job of teaching children with autism if they understood developmental context. Instructors of beginning learners should engage their children in play, and in no more than 20% of that play time should they attempt to do any instruction. If the instructor has a good grasp of ABA principles, little bits of teaching can be inserted into their play time interactions. Many, if not most, instructor therapists fail to do this because they have been taught ABA before being taught how to play with children.
When children with autism are beginning learners, intensive trial teaching is inappropriate since the children do not find it motivating. Only later, when the child is an intermediate learner, do they want to learn what you want to teach just for the sake of learning it.
Within the field of ABA, there are books about teaching children with autism to play. That is not where I would go to learn about playing with children. For that, I would turn to the Floortime literature which has been packaged so conveniently by Dr. Richard Solomon in his P.L.A.Y. project. In my next posting, I will give you some of that information, taken from my book, Teaching Children with Autism: An ABA Primer.