You are on page 1of 10

Everyone Can Learn Everyone Can Teach

Tips and Tricks from a Master Teacher Barbara T. Doyle, MS 2008

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.”
Daniel Burnham, Director of Works at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893

Using the Plan to Change Form: Thinking about change is NOT enough! Look at the Plan to Change Form Use the form anytime you are learning and growing My role: to encourage thinking and change

Our learning environment for today:

Have fun, be creative, think, learn Respectful discussion and interactions in a safe environment Non verbal, auditory signals Questions that cannot be answered here Email: Phone: 217-793-9347

Use of room space: choose your own proximity (where you are in relation to activities and people) and optimum learning style: sit, stand, walk, doodle, draw, write, etc. (Be aware of those around and behind you.) No side bar talking please: Listen to only one voice at a time. Feel free to get up and have a discussion in the hall or write notes. HINT: do all of these wherever you “teach”

Principal of Partial Participation No one has to participate in all activities in a particular way or to a certain degree Everyone chooses to participate in the way that helps them learn and be calm Everyone learns with unique learning style/learning strengths

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

1 of 10

Multiple ways to participate are:

Visual Kinesthetic Logical

Spatial Linguistic Musical

Listen, observe, talk, write, think, draw, doodle, think, read, make charts, graphs or lists, ask questions, find answers in the printed materials, take notes, create poems or song lyrics, report to others, keep time for the group or make learning or memory aides.
If you want to, try something new today!

Mathematical Mechanical Interpersonal Intrapersonal
Based on the work of Howard Gardner

Teach Learners:
To choose their own proximity to tasks, people and events based on best learning To work seated, standing, using an easel, objects, etc. According to unique learning strengths and preferences (Create individual learning profiles)

Be Safe: safety for self and others (Trumps everything!) Belong: have relationships with individuals and groups Contribute: do small and great things to improve home, school, work & community Participate: pleasant and productive things to do Be valued: recognized as a valuable member of family and community

Teach Everyone How to:

We need to teach people to avoid: Dangerous behavior Fight or flight response Depression, anxiety, low self-worth Lack of belonging, participation and contribution Poverty Institutionalization Jail Boredom and wasted lives

Domain of Concern

Domain of Influence

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

2 of 10

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. William James

To Teach Others First, change yourself! What do you say and write? Your words will follow others always! Use respectful, non-judgmental descriptions Learn to separate objective and subjective information. Look at your handout.

To Teach Others First, change yourself! Don’t take features of ASD personally, especially tone of voice and communication style Don’t punish the person for features of the disability Explain the person to others Assume Can’t instead of Won’t Look at your handout.

“We must BE the change we wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“You ARE being watched…and this creates the opportunity for others to learn to appreciate and value the individuality and contribution of people with special needs in the world.” Barbara

Teach Others with Your Behavior People pick up on our attitudes by watching how we interact We can model the patience, respect and love that individuals deserve Others may not even realize they are learning a positive message from us: BUT THEY ARE!

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

3 of 10

"... if all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest." Daniel Webster

Teach Communication Skills The babies of deaf parents quickly learn to cry less and wiggle more!


Teaching Communication with Conscious Interacting We can change the amount and quality of communication by making conscious decisions about our own communication style and skills, while focusing on building relationships.

Teaching Communication with Conscious Interacting

(It’s your conscious choice!) Become more conscious of the opportunities to be more responsive. Be directive when necessary.

Teaching Communication with Conscious Interacting
Respond to ALL communicative signals as quickly as you can Responding elicits more initiations! Put relationship ahead of compliance Put safety and belonging ahead of program goals Prevent dangerous behavior PLAN for flexibility

Ignoring: does not build relationships can be de-humanizing can escalate an individual into more dramatic (and dangerous) ways of communicating the message works best under clinical conditions (life is not a clinical condition!)

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

4 of 10

What are some communicative signals?
Gestures Gaze, shifting gaze Proximity Tone of voice Body postures “Self-stimulation” Sign language Crying Pictures Echolalia Memorized speech Movie talk Vocal sounds Words Movements Facial expressions Laughing Writing Drawing

Some possible communicative functions are:
Requesting: Assistance Interaction Play Affection Comfort Protection Objects Food Attention Permission Making a statement: About events About objects About people To affirm To greet For humor To provide information To protest To negate

Some possible communicative functions are:
Related to feelings: Anticipation Boredom Confusion Fear Humiliation Frustration Anger Pain Pleasure Anxiety Related to internal states: Self-regulation Rehearsal Habituation Relaxation Releasing tension Amusing self Passing the time Waiting Showing off

Target Communication Outcomes Select goals to teach that: Maximize their impact on the world Develop and sustain relationships Give control and choice in as many areas of life as possible Help the person have self-control

Some important communication skills:
Indicate pain or discomfort Tell others when others need to start, stop or change what they are doing Inform a support person when someone else is bothering them Tell others about needs, feelings and internal states

Teach Making Choices
An essential skill for quality of life Remember some people will “choose” the last thing you said Do not always rely on verbal choice making skills (stress decreases word retrieval skills) Teach choice making initially with real objects, spaced far apart

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

5 of 10

The Choice Go Board

The Comboard

The Carousel Communicator

Object Communication

The Compact Communicator

The Bulletin Board Communicator

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

6 of 10

Teach with Technology
Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology Lisa Rosano 518-388-2833 NYS Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Person with Disabilities 518-388-1281ecexutive office State of NY Centers for Independent Living

Freaked-out human beings can’t learn!

Avoid Fight or Flight Response
Takes a long time to recover Cannot learn new skills if constantly on patrol to avoid “dangers” Fight or flight might be based only on experience, due to difficulty imagining or remembering

Teach Using Systematic Desensitization Engage the person in something calming and liked Introduce the smallest increment of the aversive (what the person cannot now tolerate) Inform that s/he has “coped” Gradually increase the amount and/or duration

Teach Relaxation Routines
Create a routine of liked activities Practice daily when NOT in flight or fight state Use Social Stories (from the work of Carol Gray)

Teach People to Stay Calm
Identify/ manage elements that set off fight or flight Do not try to teach or consequence an already upset person Teach how to avoid what is upsetting Ask team members to observe you and the person for clues

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

7 of 10

When People Are Not Calm Observe for imminent danger to people. Act to protect. Open up, back up and stop talking Wait. Then speak quietly. No questions. If there is a history of dangerous behavior, make and practice a response plan with everyone for safety in advance

Walk and Talk
What can you change about what you say, think or do to: Avoid more occurrences of flight or fight? Calm people down more quickly and effectively? Protect everyone?

Time to Plan Your Changes!

Let your teaching light the way!
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled the light.
Albert Schweitzer

Use any learning method you choose to plan your changes Be sure to list your action steps: without these, change won’t happen

Thank you for all you do!
Barbara T. Doyle, M.S. Phone 217-793-9347, 793-4018 FAX Emily Iland, Barbara’s sister and co-author, parent of a son with ASD, advocate and educational therapist (fluent in Spanish!) Phone 661-297-4205, 297-4033 FAX ISBN 1-932565-07-8 ISBN 0-9768222-0-2 ASA Book Award 2006!
Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008 8 of 10

For book information:

Can’t vs. Won’t
When a person (the learner) does not comply with your request, you have a choice. You can view the person as intentionally failing to do what you asked or you can view the person as having trouble complying because of a learning, thinking, understanding, feeling or focus issue. Consider this: your least dangerous assumption is that the learner CAN’T do something. It can be very dangerous to assume that a learner WON’T do something. Your safest assumption is that each learner is doing the best s/he can at this moment. And remember, no one really knows what another person is thinking or feeling by looking at them. And we all have more complicated motives for our actions than just seeking attention or avoiding a task. An assumption of WON’T by parents/staff leads to punishment, resentment and power struggles. No one wins. This can have lasting negative effects on the learner’s mental health. An assumption of CAN’T leads to creative problem solving and analysis of the needs of the learner and the details of the environment. The learner is taught to view self objectively, ask for help and seek solutions. An assumption of CAN’T leads to an effort to take the point of view of the learner and an attempt to see the world from the perspective of the learner. Why Might It Be Can’t? CAN’T: Variability of performance is characteristic of people with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. Each learner needs to be able to identify own strengths and needs for support and how these change in different situations. CAN’T: Consider Gestalt or holistic processing: the learner absorbs the whole situation with all the details. Any change may lead to a loss of skill. This can cause the learner to look like s/he is not trying or attending. We need to be aware of the details when teaching and be willing to re-teach in new environments or when any element changes. Planned re-teaching in new environments supports and promotes success. CAN’T: Problems in central coherence: the learner may be unable to select and focus upon the most relevant information in the situation. This can cause the learner to appear inattentive and unfocused. CAN’T: The learner may be responding to something that is going on inside of them (an internal stimulus) or something that is going on outside of them (an external stimulus.) The stimulus may be capturing the learner’s attention and energy. 2008 217-793-9347

Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008

9 of 10

Objective vs. Subjective Information Objective information is: observable: able to be seen, heard or touched, smelled, tasted factual able to be counted able to be described able to be imitated the same from multiple reporters as close to truth as we can get helpful in decision making Objective Language: I saw... I counted... I observed... This is what s/he did. This is what I/we did. S/he said... The sound s/he made sounded like this... S/he stood in this place. S/he made an action that looked like this... Subjective information is: opinion judgment assumption belief rumor suspicion varies: person-to-person, day-to-day able to take on a life of its own not the truth sometimes completely false destructive in decision making confusing and misleading Subjective language S/he did not want to... S/he does not like... S/he thought... S/he feels... S/he thinks... S/he needs... S/he was just trying to get me to... S/he was just trying to get out of or avoid... S/he was just trying to control me... S/he always... S/he never...
Barbara T. Doyle – October 11, 2008
10 of 10