Is My Child Ready for Group Session?

Throughout our many years in working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we have found that group session with systematic teaching, and clear and individualized learning objectives can help student transit more easily into a classroom setting. However, there are some prerequisite skills that the student has to be equipped with before benefiting from the group session. Usually, these skills are better established in a 1:1 setting with intensive practice opportunities. Some of the skills include:

  • -Self-control from engaging in self- stimulatory behaviors
  • -Minimal or absence of disruptive behaviors
  • -Fundamental Learning- How- to- Learn Skills, e.g. sitting/ standing nicely, responding, waiting nicely, self- initiated attention etc.
  • -Independence in doing out-chair tasks with minimal supervision
  • -Sustained attention in doing short tasks with minimal supervision
  • -Tolerance to delaying gratification and termination of reinforcement
  • -Understanding of learning contingency, e.g. token economy, time- in system etc.
  • -Understanding of basic group instructions, e.g. choral, individual, and conditional instructions etc.
  • -Understanding of simple instructions, e.g. 1- step instructions, multiple-part instructions
  • -Ability to express desire and needs
  • -Toilet trained
    Some other consideration when we recruit candidates for group sessions include:
  • -The combination of students, including students’ age, skill levels etc.

If your child has not established the above skills, it might be helpful to spend some time on preparing him before sending him to a group session. When a student is ready for group learning, he should not require an aid, parents or caregivers to shadow him. In the upcoming articles, I will share with you skills that we need to equip our students with to be ready for kindergarten and primary school.

Before children can learn in groups, enrolling a 1 on 1 individualized intervention can help our child to equip prerequisite skills such as “Learning How to Learn” and Behavior Management skills that prepare them to benefit more from social groups!
To know more about AP’s individualized 1 on 1 Treatment, please click here.

AP’s individualized 1 on 1 Treatment

Information provided by:

Ms. Christy Lai (Autism Partnership Autism Partnership Case supervisor)
Ms. Christy Lai

Ms. Christy Lai is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from St. Cloud State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Ms. Lai joined Autism Partnership (AP) in 2011 and she has extensive experience in working with children with ASD. Ms. Christy Lai currently oversees the Little Learners program in Hong Kong and Shanghai and consults families in Asia. She directs overseas training to staff in the Train the Trainer program and provides parent education to families with children with ASD. She also conducts Jumpstart and PIIP programs locally and internationally. In additions, she partakes in overseas ASD conferences and produces ABA training videos and articles in the APSPARKS website for public education.

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