Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Active Learning & the Developmentally Disabled

A Warning:

"If you help him instead of requiring him to do it, he will forget to do it, and we will have to have to start training him in that skill again."

Do we do too much in helping our loved ones who are handicapped in one way or the other?  Are we doing too little?  Lilli Neilson, a sister to several blind and disabled children has developed a theory called "active learning" in how to educate the child with developmental delays about the world around them.




The Philosophy:

"Active learning is when one is given the opportunity to learn from his own active exploration and examination... so that the skills learned can become part of his personality, and are therefore natural for him to use in interaction with others and for the fulfillment of his own needs... to make him ready to react relevantly to instructions and education"

The "Little Bench"
Allows children to explore the environment in position that strengthens muscles and frees child to move all limbs.  Built on resonance board to give extra feedback through echo

"The Little Room"
Brings the room to the child since the child cannot explore the room.  Built on resonance board to give extra feedback through echo



How do we LEARN?  The concept:

1. Opportunities are given at the level of development

2. The essence of discovery and exploration is given to him at his fingertips in various ways for the child to determine the most practical way for him to perform the skill successfully

3. Time!   Allow efficient time to experiment, with the opportunity to repeat as many times as necessary

4. Given time to compare experiences, becoming aware of the fact that there are similarities and differences between things

5.  A friend!  Allowing him to share his experiences and interests, thereby learning to initiate interaction

What to Consider:

A) The child's level of development and readiness for learning; along with the skills already acquired

B)  The quality of the environment; it should be a place that arouses interest, but allows room for growth in developmental skills (gross & fine motor skills, communication, cognition, socialization, and independence are all areas to consider)

C) The adult's cooperation & attitude; Be sensitive to signals and/or vocalizations made by the child and respond according to the appropriate level of development.

Please click here for more information

Click here to watch informational vide

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