As a teacher, I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to teach some of the simplest tasks to my students. I work with children and adults with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) and autism at Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner, NC. We are a residential facility serving as home to a large number of people.
Have you ever heard the saying 'You can't see the forest for the trees'? It is easy to feel that way when you need to teach someone how to hold a spoon, pick up a hairbrush, fold a piece of paper in half, or a thousand other day-to-day things we do. We all just do it - but how do you teach it?
You would think that making your own task analysis is simple. Well, it can be. But, it can also be terribly frustrating for both the teacher and the student! When I came to Murdoch Developmental Center in the early '90's (wow, what a long time ago!) I was fortunate enough to have access to something calledProgram Library. It was (and still is) one of my most valuable resources!
Program Library was developed to help provide consistency in training and teaching for both the people living at Murdoch and the people working with them. There are only two teaching methods and one data sheet used for teaching and training. Each lesson (or method as we call them) is painstakingly spelled out to take away any ambiguity for the person doing the teaching/training. It also means that regardless of who is doing the teaching, the session will always be the same. This is so important for the folks we work with who have ID or autism. So often, repetition is the key to success.