Intensive ABA Services
By Stefanie Knaus
Lovaas Institute – Sacramento
With contributions from Anne Faraher, Mary Kutch, Miriam Luttbeg, and Scott Revlin
As we search for ways to successfully integrate our students into the community and social atmosphere, one of the most popular areas for inclusion is the athletic arena. Soccer, which has become increasingly popular, is one sport that many families consider when introducing their child to team sports. Some cities offer soccer and other sports programs that are specifically designed for students with special needs. But, for the most part, a child's successful participation on a sports team requires a great amount of specialized teaching by the parents, behavioral instructors, and team coaches. Below are some strategies and resources that have been suggested by our behavioral consultants when considering how to maximize a child's success and participation on a soccer team.
Do you have other ideas of skills to incorporate in the athletic arena? Share them with us here
The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.
Whistle Praise! Try to praise with a whistle in your mouth, which forces you to simulate talking with a whistle (or blow-out noisemaker, sound vibrator, guitar amplifier or microphone).
Tell Me What to Do! Model an instruction to do something silly, and then comply with the child's instruction when they say it. For example, give the instruction, "say, 'walk like a duck.'" When the child says so, start crouching on the floor and waddle around while quacking like a duck. Try other silly actions, like falling down or imitating "Barney."
Emotional Clown! Act out silly, exaggerated emotions like sad — with a real sappy "boo hoo hoo" and drip water on your face for tears (all very fake) or happy - with a silly happy song and dance.
Lost in the Hood! Wear a hooded sweatshirt with a drawstring and make your head disappear as you tighten the string. Ask the child to help to get you out.
I'm Pouring! Hold a spring water bottle above the child's head - tilt ever so slightly in an anticipatory way - drop droplet. Fair play, however, is allowing them to get you. But they are usually less reserved about the amount they drop!