Today we had our training session presented by Qiess about receptive communication. We were all awake by 8:00 to practice some demonstrations that would make the presentation more interactive. Parents and teachers gave different examples of receptive communication skills throughout the training sessions today that were specifically related to their children or to the students they currently work with. Some of these examples were asking the child to bring a glass of water, to brush his/her teeth, to pull out the books or to present the homework. Also, Qiess and Hana demonstrated a simple example to the parents and teachers about how to teach a specific receptive skill following a natural environment teaching approach. After that, parents and teachers had the opportunity to practice giving those instructions to each other to teach receptive skills like sorting colors in different ways. In order to help everyone understand receptive communication, we played a modified version of Simon Says, “Hamza Says”.
By the end of the sessions, parents and teacher shad some questions about the steps of improving receptive skills. Therefore, Qiess and Hana also demonstrated how to assess and identify targets for receptive communication skills. Qiess stressed that those targets should always be related to what the child needs, not to what the parent or the teacher needs him/her to do.
We also had two families sign up for the community outings next week, and they chose the sites where their children face difficulties and need support.
After the session, we were so excited to hear two of the parents we have in our program share how their children’s communication has improved significantly at home. Lama was so happy that Reema now requests for every item she wants. She mentioned that Reema’s behaviors and skills are generally improving as a result of teaching her to request. Also, Maisa, Hani’s mother, shared with us that Hani is using 4-word requests that he learned in the last cooperative session at home with her and his siblings to request a pen and a paper to write. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing results no matter how small those improvements are.
After coming back to our apartment, we took a quick break and continued to work on and plan for other areas of the program.
The great news for today is that our amazing team member, Sarah, is arriving tonight from her quick weekend vacation! We are all ‘super’ excited!