Today we had our second week of cooperative group sessions and due to our revised schedule during Ramadan we had two groups today and have another two groups tomorrow. Our first group was a 1:1 session with the youngest child in the programme, Amjed, who is just two years old. The main focus of the session was coaching his mother to follow through with her instructions, as Amjed has learnt that when he screams and cries he can avoid having to do what she asks. This has led to her having difficult situations in public, for example when trying to tell Amjed that he cannot access other people’s private gardens. Next week, we will be supporting her to teach him more independent and appropriate ways to communicate what he wants, so that he does not need to cry and scream in order to make his needs and wants known. Amjed took a particular liking to Hana and kept hugging her and putting his face in her hair!
In our second group we had Haya, her mother, and three teachers. The adults all rotated so that they had opportunities to teach Haya and also to continue working on taking behavior data using ABC data sheets. They all did really well and we observed a difference in Haya following more instructions by the end of the session. Common things that we are working on with all parents and teachers include providing reinforcement (commonly vocal praise and a toy that the child is motivated to have) immediately after the child does what we have asked, and avoiding repeating an instruction too many times (this can be confusing for the child).
We finished the day at the beach near our apartment where we relaxed using some of the Capacitar International meditative and visualization practices that will be used in our upcoming support groups with parents and siblings. Back at our apartment, we listened to “It’s the End of the World as we Know it.” The families are already commenting that this is true. Haya’s mother said that she is already having an easier time teaching Haya new skills, and we know that her world will change even further next week when she learns to teach Haya to communicate independently.