Our cooperative sessions today were with Amjed in the morning and with Haya in the afternoon. We planned for these sessions yesterday and prepared the items we needed this morning. The focus of our cooperative sessions today continued to be receptive and expressive communication skills. We also incorporated data collection sheets into the sessions for teachers and parents to have them practice taking data on the receptive and expressive skills they observed throughout the sessions. The structure of each session today was that Sarah and I demonstrated a skill in front of parents and teachers, practicing that skill with each teacher and parent, and then gave the teachers and parents chances to work directly with the children.
Yesterday we asked Amjed’s mother to bring clothing items for him (t-shirt, shorts, socks and shoes) so that he could practice identifying common items. We also intended to work on some simple imitation skills. Sarah and I demonstrated those skills to the mother and practiced them with her directly. However, Amjed was crying to get his mother’s attention during the practice. Therefore, we decided to start coaching Amjed’s mother to ignore his crying, while teaching him a more appropriate way to get her attention like pointing or tapping on her shoulder. She was doing a great job ignoring his crying. It can be very difficult sometimes to ignore your child’s crying, but this is the way to teach him a more appropriate way of communicating what he needs.
We were so excited today when Haya made some vocal approximations independently to request for the bubbles and the ball. She successfully followed instructions by identifying some body parts like head, hair, eye, ear and mouth. Today, we found out that she liked to use the marker on the white board. So, her mother used this activity as a reward to motivate her to continue on identifying body parts. Towards the end of the session, Haya was bored and started crying and throwing objects around the room. Her mother did a fantastic job ignoring those behaviors. She was also doing a great job giving the instructions once and sticking to one form of the instruction without repeating it several times. We are so proud of you, Muna!
Our teachers today were interested in practicing data collection and were asking questions about the different types of data during the session and after the sessions. Each teacher enthusiastically shared with us the data they collected. Also, Soumia commented: “It was a good chance to practice collecting data today so that we can understand how to do this with our students.”
Since coming back from the center, we have been working on planning for tomorrow’s cooperative sessions and doing some individual work that we were each assigned.