Education is imperative and has been denied to the Autism community for far too long. Soma Mukhopadyay’s “Rapid Prompting Method”is a key that has “unlocked” the potential for hundreds of individuals and offers a new way of teaching academics particularly for non verbal children with autism.
Soma Mukhopadhyay is the author of “Understanding autism through Rapid Prompting Method” She is the mother of Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay a young boy with severe autism who has written his autobiography “ Beyond the Silence” “The Mind Tree” “ How can I talk if my lips don’t move” “The Gold of the Sunbeams” and numerous poems and essays.
The hall was packed and both mother and son answered questions from the audience.
Autism Society Of India , ABA India,& Spastics Society Of Karnataka, presented a video in 4 parts on Applied Behaviour Analysis ( ABA) (from Global Conference ABAI 2008) together with a question /answer session with Ms. Smita Awasti, BCBA
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the science of applying experimentally derived principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior. Based on BF Skinner’s Operant Conditioning theories ( addressed in his book ‘Verbal Behaviour’), ABA takes what we know about behavior, analyses it within the environment it appears to determine what factors are influencing the behavior, and applies interventions to bring about positive change. An effective ABA program blends discrete-trial procedures with a variety of other ABA methods, including child-initiated instructional sequences (known as incidental teaching procedures), task analysis and chaining to teach skills involving sequences of actions or steps, instructional trials embedded in ongoing activities, and others. There is a heavy emphasis on making learning enjoyable, and on engaging the learner in positive social interactions.
Smita Awasthi is the first and so far only Board Certified Behaviour analyst in our country. She is the founder of ABA India, and Director of Autism Awareness & Action. An experienced psychologist she has spent the last 13 years working with children with a diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspergers, ADHD.
1. Comprehensive ABA Programming: Matching Learner Needs with Instructional Strategies Mary Jane Weiss PhD, BCBA
This presentation will summarize different ABA approaches for teaching skills, and will highlight the potential relevance and utility of each approach
2. Developing Active Learner Participation by Children with Autism: Capturing the Motivational Variables Dr Partington
This presentation will provide an analysis of motivational factors that are involved in both structured teaching sessions and in everyday activities.
3. Because Our Kids Are Worth It: A Parent’s Perspective on Behavioral Interventions at Home and School Mary Beth Walsh, Ph.D., Caldwell College
Parents play a critical role in all behavioral interventions for children with autism. It is in the best interest of children with autism for their parents to know the contours of the science of applied behavior analysis so that their children can make all possible progress
4. Teaching the Social Dance: Using Script-Fading Procedures to Promote Conversation Patricia Krantz, Ph.D., Princeton Child Development Institute This presentation describes teaching procedures that help children with autism learn to engage in the give and take of ordinary, daily conversation with parents, teachers, and peers.
ASI members distributed posters and information leaflets at the Pediatricians conference Pedicon2009 . More than 4000 doctors had registered for the conference. We got a good reception and several doctors became members of ASI.
A colour poster , “What is Autism – signs to watch out for” was prepared by ASI members and was printed on A3 thick glossy paper . More copies are available and it is proposed to distribute them to Nursery and Montessori Schools along with a PP Presentation on autism.
Members interested in taking part in this campaign please contact ASI at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Gayathri Tel. no -9342676110.
Another group will visit colleges during the month of March / April to create awareness about autism and the need for trained special educators and therapists. Please contact ASI for further information . Volunteers required.
WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY was observed in many parts of the country on April 2nd 2009
In Bangalore Autism Society of India (ASI) together with International Institute for Art, Culture and Democracy (IIACD) organized an awareness program at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore. The program consisted of a panel discussion “Autism in India: Critical Interventions in Policy and Practice” Panelists included Govt. officials, experts on autism and parents.
This was followed by readings of prose and poetry from Indian authors with autism and a preview presentation of a documentary film on Autism soon to be released.
Side by side was an exhibition of paintings, poetry and art works by persons with Autism together with Art for Autism: A Collaborative Painting activity for Children and Adults.
The function was well attended and the Press gave good coverage. “ Voices for Autism “ buttons were distributed.
VOCATIONAL SKILLS TRAINING Oct 24th and 25th 2010 (for parents and special educators)
Due to public demand it was repeated on 16th and 17th January2010
A Workshop on Vocational Training for Parents/Teachers of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders was organized by Autism Society of India (Bangalore group – Parents of Adolescents and Adults with Autism – PAAA)
Mr Hari Parameswaran consultant with Dynam Designs and Ms. Thangam Rajagopalan, head of the Dynam Vocational Skills Training Centre, Bangalore, were the facilitators.
It was an exciting, non- stop, creatively oriented, thoughtfully designed training programme which gave all the participants an insight into the RIGHT BRAIN APPROACH to stimulate the imagination. This approach, if inculcated in our children in their early years, can transform them into skilled adults.
All the participants were given a specially designed kit, which contains tools which can stimulate all senses and develop dexterity. These are necessary activities to develop Vocational Skills.
A presentation was done by Mrs. Thangam on the sequence of teaching vocational skills. All one needs to do is to APPLY THE GAINED KNOWLEDGE IN TO PRACTICE.
A two day workshop was organized by Autism Society of India ( Support group – Bangalore Parents of Adolescents and Adults with Autism) and Ms. Ruby Singh of ALFAA ( Assisted Living for Autistic Adults) on CHALLENGING BEHAVIOURS in older children with Autism Spectrum disorders
Ms Saswati Singh, Director, Inspiration Centre, Delhi & Dehradun was the resource person and conducted the workshop.
Guest speakers were Dr. Ananth N. Rao who spoke on Diet, Allergies, Toxins, Medications and Dr. Satish Chandra Girimaji who listed out various challenging behaviours often seen in older children with autism and stressed that that “the parent is an expert when it comes to understanding the child”
Excerpts from the feedback
…………Thanks for all the effort. This was one of the most practical workshop I attended on Autism.
…………From this workshop I could know that child does not do it(Challenged behaviors) purposely. They need it. The discussions were very useful lively and practical. Please conduct more such workshops.
………Although I could attend only on Sunday, it was extremely informative, especially in terms of the alternative methods that can be used to bring out the best in our children. Besides, the one thing that has stuck on is Saswati’s statement “Our children have come to change us and we spend our life trying to change them”.
……..Mrs.Saswati Singh demonstrated the efficacy of holistic therapy using Yoga, diet, Bach Flower remedies, Qigong therapy and particularly our attitudes as care givers. The video of her centre showed us how she “practices what she preaches”. She is an inspiring role model in this field!!
………It has given me a new direction to handle my adolescence son with an attitude that nothing is impossible in life. The practices which Saswati Singh shared was very useful and I started implementing those from day one.