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tunci cnd vorbim despre autism, ABA este de multe ori vzut ca fiind sinonim cu Discrete
Trial Training situaia n care terapeutul ntreab, copilul rspunde i terapeutul
recompenseaz, iar sarcina se repet adesea pn la de 10 ori consecutiv. Astfel, printre
reprourile care se aduc terapiei ABA se numr acela c nvarea este mecanic i c n
afara mediului instrucional copilul nu este funcional, nu rspunde la fel de bine ca la or i
nu iniiaz. n cazul aplicrii incorecte a terapiei ABA, exist aceste riscuri. ns dac terapia
este continuat cu aceeai echip, coordonatorul se va asigura c generalizarea este
planificat i c se face treptat trecerea la mediul natural, astfel nct s se produc
adaptarea la mediile sociale precum grdinia, coala, intraciunea cu ali copii sau aduli n
medii informale.
ABA este o tiin care studiaz comportamentele semnificative social n raport cu mediului,
care are un rol important n nvarea i meninerea acestor comportamente. Principiile ABA
se aplic la orice persoan, nu doar la persoanele cu autism. ns ABA este foarte cunoscut
n domeniul autismului ntruct are cele mai bune rezultate dovedite, pn n prezent.
nvarea incidental este o practic bazat pe dovezi tiinifice care aparine terapiei ABA i
n care ocaziile de nvare sunt iniiate de copil. n cazul interveniei precoce, Discrete Trial
Training este foarte important iniial pentru dobndirea unor abiliti pivot precum: rostirea
primelor cuvinte, dezvoltarea limbajului receptiv, dezvoltarea abilit ilor de imitare i a celor
de autoservire. n paralel, dup ce comportamentele neadecvate ale copilului au fost
sczute folosind principiile ABA, iar copilul a devenit mai cooperat, se trece la nvarea
incidental.
Iniierea contactului social este un comportament dificil pentru copiii cu autism, de aceea
orice ocazie de nvare care se soldeaz cu succes n nvarea incidental este o btlie
ctigat n lupta cu autismul.
Paii de urmat:
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List cu preferinele copilului
Primul pas este acela de a observa care sunt obiectele, jocurile, activitile de care copilul
este atras i a scrie lucrurile respective. n ABA observaia direct i notarea sunt baza
oricrei intervenii.
2.
Organizarea unui mediu motivant
nvarea incidental are loc n general n mediul natural sau n medii ct mai asemntoare
cu cel natural. Dar, cum copiii cu autism au tendina de a-i lua singuri un obiect preferat
dac pot ajunge la el, se pierd ocazii de comunicare. De aceea, obiectele preferate sunt
puse undeva la vedere, ns nu sunt accesibile copilului. Astfel, va fi nevoie ca el s iniieze
comunicarea.
3.
Ateptarea iniiativei copilului
Pasul trei este poate cel mai dificil, deoarece specialistul i printele sunt obinuii s
interacioneze cu copilul punnd ntrebri. Ei vor fi nevoii s atepte iniierea copilului, altfel
nu poate fi vorba de nvare incidental. Odat ce copilul a ntins mna ctre obiectul dorit,
ocazia de nvare este prezent.
4.
Oferirea unui prompt
nvarea incidental este mai mult dect mand-training (a nva copilul s cear ceva
spontan), obiectivele sale sunt att creterea spontaneitii copilului, ct i construirea unor
noi abiliti de comunicare. De aceea, n momentul n care copilul a spus maina putem s
l ntrebm, nainte de a i-o da: Ce culoare are maina?, i maina de lng ce culoare

e?, Care este mai mic?, Unde se afl maina?, Ce facem cu maina?. n funcie de
nivelul copilului i de gradul su de toleran la amnarea recompensei, putem pune una
sau mai multe astfel de ntrebri. Dup cum se poate observa, n nvarea incidental
putem lucra atribute, prepoziii, verbe, dezvoltnd abilitatea de a comunica a copilului.
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5.
Recompensarea direct
Dac n situaia iniial de nvare, n Discrete Trial Training, recompensa este ceva ce nu
are legtur cu lecia (Copilul potrivete imaginile i primete maina), dar care este
preferat de copil, n nvarea incidental recompensa este acel obiect sau acea activitate
care a determinat ocazia de nvare. Dac maina a fost obiectul spre care s-a ntins copilul
i pe care l-a cerut, atunci maina va fi ceea ce va primi dup ce va comunica adecvat legat
de main. De aceea spunem c recompensa este direct.
Pentru prini, nvarea incidental este o bun ocazie de a se afla n contact cu
copiii lor, contribuind semnificativ la progresele pe care copiii le fac.
Surse de informare:
http://dddc.rutgers.edu/pdf/incidental_teaching.pdf
http://www.autismconnectmd.org/education/methods/incidental.html
http://www.lovaas.com/blog/archives/40-Effective,-Individualized-Behavioral-Treatment-4.Incidental-Teaching.html
http://www.lovaas.com/meetingpoint-2007-04-article-02.php
http://www.special-learning.com/article/incidental_teaching

alte surse in engleza


http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Incidental_learning

What is Incidental Learning?


It is learning set in the natural environment as opposed to learning in the
classroom setting. For example, instead of discrete trial training at the table
where we repeatedly ask the child when showing her a picture "what is the boy
doing? ", we bring the child to the playground and let her sit on the swing and
teach her about the action verb "swinging". Of course incidental teaching can
also be done at the table. For example when the child completes a task we
may teach her to say "finish" representing the end of an activity. Hence
incidental teaching is spontaneous and has an explicit meaning attached to it.
Not that other forms of teaching have no meaning but that such meaning is
usually more concrete and obvious and thus motivating to children with

autism. Incidental Learning is usually attached to a situation (incident) that


attaches meaning to the lesson learnt.

What are the benefits of incidental learning to children


with autism?
1) It is more concrete as the child is able to relate the concept to an event
which makes for easier retaining of information. This is also the case for nonautistic individuals. Take for example the comparison between two pieces of
information. The first set of details are a result of a very vivid incident while
the second set of details involve just someone speaking to you about it in a
mundane, monotonous voice. Which set of details do you think will stock with
you better?
2) Incidental Learning is usually more interesting and fun as compared to
traditional method of table top learning. All children regardless of special
needs are more ready to learn when their interests are peaked and their
attention engaged. Compare a child's level of attention when watching a
favourite cartoon show as compared to watching a same length documentary
which she regarded as boring. Many of my students actually retain knowledge
learnt through play better than conventional rote memorization if materials.

Related Article Using Play in Therapy for Children with Autism


3) Incidental learning is opportunity for natural interaction. As opposed to
table top style learning with more receptive instruction communication,
incidental learning provides more opportunity for you and your child to share
common experiences and enjoy each others company. For example, your
child will most probably enjoy going to the playground with you and learn
about the swing than sit at the table and look at pictures of swings. She may
also be more spontaneous in her interaction as she seeks you out to request for
her favourite activity around the playground.
4) Incidental Learning provides real world learning experiences. Pictures are
great teaching tools but there are times when resources used to produce
teaching materials can be exhaustive. Furthermore, handmade and printed
resources may also limit your children's exposure to things you might not be
able to experience fully through print. For example, touching a glass of cold
water proves to be a better learning experience than looking at the picture of a
glass of water.
5) Incidental learning facilitates teaching of social emotional skills. While
some children may find learning of social emotional rules and skills easy
through verbal instructions, children on the spectrum may find the
information too hard to process. Furthermore, verbal instructions about social
situations lack meaning to children on the spectrum as they have not
experienced what is being told to them to make it a reality for them. For
example, the child may not understand why he has to take turns until he is
playing with a friend and personally experience the sharing of a toy. Another
example is the expression and understanding of emotion. The child may know
what being angry looks like on picture. But unless he has felt this way,
displayed a tantrum and then being informed of thats what being angry is
like; he most probably will have difficulty relating his emotion.

There are numerous benefits that accompany incidental learning. Share with
us why you love the concept of incidental learning!
ncidental Teaching Techniques

The Lovaas Model of Applied Behavior Analysis, and ABA therapy in general, is often associated with one
method of teaching: discrete trial teaching. While discrete trial teaching often plays a critical role in
helping children with autism learn, it is only part of a comprehensive program. Even the 1987 research by
Dr. Lovaas mentions other important components of treatment including: 1) generalization of skills in
school through systematic prompting and fading by a 1:1 aide and 2) facilitating socialization through peer
play dates. A third component of treatment, incidental teaching, is also an evidenced-based practice
frequently used at the Lovaas Institute. In incidental teaching, "the instructor assesses the child's ongoing
interests, follows the child's lead, restricts access to high interest items, and constructs a lesson within the
natural context, with a presumably more motivated child." (Anderson and Romanczyk, 1999) Below are
some strategies for implementation and examples of how this powerful teaching technique can help
children with autism learn new behaviors.

Learning New Behaviors


Incidental teaching can be used to teach new language as well as expand upon the language a child
already uses. A few examples from the research include teaching children to:
1. Learn the names of highly preferred objects and actions by requesting for them
2. Learn to read words
3. Use prepositions to describe where highly preferred objects are located
4. Use a more detailed sentence to request a specific highly preferred object (e.g., ask for the blue
train or the red train).
5. Use a compound sentence to request a toy and say how the toy will be used (e.g., say, "I want
the blue train and I want to make a train track).

Capturing Initiations
One way of setting up incidental teaching opportunities is to capture initiations that occur in the natural
environment. When someone captures an initiation, they take advantage of opportunities that arise in the
natural environment. For example,
1. Set out a child's favorite toys before therapy and see which one he gravitates toward. Block his
access to the toy and prompt him to call it by name (Bob the Builder) before he can play with it.
2. Wait for a child to go into the kitchen or cupboard area around snack or dinnertime. When he
indicates he wants a specific food, prompt him to say the name of it. If the child is nonverbal,
prompt him to point to the object he is requesting (or use some other form of augmentative

communication). If he already can say the name of the food, prompt him to use a full sentence to
request it or to use the person's name he is talking to when requesting.
By creating a rich environment, allowing a child time to explore, and being mindful of typical objects and
activities in which that child demonstrates interest, one is able to capitalize on a child's motivation to learn
new skills.

Contriving Situations
Realistically, some children with autism allow for more opportunities to capture initiations than others.
Another way of setting up incidental teaching opportunities is to contrive situations that do not already
occur in the natural environment. For example,
1. If a child frequently plays with only a few toys, an instructor may prompt the child over to a new
toy and attempt to make that toy interesting. Initially, the instructor may only prompt the child to
play with the toy for a few seconds and then allow them to keep playing on their own or return to
another activity. The ultimate test is for the instructor to move the toy approximately three feet
away from the child while he is playing with it. If the child approaches the toy to keep playing, the
instructor can use the opportunity for incidental teaching (e.g., to name the toy, ask "Can I play,"
etc.).
2. If a child prefers specific task completion activities, some of the pieces can be removed from the
set so that the child must ask, "Where's the..." in order for the instructor to go find the missing
piece. Hiding objects that a child needs throughout the day is an extension of this (e.g., hiding a
child's shoes or coat when it's time to go outside, hiding silverware when it's time to eat, etc.).
3. Wait for a child to request an object or play activity. When he does, get it for him, but then stop
walking or run away on the way back to him. Use the opportunity to teach him to repair the
situation by repeating his request or to learn new phrases such as "hurry up," "come back," etc.
4. Instructors can purposefully mess up while interacting with a child during a familiar activity or
while responding to a child's initiations. For example, change the lyrics to a familiar song or if a
child asks for juice, hand him a banana. A child can learn to repair these situations by explaining
what an instructor did incorrectly (e.g., for Ring Around the Rosie, "no, it's 'We all fall down,' or
"no, this is a banana) and/or by reminding her what he really wants to happen.
Because contrived situations do not occur in a child's everyday life, one must be careful to determine the
extent to which these situations will need to continue to be set up in order for the child to maintain a new
behavior. Regardless, by contriving situations that build upon a child's interests, research has shown that
children can not only learn a wide variety of new skills, but will often more easily generalize these skills.

Incidental Teaching
The most distinctive feature of incidental teaching characteristic that separates it from all other forms of
applied behavior analysis-based therapies for autistic children is that all interactions must be initiated
by the child. This may seem difficult given that children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, or
ASD, are known for their unwillingness to initiate social dialogue as well as their lack of motivation to learn
or interact with others.
However, those two common behaviors of autistic children are precisely why incidental teaching was
designed as a child-initiated therapy. The initial concept of incidental teaching was originally developed by
Risley and Hart in the 1970s (Risley & Risley, 1978) and then expanded as part of the Walden Project
under the supervision of Dr. Gail McGee and her colleagues at Emory University in the 1990s (McGee,
Morrier, & Daly, 1999). If a teacher takes advantage of opportunities to encourage self-initiation and

overcome poor motivation in the process, the child will develop two of the most critical skills necessary to
further his or her progress in the future.
But in order to do this, the teacher needs to create an environment that presents plenty of those
opportunities, or teachable moments to the child. To start, the teacher, parent or therapist will find it
necessary to observe the child in his or her natural environment. It is important to notice what things the
child likes to do and what objects within the environment the child enjoys most. It is also advisable to pay
attention to what the childs typical behaviors are. Take the time to observe which inappropriate behaviors
most need to be reduced or eliminated, and the childs strengths and how they can be used to help her
feel good about her abilities whenever she becomes discouraged.
After taking note of what things in the environment most interest the child, prepare the working space for
incidental teaching exercises by putting as many of those items as possible in the area, but just out of
reach of the child (For example, on a shelf or table that is slightly higher than the child can reach). Make
sure they are easily visible to the child.
The next step is simple. Wait. If youve done the job up to now well, it shouldnt be long before the child
tries to reach for something that has caught her interest. This is it: your first teachable moment under the
incidental teaching method. It is time for your first prompt, known as a Level 1 Prompt. Heres what you
do: Place your hand over the childs and, yes, wait again. Remember, the goal is child self-initiation. The
child started the exercise or teachable moment by reaching for the item in the manner typical of an
autistic child, instead of asking for it. Now you want the child to initiate dialogue if at all possible. Just hold
your hand over the childs and look expectantly for as long as 30 seconds.
If the child has not responded by that time, use a Level 2 Prompt. One of the great things about incidental
teaching is the number of scripts you need to learn. Here is the standard Level 2 Prompt, which can be
used in almost every case: What do you want? Once youve issued your Level 2 Prompt, wait again,
looking expectantly. Hopefully, the child will answer with a verbalization: Ball or Doll, for example. Now
your goal is for the child to elaborate. What color ball? or What kind of doll? What you want is to have
the child interact with you verbally at a slightly higher level than the child would have naturally.
If the child answers with any elaboration at all, such as Red ball or Baby, say, Thats right, red ball,
and let the child have the item. You have just had a very successful incidental teaching exchange.
If, on the other hand, the child still will not verbalize, you need to go to a Level 3 Prompt. Look at the
object for a moment, then look back at the child and ask: What is this? Wait an ample but appropriate
amount of time, and if the child still will not answer, pull out the heaviest weapon in your incidental
teaching arsenal: a Level 4 Prompt.
Look at the child and enunciate slowly and clearly, and say what you want the child to say: Red ball. You
have just modeled the behavior you are expecting from the child. At this point, the child is likely to mimic
you, something many autistic children are very good at, and say, Red ball. Now you can say, Thats
right, red ball, and let the child have the ball. Your first exchange was still successful.
But if the first exchange does not end in verbal elaboration, do not worry about it and DO NOT let the
exchange go on too long. Incidental teaching is by design very brief, and it must be enjoyable for both you
and the child. If the exchange is taking too much time or if it is becoming unpleasant for either of you,
STOP and redirect the child to another activity. Wait for your next opportunity for a teachable moment.
If the exchange was successful and the child elaborated verbally about what she wanted, you have
accomplished a lot; probably more than you realize. You were able to get the autistic child you are
working with to feel motivation and initiate an interaction with you, something most autistic children do not
do easily, and you did it in a way that will further motivate the child to repeat this kind of exchange again.
Research has shown that motivation and self-initiation are two of the biggest deficits in children with ASD,
and they hinder the ability to develop necessary learning, functioning and social skills. You just started the
child on the road to overcoming these major hurdles. Thats something to rave about.
The verbal elaboration was another key achievement of the exercise. Learning to elaborate is a critical
part of the learning process for any child and a major challenge for most autistic children. As you do more
of these exercises, following almost exactly the same formula, you will be able to hold dialogues of
perhaps 30 seconds to a minute in which you ask questions about the object of the exercise and the child
will answer them. As a result, the child will begin to generalize the concept of elaboration and do it more
easily in a wider variety of circumstances.
Another benefit of the exercise is that it is performed in a natural setting or environment, and the
exchange occurs as the child goes about her normal daily routine. Concepts taught in the childs natural

environment are easier to generalize into other settings such as school or work. The ability to teach in this
manner is easier and more enjoyable for both the child and the teacher.
That is incidental teaching in a nutshell. Although we have made it sound simple and easy and for the
most part it is when you are actually in a teachable moment it is not always easy to remember how to
take proper advantage of it. Thats where careful planning plays a crucial role. Before each opportunity to
use incidental teaching in a particular setting, think carefully about what teachable moments might
present themselves, what you can do to encourage as many of those moments as possible, and what
things you can say as Level 3 Prompts that will generate interesting elaboration from the child. Try to find
opportunities for incidental teaching in as many settings as possible, such as picnics, parties and visits to
the local grocer.
Although you will achieve the greatest verbal elaboration with Level 3 Prompts (Yes, thats right, blue
ball. What color is the other ball? Yes, very good, red. What color is Jennys ball?), it is important to
always use the lowest level prompt necessary to get the desired response. Never start an exercise with a
Level 3 Prompt.
This is merely an introduction to incidental teaching and is not intended to be a full guide to using the
technique. If you intend to use incidental teaching with your child, you will find there is a lot more to learn,
especially when applying incidental teaching professionally as part of applied behavior analysis therapy.
For a trained therapist, extensive data collection and reporting are essential parts of the ABA process,
since they create feedback that helps gauge progress and establish goals.
Whole textbooks have been written about incidental teaching and there are plenty of resources to help
you learn more right here at Special Learning. If you find that incidental teaching is effective with your
child, you will probably want to study it further; but for now, try the exercise we have shown to you here
and see what happens. If your child responds well and finds the technique enjoyable, you may want to
make incidental teaching an integral part of your childs treatment.