Curriculum for KAA Resource and Educational Centre
Programmes offered at KAA Educational CentreThe Centre provides a range of programmes such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), the Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH), Sensory Integration (S.I) Therapy, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Pre-Vocational training. ABA, TEACCH and S.I are for children of all ages from 4 years onwards. PECS is for children who are non-verbal. The pre-vocational training programme is for those aged 14 years old and above.
A) Educational ProgrammesThe educational sessions are mainly one-to-one teaching for each child for two hours each day. There are 4 sessions a day, i.e. from 8am to 10am, 10am to 12noon, 1pm to 3pm and 3pm to 5pm, that is two sessions in the morning and two sessions in the afternoon. The routine activities in the morning will be the same as those in the afternoon. At present, there are 34 students aged between 4 to 13 years old attending these educational sessions.
The programmes being used at the centre can be briefly summarized as below:
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) – ABA focuses on teaching small, measurable units of behaviour systematically. Each skill from relatively simple responses like looking at others to complex acts like spontaneous communication and social interaction – is broken down into small steps, and taught to the child until he/she masters it.
Treatment & Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) – This programme is to train students to do tasks or activities independently. Structured teaching is an important priority. Organizing the physical environment, developing schedules and work systems, making expectations clear and explicit, and using visual materials have been effective ways of developing skills and allowing people with autism to use these skills independent of direct adult prompting and cuing. These measures are beneficial for students with autism who are frequently held back by their inability to work independently in a variety of situations.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) – PECS is a simple and unique alternative training package which is developed for use in children with autism and other social communication deficits. This method does not require complex and expensive materials but basically uses pictures. The children are trained to communicate with adults by showing picture cards of objects to indicate what they want. PECS is introduced to children to help them acquire functional communication skills. The speech development is not the primary purpose of using PECS, but it can happen as a result of the use of PECS.
Fine Motor Skills – The training for these skills focuses primarily on the child’s ability to use his/her hands constructively. This involves eye-hand coordination. The child must coordinate what he/she sees with what he/she does with his hands.
Academic Skills – The skills are for reading, writing and arithmetic (or mathematics). Once mastered, they open the doors to greater independence in our society.
Social Skills – The aim is to train the autistic child to be able to interact with other children and adults.
Self-help Skills – The aim is to train the child in activities of daily living e.g. eating using a spoon and a fork, drinking from a cup, toileting, washing, dressing and grooming. Once mastered, the autistic person can be independent to look after his/her daily basic needs.
B) Sensory Integration (S.I) Programmes
For a child who lacks concentration, is unable to focus, cannot sit still and is hyperactive, Sensory Integration Therapy ( brushing and massaging his/her whole body) is used until he/she is able to sit still, is less hyperactive and able to concentrate or focus on other activities.
Sensory Integration (SI) is a normal neurological process of organizing sensations for use in everyday life. We use sensations to survive, learn and function smoothly. Dysfunction in Sensory Integration (DSI), also called Sensory Integration Dysfunction, occurs when the brain inefficiently processes the sensations coming from a person’s own body and his/her environment. Most autistic children suffer from S.I Dysfunction in varying degrees from very severe to less severe. We have many senses, and the most common one are the five senses of hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling and touching. These are called “far senses”. The less familiar are the “near” senses – sometimes called the “hidden” senses, because we are not aware of them, cannot control or directly observe them.
For S.I dysfunction, the concern is mainly with 3 “hidden” senses:
- The tactile sense – processing information about touch, which is received primarily through the skin.
- The vestibular sense – Processing information about movement, gravity and balance, which is received through the inner ear
- The proprioceptive sense – processing information about body position and body parts, which is received through the muscles, ligaments and joints.
KAA Sensory Integration programme provides the following activities:
|Linear Glider||for relaxing and calming|
|Bolster Swing||for balancing and to be more alert|
|Steep Board||to improve focusing|
|Roller Board||to improve learning|
|Trampoline||to improve eye and hand coordination|
|Giant Spinning Top||to build up muscle tones|
|Flexion Swing||to improve attention and to calm down|
|See-Saw, Rocker, Balance Beam, River Stones, Twin Walker||to improve body balancing|
|Maze Balance Board||to improve body balancing and eye-hand coordination|
|Heavy Work, Hotdog Roll & Body Compression||to improve body senses|
|Silent Yoga||to relax the body|
|Exercise ball||to increase body tolerance movement|
|Table Work||to improve IQ function, e.g IQ puzzle, brain puzzle, camouflage and Tangram|
C) Pre-Vocational TrainingKAA Pre-Vocational programme was started on 2 January 2008. The main objective of this programme is to enable young adults to acquire the necessary vocational skills to prepare them for an independent and meaningful life in adulthood.
These are two sessions. The morning session is from 8am to 12noon while the afternoon session is from 1pm to 5pm. Both sessions run from Monday to Friday. Currently there are 6 students aged between 14 to 18 years old undergoing the training programme.
The Pre-Vocational Training includes the following activities:
Training in Social skills - This involves greetings and social interaction which usually revolves around general topics.
Training in Domestic skills - This includes sweeping, mopping, doing laundry, washing crockery, cleaning the toilet, cooking, etc.
Training in Art & Craft - Students who have the potential are encouraged to produce crafts for commercial purposes such as cards, sand bottles or ornaments such as bead bracelets.
Training in Functional academic skills - The high functioning students are taught comprehension or composition, to use a dictionary, a calendar or a calculator, to learn the values and concept of money and mathematics. The low functioning students are taught the basic skills of recognizing or writing their names.
Treatment and Educational of Autism and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) - This programme focuses on the following approaches such as: (i) to promote independent working skill, (ii) to develop good working habit in a structured and appropriate manner and (iii) to emphasize areas of strengths and interests.
Office skills - The high functioning students are taught to fold and count brochures, cards and pamphlets and learn basic office skills such as laminating, sealing envelopes, stapling, filling, photstating, etc.
Self care - This involves personal hygiene and grooming.
Cooking skills - The students are taught to prepare simple food such as frying vegetables, eggs, nuggets and potato wedges. This activity is carried out at least once a week for the high functioning students.