The 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 Integrated Gym Room and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS; for non-verbal children). Children from as young as 3 years old will benefit from the above Early Intervention Programmes. Training is provided on a one teacher: one student basis, for greater impact and improvement. Individualised training plans are designed for all students.
The Centre also trains students of all ages in Personal hygiene and Living skills and provides Pre-Vocational training for students aged 12 and above.
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 e.g. looking at others to complex acts e.g. 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.
Sensory Integration Gym Room – Many children with autism experience sensory processing issues – they may be adverse to loud noises, bright lights, touch and smells. Often, these sensory issues need to be dealt with before the children can focus and learn. The Gym room has a variety of equipment, that aim to improve the child’s motor coordination, muscular control, voluntary movement, learning ability and concentration. The activities for each student are different. The teachers guide the students to do their activities depending on their personal programme set by KAA’s Sensory Integration Trainer.
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.
Play Therapy, Indoor and Outdoor group activities
As children learn through playing, interactive activities such as Play Therapy, Indoor and Outdoor group activities, stimulate and motivate them to explore their surroundings. It also enables them to socialize and interact with their peers within the expectations of society whilst encouraging them to cultivate good relationship with peers. These activities also teach the children about turn-taking and sharing.
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 students to interact with other children and adults, e.g. greetings, socially acceptable behaviour, turn taking and basic communication in social situations.
Self-help Skills – The aim is to train students in activities of daily living e.g. eating using a spoon and a fork, drinking from a cup, toileting, washing, dressing and grooming Mastery of these skills is essential in promoting independent living.
Pre-Vocational Training – The aim is to train students in housekeeping, laundry and cooking, gardening, packing and sorting, art and craft, income generating skills (e.g. beadwork, handmade items, baked goods), and functional academic skills.
The more academically inclined students are taught comprehension, use of a dictionary, a calendar, a calculator, the concept of money and mathematics., and basic office skills such as typing, laminating, sealing envelopes, stapling, filling and photocopying.