Friday, December 24, 2010

TAGteach Seminar Report - Hershey PA

Theresa and I were in Hershey PA last week for a terrific TAGteach seminar at the wonderful Vista School. The Vista School brings state-of-the-art special education and therapeutic services to children living with autism in Central Pennsylvania. We had a great group of people from several different backgrounds and we all learned a lot from each other. There were four behavior analysis professors there and all of them have plans for research studies, which is very exciting for us.

One of the homework exercises is to think of something that you would like to change in your own behavior and do some self-tagging to see how this works. Everyone takes home the tagulator that they made for themselves and pulls down a bead to mark the tags when they successfully execute the tag point they set from themsleves.

Here are some creative examples of self-tagging tag points that people invented:
After printing off a sheet from the printer file it right away rather than leaving it on the printer to pile up. The tag point is file the paper
While shopping, rather than getting annoyed at other people for pushing or other rude behavior, have empathy for them and think about what they might be thinking and why they might be in a hurry or stressed out. The tag point is think about others.
Instead of giving unsolicited and often unwanted advice to older teens and twenty-something children, keep quiet and let them enjoy the time together as a family. The tag point is keep quiet.
Associate Professor from Penn State, Rick Kubina told us that he has a 6 year old client with autism whose parents have struggled unsuccessfully for the past year trying to teach the child to tie his shoes. Rick had also been unsuccessful in an attempt to teach this. Rick went straight home and tried out his new TAGteach skills on this problem and posted the following on his Facebook page:

After my two day TAGteach seminar I had the chance to use my new acquired skill with a 6-year-old boy (he has autism). For the last year parents have been trying to teach him to tie his shoe. I tried about a month ago and failed miserably. After one, 20 minute TAGteach session I tagged what you see in the picture. Very proud of my little guy.
We had lots of interesting discussions about the application of TAGteach principles to real-life teaching situations that the attendees face. We look forward to hearing from everyone about their successes with TAGteach.

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