A look into programs for individuals with ASD (Part 3)-A A +A
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
A GOOD Transition Education Program (TEP) includes a course on Community Living. The students’ language, communication and socio-emotional skills are developed through the Community Living course. Students are provided with professionally planned and facilitated classroom activities and community trips to various relevant community settings such as malls, groceries, churches, banks, government offices, recreational facilities, restaurants, dental clinics, salons, and the like. These trips look like field trips on the outside and the students do not feel that learning takes place during these trips. For example, a trip to a grocery store also includes doing simple budgeting, listing items to purchase, walking with the group inside the grocery store, learning where to look for the items and lining up to pay, and so on and so forth. All throughout these activities, the child with special needs is encouraged to communicate and to behave in the most appropriate manner.
It is also important to provide the students with Leisure and Recreational Activities to promote the students’ competencies in specialized leisure and recreational fields. Learning opportunities to promote the students’ general health and develop socio-emotional skills required to in0000dependently avail of such services or activities are also likewise provided in a TEP.
Work behaviors and skills essential for future employment or vocational pursuits are taught in the Pre-vocational Training Program (Prevoc) through task-oriented activities and various work experiences. Experiential instruction is employed to provide the students opportunity to immediately practice and refine newly learned skills and behaviors in real-life work environments.
Job Readiness Program (JRP)
A second program of the Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC) is the Job Readiness Program which, as the name implies, prepares individuals with special needs for a specific work that fits their skills and behaviour. Through handicrafts, art projects, wood works and other DIY projects, students learn relevant work behaviors such as impulse control, frustration tolerance, decision-making, responsibility, attention span, motivation, cooperative behavior and punctuality among many others. It is important to note that the emphasis of instruction is always on the work process and not the end-product itself. The student’s satisfactory performance in the Pre-vocational Training Program is one of the prime bases for recommending a student to start in the next stage of the work training process, the Job Readiness Program. This program aims to develop the student’s work behaviors and skills that are necessary for vocational pursuits. Here, instruction is provided in actual but controlled work environments located within the school. Like in the TEP, the Job Readiness Program is highly individualized to perfectly suit the student’s needs.
In ILLC Manila, students are be assigned to have their work training from the in-house facilities such as the Abelardo’s Diner, the Resource Center, the Laundry Shop, and the Processing and Packaging Center. Trained Job Coaches supervise the students to ensure the students’ safety and quality of work. ILLC Davao also aspires to offer similar job readiness training facilities. Currently, we have the Processing and Packaging Center in collaboration with one of the leading pizza chains in the country. We also have a Resource Center where students are trained to do office chores such as photocopying, encoding and filing. (To be continued.)
Jane Ann S. Gonzales is a mother of a youth with autism. She is an advocate/core member of the Autism Society Philippines and Directress of the Independent Living Learning Centre (ILLC) Davao, a centre for teenagers and adults with special needs. For comments or questions, please email email@example.com).
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 07, 2014.