Articles and Blogs
Following is recommended reading material across our areas of interest...
RDI News publishes content submitted by RDI Consultants and the families who work with RDIConnect programs. By focusing parents, professionals, families and relationships, it provides an additional outlook on the day-to-day lessons and wisdom we learn from each other as well as reflective insight into the RDIconnect Programs.
Please enjoy the following articles written by Linda Murphy. Each were initially published in Autism Spectrum Quarterly.
Episodic Memory, Experience Sharing, and Children with ASD part 1 "Memory is important for everyone in terms of learning, growing and managing more complex social and emotional situations in life. We use our memories to build and strengthen relationships, to reflect on what we've done in order to make plans for the future, and to problem solve based on past experiences. If we didn't have memories to draw from, we would hardly move forward in life. Developing meaningful memories is a critical skill for all people including children with autism."(More »)
The Critical Importance of Declarative Language Input for Children with ASD "Declarative language, plain and simple, is stating out loud what one knows or thinks in the form of a comment. It may be used to share an opinion (I love spaghetti!); make a prediction (I think we are going to the movies tomorrow.); announce / celebrate (We had a great time today!); observe (I notice that your friend wants a turn.); reflect on past experience (Last time this stopped working we checked the batteries.); or problem solve (We need tape to fix it.). Declarative language does not require a verbal response. Rather, it invites experience-sharing, and provides an ideal social framework for later conversational interactions."(More »)
Co-Regulation: The Basis for All Social Interaction part 1 "As a speech-language pathologist, I am indeed familiar with standard social communication goals and objectives. In the past, like others in my profession, I typically focused on specific social language skills such as the number of conversational exchanges the child exhibited;his or her ability to respond to questions or comments; and whether the child could share a conversational topic. Yet, when targeting these types of language-based skills with children who were struggling socially, I often found that I had to prompt attention, answers, and conversational turns. Although we were “talking,” something was clearly missing. I learned later-while training to become an RDI® consultant- that the missing element in my therapy was the presence of an authentic and sustained social connection."(More »)
Thinking Beyond Eye Contact "Eye Contact is considered to be an important skill in teaching social communication to children with ASD. Eye contact matters in communication because looking at someone usually shows that we care and are invested in the interaction. It demonstrates that we are listening to what that person is saying, and that we are thinking about the same thing. For most children, the development of meaningful eye gaze comes naturally; however, it is no secret that for many children with ASD, the development of eye contact is not automatic. As a result, we work hard to facilitate it so that children with ASD can become more socially connected."(More »)
Please feel free to email us if you would like part 2 of any of the above articles!
Michelle Garcia Winner's Blog
Michelle Garcia Winner, who a decade ago started social thinking as a treatment approach for students with social and communication challenges, will update you on this instructional and treatment approach through her blog.
Here are a few of our favorite entries:
Social Thinking - Social Learning Tree. Exploring Social Learning by Starting at our Roots "Learning evolves. The brain’s capacity to acquire new knowledge helps determine how and what we intuitively learn. Some learning happens as a matter of cognitive, social, and emotional development, i.e., from the “inside out,” while other learning happens “from the outside in.” For those of us who are neurotypical, social learning helps us bond with our caregivers early in life then paves the way for language development, more advanced relations, and an understanding of abstract social concepts that grows through experience and maturity." (More »)
Mentors versus Modeling: How Can Peers Help Our Students Learn Social Information? "It’s always been curious to me that people think that children with serious social learning challenges will improve their social skills if they are provided with plenty of opportunities to watch typically developing kids use appropriate social skills across the day. With just a little study of normal development, one finds that children with typically developing social minds spend a lot of time observing their peers before they even begin to attempt to interact with them in their late toddler/early-preschool years. Students with social learning challenges are born with weak social observational skills to begin with. Thinking they will observe their mainstream peers to learn social behavior is too much of a leap." (More»)
Tips on Creating an IEP with a Developmental Focus by Libby Majewski "I know, I know…its March and it is NOT the most wonderful time of year. IEP
(Independent Education Plan) season is upon us and parents everywhere are preparing, researching, talking to other parents, consulting with advocates, case managers, and a variety of professionals. All in hopes of hitting the nail on the head and creating a comprehensive plan that will take their special needs child to the next level, academically and otherwise." (More»)
A How-To Guide for Measuring Social Thinking Progress by Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke "It's that time of year when many educators are wrapping up the school year, taking data on IEPs/intervention plans, and writing end of year progress reports. And, when parents are asking that inevitable question: how did my child fare this year? For teachers and parents alike, when it comes to efficiently measuring an individual's social thinking and related social skills, most of us struggle with how to make the process both accurate and meaningful. (More»)