Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism

Unlocking the Social potential in Autism bookcover
Unlocking the Social potential in Autism bookcover

Unlocking the Social Potential in Autism by Karina Poirier features the Poirier Developmental Curriculum which Karina had designed to help kids with Autism.

Autism is disorder which is getting very prevalent nowadays.  I hear and see many more people suffering from Autism these days as compared to when I was a child. What is Autism and how can it be treated?

In Karina’s book she explains that Autism is derives from biological errors in the formation and development of the brain.  These errors affect the child’s ability to communicate  and  socialize with others. It also affects their habit formation.

Autistic children have a strong preference for sameness, ritual and repetition. They have problem understanding verbal and non verbal cues by others and as a result difficulties in  communicating with others.  They need to be taught the proper way to communicate and relate to others.

Play is a very important factor in their development. While playing they exercise their narrative skills,  develop their divergent thinking and build up essential social skills.

The Poirier Developmental Curriculum is an extremely unique way of teaching an Autistic child.  There is heavy usage of graphics and specific instructions to get a child to understand what is being taught.

Eg: When showing a picture of a doctor Karina would tell the child- “This is a doctor”  before asking  “Who is this?” and getting the child to response. ”    A doctor”. She uses guided responses and inputs knowledge in bits and pieces so that it is easy to understand and digest. There is a lot of reinforced learning at each step so that the child is able to follow what is being taught.

 

Role play is another commonly used tool to get the child familiarized in different social situations. This not only teach them the way to behave but also helps them get use to the way they are suppose to act in the given situation. They are taught step by step what other kids do automatically like associations and creating stories about it.

My thoughts 

I found the Poirier Developmental Curriculum a really interesting method.  There is a lot of re -enforcement at every stage and repetitions of each stage so that the child fully understands what is expected of him. I feel that this method would work well for struggling learners also as they too have a very limited attention span and difficulty in comprehending new information taught.

A lot of prompting and hand holding is given and this helps to build up the child’s confidence.  The skills taught move from basic to advance so it is tailored to the child’s progression.

Porier’s method is great for improving on a child’s EQ and would certainly help a pre-schooler in her social development as it teaches through modelling. I will be trying some of the examples with my  3yr old during the upcoming school holidays.

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own. This post has a compensation level of 3. Please visit Dominique’s Disclosure page for more information.