Leg it to the Table!

So, with some learners, it’s appropriate to be running ‘table sessions’. A table session is an intensive teaching period of many tasks to provide a lot of opportunities to teach targets. As a general rule, I wouldn’t run table sessions with pre school age children, as most of those programmes are based around natural environment teaching and play.

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It’s important to generalise all teaching in to the natural environment, but learners (and therapists) often respond well to table sessions, as it’s very structured, and (should be) reinforcement rich.

 

First things first; set up the table as a fun place to be. You want your learners to run to the table, not run away. If you are working with a learner who has a history of problem behaviour related to table teaching, forget demands, just pair. Build a stronger history of reinforcement at the table than problem behaviour. Just go there for fun! Deliver all of the learners favourite things, and play with their favourite toys, and the only requirement is that they stay at the table. 

 

Once your learner is ready for table sessions (no longer having problem behaviour when asked to sit at the table), make sure you prepare well. Have a range of possible reinforcers ready, all necessary teaching materials (targets on acquisition – being taught, and mastered skills), and probe data sheets needed.

 

For most learners, a 15-minute schedule is appropriate, (15 minutes NET, 15 minutes’ table, 15 minutes NET etc.). For younger learners it may be less, and older learners (particularly secondary age and over) it would be more, but of course this should be totally tailored to the individual learner.

 

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The next post is going to be on awesome teaching procedures to use at the table, and in general life!

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2 thoughts on “Leg it to the Table!

  1. regmreynolds says:

    Reg Reynolds

    My first exposure to really good ABA-based instruction was watching an instructor (Marcie Norton) work with a little three year old girl, mainly at the table but with excursions to other parts of the house from time to time. They worked for three hours straight and then took an hours’ trip into the community to see what could be taught there. The therapist was being overworked, but the child was as happy with the program as you could possibly imagine. While I agree with you in general, I believe it is also a matter of how good the instruction is.

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