Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Home Training

In my teaching career, I worked primarily with children with emotional and/or behavioral issues. While at a meeting for Little Boy's, I asked a special education administrator for a job (which is what I do these days - walk around and ask for a job), and was offered some hours doing home training work.

Home training is a service mandated by some IEPs (Individualized Education Plan), almost always for students with autism or an autism-spectrum disorder. An IEP is a special education student's plan for services. These services often include speech therapists, reading specialists, or counselors. Occasionally, a child needs help generalizing skills taught in school to the home. (Generalization of skills means that a child learns that a skill learned in school can also be applied at home. A very basic example of generalization is the realization that "See Spot Run" always means the same thing, no matter what book it's in, or what font it's written in). A home-trainer is the teacher who helps the child to learn these generalizations.

That's the technical definition.

What I really do? Remind children to listen the first time. Model for parents what to do when their child doesn't listen the first time. Reinforce basic behavior principles - use kind words, don't pick your nose, follow the schedule, wash your hands when they're dirty, take turns.

It's not bad for two hours a week. We'll see how 10 hours a week goes. So far, it's okay. Although, I struggle a little with leaving my own kids to go deal with someone else's kids, especially the days I've come home really tired. It's a little easier knowing my kids are almost always with my husband, and it's a lot easier knowing that God has a plan for me with this job right now, and a reason for me to be working with this particular family.

Plus, it's been good to exercise some of the professional muscles of my brain. I hope that opportunities better suited to our family will present themselves by the fall!


Jane said...

Think of it this way, you were given a heart so big that loving just 4 children wasn't enough. You need more kids to love and you found a way to be a part-time mother by being a teacher.
Being able to teach is a very special gift and I know it isn't wasted on you.

Dorothy said...

Thanks, Jane! You're too kind.

kathy b said...

You are teaching your children that a marriage is made up of two people an sometimes both of them work!