Monday, August 5, 2013

SHADES OF AUTISM #7: Learning Quickly

I do not teach one step at a time

I bound up the staircase of learning quickly.

When I see that a child can do something, I do not make him practice that skill.

I work with him on a more difficult form of the problem or concept.

When a child is intelligent, and his communication skills are not strong, we often simplify the things which we want to teach him.

That can lead to boredom, and a loss of motivation to learn.

Reaching for a higher level skill helps the child to become cognitively stimulated. 

It also shows us exactly what he is capable of learning.


In TWO sessions I taught Alejandro to answer True/False questions in written form, when he had never answered a True/False question before.

On day one he placed a toy in a rectangle with a TRUE statement.

On the next session he CIRCLED the word TRUE or FALSE after reading a sentence.  

He also wrote the word FALSE as an answer to a question.

After he wrote the word FALSE, I said, "Now, write your name on the bottom of the page," and he did.  

He had been putting wooden or foam letters in order to spell his name over the past two years, but this was the first time I had seen him write his name on paper. 

Alejandro also practiced other test-taking skills.  He filled in circles which were next to his answers, and put an X in a square shape next to his answers.

His parents were very excited and surprised to see him performing these higher level skills.  

We talked about the possibility of having higher level goals included in his Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Taking a TRUE - FALSE test is now within his reach, after only TWO sessions!

My advice to parents: 

~  Don't be content with learning in small increments. 

~  Try to reach higher levels quickly whenever possible (whenever you see that flash of brilliance appear).  

Contact me or have your child's therapist or teacher contact me, if you want more information about this.

I'm Noelle Michaels, Speech and Learning Specialist, and I truly love my job!

Superb Therapy, LLC
Denville, New Jersey, 07834  USA



  1. The way you set the activities are so creative by the simplicity and clarity of the activities you make, that although are challenging, the child proudly achieves every goal with pleasure, encouraging him to go to a next level. You are not only great, but amazing!