ABA Model School and Center for Children Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices (SKHOV) is taking its training program to the next level. At the core of the ABA therapy is the objective of teaching functional life skills and finding solutions to behavioral issues that may come up throughout this learning process.
To that end, SKHOV’s team of innovative teachers have built up a mock grocery store in the lower floor of the establishment to put the children in situation of sensory overload. A trip to the supermarket or any large department store can indeed be quite a challenging and overwhelming experience for an autistic child. Some children will scream or have a meltdown. Not all autistic brains respond the same way. Some can be oversensitive to noise and noise while some others can be under-sensitive to it. SKHOV teachers work at minimizing sensory overload in children with special needs.
As they are simulating sensory overload at the mock grocery store, the teachers also train the children in gaining more perspective taking skills. They all take turns pushing the shopping cart and the children are careful to say “excuse me” when appropriate. They learn not to bump into other customers. After they get everything on their list, they wait patiently on line to purchase their groceries. When it is their turn to finally check out, they slowly empty their cart onto the conveyer belt.
The training goes even further by preparing the children to adulthood and boosting their future employability skills. They greet customers, hand out shopping carts, and offer help to customers as well as take turns being the cashier. At the end of each week, they work all together as a team to take inventory to see what merchandise needs to be reordered. This experience significantly positively impact their social interactions and help the children improve their social skills.
The curriculum is designed to include all the children of ABA Model School and Center for Children Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices to get to this milestone of success.