Community Based Instruction suggestions

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by RJN, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. RJN

    RJN Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2012

    I am looking to "freshen up" my community based instruction program. I teach a middle school Life Skills Support class and have access to public transportation. I am looking for any and all suggestions. We already do shopping for a class business and cooking supplies, visit the library and other locations that relate to a unit I am teaching. I am wondering what you send them to the store for, other than shopping, as well as other stores and other places you go. Thanks.
     
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  3. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Jul 26, 2012

    I am not a special ed teacher, but I know that we have a similar program at my school. I know the students sometimes go to restaurants, too, and practice interacting with the people there, ordering food, etc.

    They also have a work experience portion, where they spend the afternoon each day working at stores and other locations. These students are all post-graduates, and most remain in the program until they are 21.
     
  4. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2012

    Hi,

    I have an elementary ASD class, and I started a CBI program last year, but I also co-direct a summer program for young adults with autism/developmental disabilties where this is a focus.

    Ideas/things we've done:

    -rec and leisure activities - go bowling, go to an actual park or track and run/walk/bike ride, go to an actual softball or kickball diamond, go swimming, go to a zoo, go to a frisbee golf course, go to the YMCA (the Y in our area is GREAT with our kids and very accomodating - they even did an aerobics class for us!) Go to a local concert or sporting event. Go to the movies. Sometimes if you contact the theater ahead of time, they will schedule (or tell you when is scheduled) a sensory-friendly film where you can bring you own snacks, kids can move around during the film, and the sounds and lights are less intense.

    -neighborhood-type errands - go to the post office to mail letters (this is great around holidays - you can have the kids make cards or holiday letters and go buy stamps and mail them), go the video store to rent/drop-off videos, go to the utilities building to "drop off" your utilities bill, go to a craft store to buy supplies for a class project, go to a nursery to buy plants or seeds to plant for a class garden, go to a gas station to buy a snack or treat OR groceries (there is one within walking distance of our school that we stop by on our way back from the park). In our community, we have a public bus that has a route, but you must call to schedule a ride, so we practice doing that and setting up our own rides ahead of time. Or, we try to combine several errands that we can to/between.

    -community services - we visited our police station and justice center, which the kids LOVED. Our tour focused on showing the things policemen do, (many of my kids view them as scary) and also we talked about what to do if you find yourself in different dangerous situations and that you should tell the policeman you have autism, etc. My summer kids range quite a bit in ability. Some are very smart but sooooooooooo socially naive and vulnerable, so this was great exposure for them. Also the community. We visited the fire station and I called ahead - they did a great job of differentiating for us. For the younger kids they focused more on typical fire visit (fire safety, calling 911, etc.) but for the older kids they showed first aid, let them try out the tools, talked about how to get a job as a fireman, etc. The kids loved it. Go to the hospital, or ambulance facility. We had an EMT talk to us and give us a personal tour of the ambulance, explain CPR, emergency services, etc. I figure that even if these kids have exposure to this stuff once on a CBI, not only do they usually think it is cool, but if it ever happens to them in real life it will be less scary for them. The barbar was a big one too - go get a haircut/haircuts. Many of my students struggle with this in real life and they enjoyed watching me get my hair cut (I had it really long and chopped it all off) and then several of them did it too! With our older kids in the summer, we visited a local community college and talked with the disabilities counselor/had a backstage tour of all the program areas. They let us into the wood shop, the theater, the art studio, the huge robotics/nursing lab.......the kids LOVED it. And they had exposure to the people who work with the transition program in our area.

    Other ideas: mechanic/auto body shop, local restaurants (many will take you behind the scenes if you plan ahead and ask and go during a not-busy time), grocery store (again, behind the scenes tour), go to a coffee shop and teach them to "hang out" (many of my summer kids have no idea how to do this........), visit a hospital, doctor or dentist, the ideas are endless.

    I have found that the key to a good CBI is planning way ahead. I live in a pretty small community, so I've had to be creative, but if you call ahead and plan, many times the owners of the business will surprise you with how backward they are willing to bend over. I usually explain my program and my needs and what kinds of things I am looking for them to cover on their tour, and I have been so pleasantly surprised. Also, I have a form I send after we speak in person that says, thank you for agreeing to be a CBI location for us, here are our needs, here are suggestions for things to show/cover, my contact info, etc.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!:)
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jul 27, 2012

    I haven't read the above post, but my student's parents really liked it when I brought my students to restaurants. We got to practice ordering (they had to choose something that they could afford and still have enough to leave a tip) and talking to the waitress. I used to phone ahead and have them "forget" to give everyone forks and/or glasses, so my students had to practice getting the waitress's attention and asking politely for their missing item.

    Getting together with another CBI class for activities is also a great idea.

    We weren't allowed to do "fieldtrip" type activities such as the zoo, fire dept., etc...
     

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