TEAAM has developed a 3-topic series of training modules that will help prepare families, professionals and persons with autism for life. The modules have been designed to compliment each other and create a comprehensive training experience. Each can be taken as a stand-alone course based on need and interest as well. The 3-topics areas covered are: 1) Behavioral Educational Strategies, 2) Effective Learning Environment Strategies 3) Social Skills Development and 4) Now You Have a Diagnosis, Now What? Each module presents tried and proven strategies to be effective in each of these areas.
It is important to approach your decision to participate in any of these training modules with this frame of mind.
“All people with autism are learners throughout life and they are in need of understanding and acceptance as they learn through creative and unconventional methods.” – Dr. Mark H. Yeager, CAS, FAAIDD
Dr. Yeager and his team of professionals, parents, and person’s with autism have developed these training modules through years of experience in the field to make sure these methods work. All of these methods have and continue to prove to be effective approaches to working toward more meaningful outcomes. The methods can be modified and applied to any person, at any age, for any skill. Is it the “fix-all”? Absolutely not, there is no such thing. However, out training gives you tools to help a person progress toward a better quality of life. It is not methods of “fix” it is a series of methods that help you understand, support, and assist a person. The word “fix” implies something is broken. In so many cases what appears to be “broken” just needs to be better understood and some things modified for success.
TEAAM's Training Courses
Dynamic Behavioral Education Strategies (DBESt)
“The Science of Learning as a Behavior”
Dynamic Behavioral Education Strategies© (D-BESt©) is a two-module fluid approach to balancing challenging behaviors and the learning style of a learner with academic, adaptive and other demands placed on a person in life. The premise of D-BESt© is deeply steeped in the understanding that learning is a behavior. It is a behavior that must be addressed proactively. By using the philosophical foundations and the strategies of D-BESt©, many, if not most problematic behaviors a learner demonstrates can be mitigated.
D-BESt© is not intended to be a complex tangle of protocols. Rather, it is a set of well-developed strategies based on the philosophical premise that utilizes existing resources and common sense applications of teaching and behavioral strategies. These resource and strategies are supported by appropriate components of programs that have proven to be best practices. This approach employed by D-BESt© provides the student with optimal learner-centered outcomes. It is a program development strategy that truly puts the learner at the center of their learning and behavioral experience. This is in contrast as to forcing the learner into a structure that lacks a dynamic response to their specific needs and challenges.
The D-BESt© approach has been developed by Dr. Mark H. Yeager over the 25 plus years of experience in developing programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental and intellectual disabilities of all ages. In the spirit of the term Dynamic the program continues to evolve through the field successes of the consultants trained and directed by Dr. Yeager. The generalization of successful outcomes of learners as the D-BESt© team implements new and innovative intervention strategies has proven to be exponentially beneficial to other learners.
Social Skills for Life and Employment
This is course is intended to help professionals, parents and other service providers understand how to present effective social skills training to persons who have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Though this module is written with the autistic person in mind, it is not intended to only be about autism or that person. It is intended to teach non-autistic people to better understand, and therefore accept, their autistic peers in a way that makes them effective in designing and providing supports. It is important to keep an open mind that the strategies described in this training module are not effective only with autistic people. These approaches can also be very beneficial to individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD) as well as other people with mental illnesses and even traumatic brain injuries. If a person has a poor command of social skills, the chances are very high that they can benefit from this approach.
This training is about shifting the mindset about how to support autistic persons. The basis for this approach is all about how you approach the process. It is about how you move forward in the process. And ultimately, it is about how you can optimize your effectiveness. There are two driving points that we must keep in mind to emphasize changing from a reactive methodology to a pro-active Mindset.
- We have to remember that even though we as a support person may not be aware of challenges that a person faces, they are fully aware that they have obstacles. They are coming to us to help them fulfill their dreams, not to change their dreams to what we think is best. Our first priority is to understand what it is that will give a person a life that they feel has meaning and is rewarding.
- Discover issues before putting a client in a situation to fail. To understand their Mindset will help us establish the direction that we should take in helping a person chase their dreams. It should never be about what is easiest for us as support professionals. Rather, it should be about what it will take to help a person reach their goals. That means that it will almost certainly be the more difficult path that must be followed.
I know the first thought comes to you mind is, “am I to believe that I can help everyone fulfill their dreams regardless how grandiose they might be?” Simply put, you should believe that you could pursue the dreams of a person and help them see the path that it will take them. Will they accomplish all of their dreams? Well, have you accomplished all of your dreams? If not, are you still chasing them? Or have you given up on your dreams? If you have, shame on you! It is our privilege to help those coming to us to pursue their dreams! Without giving up!
Vanguard Learning System
The term “Vanguard” is the perfect term to describe our approach to Closure Driven Activity Based Teaching. Vanguard, by definition, describes the foremost division or the front part of a group or the forefront of any movement, field, activity, or the like.
The term “Vanguard” is also used to describe the leaders of any intellectual movement. Though this terminology might seem to describe creators of this approach to Learning, it is actually used in reference to our learners. Through our system of teaching, they become stronger learners and will be moving to the forefront of their learning experience and journey.
Many teaching philosophies state that a teacher can only teach….the student must learn. The Vanguard Learning System (VLS) focuses on learning outcomes through a process that is student driven through the use of self-contained activities and/or lessons.
The Vanguard Learning System teaches a teacher HOW! VLS is a system that provides instruction to teachers and staff or parents how to create self-contained, closure driven lessons based on a student’s goals. It is NOT an expensive program that a School District or families must buy with all kinds of bells and whistles that are more for show than application. As a matter of fact, VLS is geared to train teachers to use materials that are often already available but not being used. VLS is an approach that is achieved through teaching teachers HOW to develop an effective program. Through this investment of love and time, teachers have a stronger commitment to using the activities they have developed. In addition they are able to use their own creative teaching skills to expand the system to their students needs.
The reason The Vanguard Learning System works because it focuses on a simple premise that we have learned through over 30 years of teaching. Students are able to perform more efficiently when they know 3 things:
- What is expected of them.
- How much is expected of them to achieve completion.
- What’s next after they have completed the task before them.
VLS creates an individualized learning approach that capitalizes on this need that every student desires. It is a proved fact that when students know these 3 things, they will perform more diligently, more effectively and more successfully. At TEAAM we call these The Big 3!
TEAAM’s philosophy of Closure Driven Activities (CDA) is simple. Activities should have definition in structure. The Big 3 must be met in each activity. Once that activity is complete then it is on to the next CDA. The structure that VLS uses through the CDA approach alleviates one of the biggest inefficiencies we see in many classroom, a lack of structure. Students learn better in structured environments. VLS is much more that just the knowledge of how to create CDAs. It is a complete system that is to be used from the beginning of class time until the completion of class time.
How all Three of These Trainings Work Together
All three modules compliment each other and can be used to work in tandem to create a productive and successful outcome for a person. D-BESt focuses on understanding the process of learning through an analytical approach to understanding behaviors. The Vanguard Learning System focuses on the “how” of creating effective learning strategies for the individual to succeed. These two systems were designed by the professionals at TEAAM to compliment each other. Understanding how they work together gives you tools so that you can better understand the most desired student behavior, Learning. Knowing the D-BESt approach to understanding Education Behavior is not required to implement the VLS in your classroom but it will help you as a teacher and your students as learners. The Social Skills for Life program compliments these modules so that as a person experiences more throughout life, they have the social skills to be successful. Learning how to assist each person navigate socially awkward and unknown circumstances completes the package that will yield much success.
So, You have a Diagnosis. Now What?
TEAAM has also developed a training module entitled, So, you Have a Diagnosis, Now What? This module is a stand-alone training opportunity that is offered primarily to parent of children who have recently received the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. This course covers a litany of topics that help prepare a family for the journey ahead with their autistic family member. During the participation of this training, each family will develop a “Journey Plan” for the entire family to play a role.
This training in so very critical for new families of an autistic member. The most effective way to support a family member is to have a plan and an understanding of the challenges the person and the family will face moving forward. This module not only prepares for this, it also teaches the family how to continue to plan forward at each new phase of their journey.