What to Do:
1-Read Age Appropriate material to Children– Even if your child doesn’t seem to be paying attention, they usually are. It is important that they hear language and stories for their age level. This will help them acquire necessary skills for listening, engaging, learning, and contributing.
2-Talk and Treat Child in an Age Appropriate Way-This is very important for your child’s development. It is confusing and disorienting to be spoken to and treated as if you were younger than your age, even when done in love. Age-inappropriate treatment can further delay social skills, developmental achievements, and an understanding of self and purpose. Your child will be less likely to spell for you if you treat them age-inappropriately, as it implies disrespect (even if unintentional), and a lack of faith in their competence and intelligence. Be patient with yourself as this will take time to change both emotionally and habitually if you currently fall into this category.
3-Observe- watch sessions– Observe what your RPM practitioner says and does in sessions. Watch how she represents material, how and when she asks questions, how she positions choices and the board, how your child is responding both in action and accuracy. Watch video clips of others doing RPM to give you more ideas. Periodically videotape your sessions with your child AND VIEW THEM. This will help you improve your technique. We learn by example. You need to be aware of how each step in RPM was and can be handled.
4-Ask Questions-You will have many questions about RPM. Ask them! Think things through. Discuss your questions and thoughts (and successes and failures) with others who practice or are learning RPM (I suggest joining the Facebook group ‘Unlocking Voices-Using RPM’).
5-Read and Study Rapid Prompting Method books by Soma Mukhopadhyay– Do so more than once. These can be purchased on Amazon (type in ‘Soma Mukhopadhyay’ or book title name- there are 4 books- one at a time though ) or www.halo-soma.org. These books will help you not only with RPM, but will cement your understanding of why the method works so well. Understanding RPM will give you the solid ground and reasoning to advocate for your child’s welfare and education. If you are serious about implementing RPM and getting the best results, then study is essential. I suggest you start with “Understanding Autistm Through Rapid Prompting Method.”
6-Read the Books and Blogs– by reading books and blogs by RPM bloggers and their parents you can better understand Autism and get invaluable insight into what your child is experiencing. By navigating paths already paved, you have footsteps to follow before paving your own path. Perspectives by parents who have already discovered and are using RPM with their autistic children are enormously helpful and uplifting.. (suggestions:http://idoinautismland.com/or his book by the same name, http://emmashopebook.com/, How Can I Talk if My Lips Don’t Move and The Mind Tree by Tito Mukhopadhyay, http://faithhopeloveautism.blogspot.com/ )
7-Plan and Deliver Lessons– Practice, practice, practice. Persist, persist, persist. It is very unlikely that your child will spell much for you if you don’t do these two things. Planning lessons will vastly improve your delivery and lead to better quality lessons. At first, you might only be able to cover 5 or 10 items per session, so take heart. In some cases, planning lessons is absolutely critical for success. Your child might be sitting, standing, lying down, or walking during a lesson. The better prepared you are, the better you will be able to incorporate your child’s unique learning needs into your teaching.
If you want formal training in RPM then visit www.halo-soma.org for more information.