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May 4, 2015

Q: Can you use more than one scale at a time with a student?

A: Yes. I recommend you start with one scale and teach the systematic process of using and referring to a scale. After the person learns to use the original scale, you can introduce a second by saying something like, "you know how we used the 5-point scale to learn more about voice volume? Now we are going to make a scale to learn more about how we move in the hallway."

The point is that the scale is a highly systemized way of teaching a concept that might not be easily understood by a person who struggles with social learning. We all learn best when someone teaches us using our strongest learning channel. Some people read the newspaper to learn about the news, other people watch TV, and still others prefer to listen to the radio. Some people have to actually experience a new idea before they really "get it". Students with autism are very different across the spectrum but there are some general commonalities in learning style. Learners on the spectrum tend to be visual learners and they tend to benefit from repetition and predictability. The 5-point scale is a visual system, meant to be used in a repetitive and predictable way. Once a student learns one concept using the scale, it is easier to teach a second concept using the same system.

 


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