On October 19, Dr. Dana Reinecke presented “10 Things to Know Before You Leave Home (And How to Learn Them)” at Transitions’ “Strategies to Build Independence for Students with Autism, ADHD and Other Learning Differences” conference. Her presentation covered basic skills that are more challenging for young adults with autism and other learning differences and strategies their support network can use to prepare them to perform those essential tasks on their own. We would like to share what we learned from Dr. Reinecke in this series of posts.
Everyone should understand the basics of money before they leave home. Young adults with executive functioning difficulties in particular should receive training in really understanding the value of money, especially as the digital age makes symbolic transactions more prevalent. It can be difficult for them to understand that real transactions take place when they use a card or shop online rather than handle and exchange physical money. Other skills they need to learn include using an ATM, endorsing checks, monitoring bank balances online and using debit cards.
Strategy: Video modeling
Video modeling is the use of video tutorials to teach skills. In general, video modeling is very acceptable to most people and is applicable to many tasks. It is also very imitable, sometimes even more so than watching someone person the task in the flesh. Video modeling is also extremely accessible nowadays – YouTube tutorials exist for just about anything and smartphones make it easy for people to save videos and carry them around wherever they go. It can be used with or without the addition of embedded written instructions.
Self-modeling – the person does the behavior themselves and takes a video of it for future reference.
Other-modeling – videos of other people doing the behavior.
Point-of-view modeling – videos that show the viewer what it will look like when they do the behavior; “look through their eyes” videos.
Objective 1: Withdrawing money from an ATM
Point-of-view modeling works well in this situation. Many banks actually provide these videos on their own websites for the benefit of all customers.
Objective 2: Depositing checks in an ATM
Use other-modeling to teach this, because there are certain safety and privacy concerns that can only be emphasized by watching the behavior and body language of another person.
Objective 3: Checking account balance online
Self-modeling is the best method for this because certain necessary information, i.e. PINs and login information, are individualized.
We hope these tips and strategies are helpful to you. Please remember that these are generalized examples and all goals, objectives, teachings and support strategies should always be individualized to see beneficial results. Feel free to mix and max strategies discussed in each post to fit the person you’re teaching. Everyone learns differently, so being flexible and working from individual strengths is absolutely essential in teaching these skills.
Good luck and check this blog again on Friday for the next installment in this series.