Parents are Teachers Too! Embedding Instruction into Daily Routines and Activities

Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D, Capilano University

Filmed November 2020 – edited into 10 parts; total 158 minutes

Often parents believe that only professionals are able to teach their child with autism, or other neurodevelopmental conditions. While professionals do possess knowledge and skills related to teaching children with unique learning needs, parents can make a meaningful contribution to the education of their child. In fact, parents are uniquely placed to address many areas of skill development within the context of daily life.

The goal of this workshop is to help parents reconceptualize teaching and learning as something that occurs during daily activities to teach a multitude of skills. Regardless of the skill level or age of their child, parents have the opportunity to not only involve their child in daily routines and activities that occur at home and in the community, but to teach important skills within the context of those routines and activities.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize and understand the important role that parents and caregivers play in teaching their children
  • Identify daily routines and activities that can serve as learning opportunities
  • Identify learning goals and objectives that can be addressed within the context of daily routines and activities
  • Utilize instructional strategies and supports to teach their child during daily routines and activities
  • Identify ongoing learning challenges and determine when additional support is needed

Presentation Handout (31 Pages)

Presenter Bio

Brenda Fossett is an inspired teacher who is widely admired for her ability to convey complex concepts to those who work with children and adults with diverse needs, whether they are educational professionals or parents.  Dr. Fossett has been on faculty in the Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism Department at Capilano University since 2013. She is a certified teacher of the deaf and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Dr. Fossett has extensive clinical experience providing behavioral and educational consultative services to children with ASD, deafness, and other developmental conditions in home, school, and community settings. Her scholarly and clinical interests include: the implementation of positive behavior support in home and school settings, and educational interventions for deaf children with neurodevelopmental conditions.

Part 1: Role of Parents and Caregivers in Teaching

Topics Covered: 
  • Parents as Teachers

Part 2: Principles to Think About

Topics Covered: 
  • Self-Determination
  • Independence
  • Normalization
  • Functionality

Part 3: Daily Routines and Activities as Teaching and Learning Opportunities

Topics Covered: 
  • Skills to teach, skills to learn
  • Your child’s daily tasks and your daily tasks
  • What skills can we teach by doing daily tasks

Part 4: Daily Routines and Activities as Teaching and Learning Opportunities Continued

Topics Covered: 
  • Skills to teach, skills to learn
  • Your child’s daily tasks and your daily tasks
  • What skills can we teach by doing daily tasks

Part 5: Inform

Topics Covered: 
  • Using calendars, visual schedules and/or checklists to provide information and structure
  • Visual recipes
  • Location supports
  • Task-related visual supports

Part 6: Motivate

Topics Covered: 
  • Is motivation necessary?
  • Motivation tools
  • Reinforcement

Part 7: Make ‘Work’ Fun

Topics Covered: 
  • Embedding fun into work
  • Providing choices

Part 8: Teaching with Modeling and Shaping

Topics Covered: 
  • Modeling and Shaping

Part 9: Teaching with Prompting and Prompt Fading

Topics Covered: 
  • Types of Prompts
    • Physical, Visual, Gestural and Verbal
  • Prompt fading – gradually reducing prompts to promote independence

Part 10: Monitoring Progress and Asking for Help

Topics Covered: 
  • Keeping it simple with checklists
  • Asking for help
  • Conclusion and wrap-up

Resources from the presentation

Free Visual Recipes Online
Resources for Visual Supports
Mentimeter Polling Responses