Programme: Assisting people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities to learn - ‘Theory to Practice’

A brief outline of what enables and underpins learning

What does the term Profound Intellectual & Multiple Disability [PIMD]

actually mean? What is involved?

PIMD changes the person’s experience of learning, communication and control: what happens?

To a person with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail

How do we respond and how might we respond differently?

Interactive Approaches;

Practical ideas for developing communication skills:

Pre-intentional communication and communicators

The Affective Communication Assessment

one-to-one interactions

Creating ‘Small Islands in the Chaos’

Informal communicators

Joint Action Routines

Intensive Interaction

‘Signposting the Environment’

Brief introduction to Intensive Interaction;

What is it? What do you do? and Who do you do it with?


Video: Intensive Interaction and ASD

Multi Sensory Environments do they work?

A Framework for Recognising Progress

The suggested programme can be extended or adjusted on request, to further emphasise the following topics.

Intensive Interaction

Based on the principles of social cognition, this is an interactive teaching method aimed at supporting the learner in communicative and social encounters through using their interests as the focus of the interactions. In addition to the introduction to Intensive Interaction that is part of the standard training day, an extended section or even a full day course on the use and development of Intensive Interaction can be provided. The day involves examining the different aspects of organisation, policy writing, getting consent, the involvement of parents and carers, as well as different methods of recording for teachers, support staff and/or those working residential settings. Resources and a wealth of references and pointers for more information are provided. The day also involves activities that help staff to ‘do’ intensive interaction. A number of videos may be used to underline the powerful teaching methods use with individuals on the autistic spectrum.

The Use of Multi-Sensory Environments

Questionable claims have been made by builders and sellers of Snoezlan rooms, which are sometimes not supported by rigorous research. Discussion with close reference to the most recently published research will answer a number of questions and claims about these resources. Having used, designed and produced publications on the use of mutli-sensory environments, as well as advising a number of schools and adult services in UK on their design and use, this seminar is founded on practical experience, relevant research and cognitive theory. Micro switches and sensory or ‘white’ rooms are shown to be a powerful tool for the promotion of active learning if used as primarily as learning environments. This seminar also demonstrates how control behaviours learned in the sensory room, can also be used to promote communication outside of the confinement and equipment reliant multi-sensory room

The Affective Communication Assessment

The A.C.A. is an observational tool that enables practitioners to interpret and place the learner's pre- or unintentional communication into a truly communicative context. The information gained from the assessment enables practitioners to set up communicative interactions based on the learner’s expressions of positive and negative preference. Resources, including observation and identification sheets, as well as the ACA Owners Manual will be given out during the training sessions.

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