A summer success story
Our summer camp provides many opportunities for social and community goals to be targeted throughout the camper’s time with us. During one of our Summer Camp programs, we had met a family who was excited to hear that our community excursions involved the use of public transportation, particularly the bus. The family had attempted a few outings on their own, where they tried to have their son board the bus, however, was unsuccessful in having him even step on.
At first, we explained to the family our strategies and techniques used to make riding the bus as less anxious and overwhelming for the child, and the preparation involved in making this a milestone to celebrate! We prepared the child with social stories, pretend practice through role play, and videos showing children boarding a bus.
Our BIG day had come, and the counsellors and family were ready! We sang songs while we walked to the bus stop, we offered choices of whether the child would like to walk on, or be carried on, and with the use of a strong, motivating reinforcers (popcorn, his favourite counsellor and even his brother!)…the child had boarded the bus!! We began by having him sit on a counsellor’s lap holding his reinforcer, to independent sitting, and finally, riding the SUBWAY!
By the end of summer, we had made a little commuter out of our timid camper, who to this day, continues to travel the city with the use of public transportation!
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