For Instructors

Words

I work daily with young children who have severe communication challenges. Not
only do they have trouble expressing themselves, they also have difficulty
processing verbal prompts/cues. When too many words are directed at them, they
shut down and become non-responsive or highly agitated.

I recently added a specialty focus to one of my credentials in the area of
emotional disturbance. Of the many strategies we discussed throughout the
program, the professors kept returning to concept of limiting verbal prompts to
both minimal words and minimal expectations. In other words, use short
directives and expect single actions in return.

As an instructor, I try to use the same philosophy when I lead classes. Not
because the participants are unable to handle multiple words/cues, it's just my
feeling that they don't want to hear that many at any one time. The truth is,
most participants came to work out on the bike, push their bodies to a certain
level, and be connected to the music they hear. They like the instructor (in
most cases), they just don't want anything to interfere with the
actions/connections they came to class for.

Keeping this in mind, I try to use minimal, yet powerful (and descriptive) prompts when I teach...sit, stand, glide, look, soften, add,  relax.........etc. My goals are to
maintain their safety, lead them toward a goal, and not be overly intrusive in
the process.





 

  



 

 

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