When mastering new therapeutic skills or goals, your child typically advances through a predictable series of learning stages.
Initially, your child may be uncertain as he tries to use the target skill.
With his therapist’s feedback and lots of reinforcement, your child will become more fluent, accurate, and confident in using his new skill.
From a parent’s perspective, It can be very useful to think of these phases of learning as a hierarchy. The learning hierarchy (Haring, Lovitt, Eaton, & Hansen, 1978) has four stages: acquisition, fluency, generalization, and adaptation:
Stage 1: Acquisition:
Your child is starting to be able to complete the target skill correctly, but he is not yet accurate or fluent in the the skill.
The goal in therapy at this stage is to improve his accuracy
Stage 2: Fluency:
Your child is now able to complete the target skill accurately, but he works slowly and thoughtfully in order to do so.
The goal of this phase in therapy is to increase the student’s speed of responding.
Stage 3: Generalization:
Your child is now accurate and fluent in using his new skill, but he will not typically do so in different settings/environments. Other times, your child may confuse this new target skill with other ‘similar’ skills.
The goal of this therapy phase is for your child to use the skill in the widest possible range of settings and situations, or to accurately discriminate between the target skill and ‘similar’ skills.
Stage 4: Adaptation:
Your child is accurate and fluent in using the target skill. He also uses the skill in many situations or settings. However, your child is not yet able to modify or adapt the skill to fit novel task-demands or situations.
The goal of this stage of therapy is for your child to be able to identify elements of previously learned skills that he can adapt to the new demands or situation.
Chatterboxes offers quality Speech-Language & Occupational Therapy in Boston, MA. We also offer flexible service options for your family. Call us today at 617-969-8255 or visit us at 121 Mt Vernon St, Boston, MA 02108.
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