WE AIM TO HELP INDIVIDUALS WITH UNRELIABLE VERBAL SKILLS LEAD MORE COMPLETE LIVES BY OPENING NEW VENUES FOR COMMUNICATION.
AUTISM THERAPY AND TUTORING
I am happy you are checking out this site. I will try and explain why choosing lessons based on Soma Mukhopadhyay's Rapid Prompting Method is a sound decision. Our results are impactful but there is no "magic" involved. It will take time, just like any other valid form of therapy, but it will give your child the chance to have "a life of the mind". Students will have access to quality educational material, way beyond what they are probably exposed to now, and they will slowly learn to formulate their own responses in their own words and in a way that befits a thinking and feeling person.
( It is NOT Facilitated Communication- we do not support a student's arm or shoulder, we want it to be beyond any doubt that the words come from the students themselves).
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN to the next page to skip the introduction and read more about the RAPID PROMPTING METHOD.
I started out as English and foreign language teacher and raised two amazing boys on opposite ends of the autism spectrum.
Moved on to special education and getting licensed in ASD as well
In 2009, I went to Soma Mukhopadhyay’s clinic in Austin TX, for RPM training.
Proceeded to apply RPM based teaching methods with high functioning mainstreamed students, also in foreign language learning immersion settings, while teaching my non-speaking son at home.
Since then, I have worked with children, teens and adults on the spectrum who all have made significant strides. Many are now able to communicate independently.
Have also given small group discussion RPM lessons.
One student has published a book of poems
All have shown an increase in self esteem as they are now able to see themselves, and as others around them now see them, in a different light.
References and Testimonials are readily available
My rates are reasonable and many families have been able to obtain waiver coverage.
I am fully fluent and able to use RPM in German, French and Hebrew.
Bettering the life of an individual is always a common project, involving families, schools and communities working together. I am interested in helping to keep these connections so that we can create and sustain meaningful impact.
I am dedicated to bettering the lives of my students.
Here is how a poet student's family mentioned me in her book:
"This book was made possible through the hard work of families, friends and therapists. Without their love, support and belief in S. , this book would never have happened. Our deep appreciation to Soma Mukhopadhyay, developer of R.P.M (Rapid Prompting Method) and especially to Alexandra (Sandy) Oppenheimer who introduced S. to the world of R.P.M. Her unbelievable enthusiasm, her belief in S.'s abilities, and great attitude helped develop a way for S. to express herself. Sandy introduced S. to poetry and was the first to notice that S. is able to understand all intricate workings of rhymes and meanings behind them."
Here is a recommendation written by the mother of an adult student who is transitioning to RPM
"My son JD who is in his early 30's has been working with Alexandra Oppenheimer on RPM for a short time, but already I have seen some remarkable changes in his attitude and behavior. He is happier than I have seen him in a long time. He is exuberant as we drive to his lessons. I notice that he is less agitated about things like waiting for his food in a restaurant. He has a new hobby. It is taking photos with an I-Pad as the result of a lesson Alexandra gave about the history of photography. He beams with pride when I show his photos to the group home manager.
JD is nonverbal and uses FC to communicate with me, but he is not able to use his communication system totally independent of another supporting his elbow or hand, so other than people close to him, few have credited him with the intelligence that I know he has. His RPM instructor Alexandra assumed his intelligence from the start. She is an experienced and talented teacher. Her engaging lessons would be interesting to any adult. I sit in an adjoining room while she is teaching and marvel and how engaged JD is. He has always been a wanderer who cannot sit still. He gets up from her couch and walks about, but Alexandra keeps talking about the lesson without being the least distracted, and pretty soon, his pacing is done and he is sitting listening attentively while paging through a book, and he cooperates with her requests for an answer even though he has to stretch his arm up by himself and hit the cut out letters of her stencils, something that requires more focus and accuracy than has ever been demanded of him. And yet her enthusiasm and interesting questions keep him engaged. Besides the content questions, she asks adult questions that demand him to state his opinion and often the deeper questions delve into issues that hit home with him, such as, "Do you think the chimpanzee who took a selfie smiling with a lost cell phone intended to do that?" "Yes" he typed for her independently. And yes, JD intended to say that. And yes! yes! JD and I are both excited to have a teacher like Alexandra who can help him have a voice."
ABOUT RAPID PROMPTING METHOD
Here is a brief explanation of what the Rapid Prompting Method can do to teach academics, increase communication, enable more inclusion, promote independence and heighten self-esteem.
To learn more about RPM, please consult the website and books of the method's originator Soma Mukhopadhyay www.halo-soma.org and the website of the next highest qualified provider out of Green Bay , Wisconsin www.acetc.info.
An RPM therapist teaches academic content and takes the student through guided (prompted) responses to questions, starting with the student choosing one answer out of two, slowly progressing to spelled out answers on letter boards (3 letter boards at the beginning), and eventually, in the longer run, using only one, full letter board/keyboard.
This method leads the students to where they themselves come up with what they want to say, and is thus a more complete form of communication than the PECS cards that speech therapists use, for example.
We cover general knowledge/”knowledge of the world” topics as we do this- human physiology, measuring time and space, social norms, items in the news and topics of special interest… all the way to higher level academics. The aim is not only to have the student "talk" but to create a wider world of topics to communicate about. We presume competence and want to honor the mind of each student.
Frustrations decrease as individials gain a clearer understanding of the world around them and obtain means of communicating their thoughts (beyond most basic needs). Families get to know their loved one way beyond their limitations.
This method has helped many non-speaking individuals improve their lives. It is low-tech,”portable”-all one needs is paper and pencil and letter boards. All throughout, the parent or caregiver is encouraged to take up this form of communication with their own child, and slowly, others are included as well.
The aim is to increase the topics, the opportunities and the circle of people the student can communicate with and to help them lead fuller lives.
This system is not Facilitated Communication-the therapist does not touch any part of the communicator’s arm or body.
We want to make sure it is the students, not the therapist, who generate their comments and thoughts.
Like any other good form of therapy-it is an investment of time and effort. It does however cost way less than any regimen of Applied Behavior therapy for example-while it can reach depths and topics that ABA cannot.
RPM can coexist alongside any other form of therapy, yet for many individuals, specifically those with limited or unreliable spoken communication-it can make the biggest difference.
I will be very happy to answer more questions as they come up.
Please fill out the form below to get in touch with me about my tutoring services.