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Successful Synthesis Session #2 | Ep 110

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Connect with S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Podcast With Dr. Richard Smith and Dr. Lynette Scotese-Wojtila Episode 10, Launch Date: July 21, 2021 Listen on major podcast platforms, and here: Our blog posts serve as brief overviews of our podcast episodes.

The 10th episode of Connect with S.U.C.C.E.S.S., a podcast built around the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach and the person who coined it, Dr. Lynette Scotese-Wojtila, serves as an overview of podcast episodes 6, 7 and 8 -- information processing, social pragmatic theory and developmental model.

Information Processing -- "There is only one way" In Episode 6 about Information Processing, we learned about how children with autism often learn in a Gestalt learning style. "This is neurological. This is how our brains are wired," says Dr. Scotese-Wojtila. When a child has one idea of how something works -- for example, there is only one way to do something; one way to get to Grandma's house; one way of having a birthday party -- they get stuck on the idea. We work with the children to help them learn in a sequential manner so they can see that there are different ways to do things. Kids with a Gestalt learning style oftentimes don't have the ability to generalize.

Social Pragmatic Theory -- The Ping-Pong of Communication

In episode 7 about Social Pragmatic Theory, we learned about reciprocity in communication.

Communication has a lot of different functions and purposes. Sometimes we are commenting, sometimes we are requesting, protesting, greeting, sharing ideas, or expressing ourselves. So we all have these preconceived notions of what our interactions are going to be about. Sometimes children and adults with autism don't always have the same perspective for what communication is all about. And so we first have to make sure we that we understand what are they looking at -- where is their attention. And if we can join them in their attention, we are going to be able to interact much better.

Developmental Model -- "Play is the Child's Work"

In episode 8 about Developmental Model, we learned about the importance of play. We learned how we can use play as a teaching tool. Play, play, play is the child's work!

One of the things we really emphasize Through play all sorts of things happen: motor skills develop, cognitive ideas are understood and grasped and processed. And socialization and understanding how one thing impacts the other, and how the environment influences us -- all of these things are learned through play.

And sometimes we don't engage our kids in play because we are too busy working. If we can play with them in a way that meets their needs at their level -- always going through their perspective -- we can expand new concepts through play.

Dr. Scotese-Wojtila shares a story about how her team of therapists, aides and OT grad students use these concepts with one of the children with autism. Every podcast episode concludes with either a challenge or key takeaways for our listeners. The Takeaway from Episode 10: What's really important about Information Processing is the idea of schema and how everything we do is going to either help a child learn the right schema or the wrong schema. It's equal opportunity learning -- good and not so good! So we really have to be careful how we support children to make sense of what is happening around them. One of those things is how to interact and socialize, so the social pragmatic learning that comes from schema and experience has to be at their level. It has to be at their readiness level, so that they can actually have the "ping and pong" -- the reciprocity-- of interaction in a way that is meaningful to them. And as they do, they are naturally going to develop. So this developmental notion that we keep talking about -- that one skill happens first -- that skill is acquired in a very lineal way, everything is built better with a solid foundation. Maria Wojtila talked in our last episode (9) about her experience with growth. Growth is really the outcome of The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach. We are so interested in children getting better. We want to support that growth and development, but we have to do it in a way that is genuine. You don't get it out of a book. You get it by knowing your child and understanding the developmental process, which is why developmental process is heavily covered in our online course. We need to understand all the differences and nuances about how children with autism develop. This is where information processing, schema and socialization come in together. Hundreds of parents, teachers and caregivers have said that our online course has made a meaningful difference in the lives of their child with autism, we well as their family and home life. Consider taking our online autism course and learn The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach in depth. It's a 9 module self-paced course. Learn more here: For more information about The S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Approach, please go to our website at Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter: Follow us on YouTube:

We hope that you learned something today to help you on your journey with autism. We'll share more on our next Connect with Success Podcast. Until then, expect success!

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