A child entering the Cub group is one that has a fairly significant delay in language and often accompanying social skills. A child in the Cubs may have significant behavior challenges, or exhibit self-stimulatory behaviors (e.g. hand flapping, spinning, etc.). The child may be non-vocal or have limited vocal abilities, and often times struggle with significant articulation problems. There may or may not be an academic delay, but the Cub child’s overall awareness of their environment is considerably lower than that we would see of a same age peer without a diagnosis.
In addition, play is often limited and repetitive. Due to the nature of the Cub child, the Cub’s group experiences are limited in difficulty and often in time to accommodate the ability of the children to hold attention to and learn from group activities. One of the ways to introduce group experiences is taking previously mastered skills from assessment or the 1:1 setting, and then incorporate them into a group setting. The necessary pre-requisite skills for group learning are then discretely broken down and shaped into skills that will in the Cub’s future allow them to learn in a group setting. The Cubs group is offered a significant portion of the day in 1:1 instruction to boost their skill sets.
Their individualized instruction often focuses on improving language and communication skills, improving basic social skills, self-care skills (e.g. toilet training, tooth-brushing, hand-washing, etc.) and beginning classroom readiness skills. So while the Cub child will learn a lot of what they learn in a 1:1 setting, exposure to a less restrictive setting is experienced with this group from usually the onset.
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