Captain Panda Pte. Ltd. was established in April 2017 and for the past 3 years, the team has been working closely among the professionals at other centres and successfully helped many students in transiting back to mainstream childcare or primary school.
Captain Panda Team believes that every child is an individual, with special social, emotional, intellectual, and physical qualities. Every child is unique and gifted in his or her own ways. Even if there are common needs and characteristics that children of a particular age or stage of development, they must be understood by their parents and teachers in their uniqueness, and their individuality must be respected.
Our intervention approach is a combination of Activity-Based Intervention (ABI) and Structured Teaching (TEACCH) to assist young children with special learning needs. Structured TEACCHing is widely used in the local context and created by TEACCH. Structured TEACCHing recognises the unique strengths and challenges faced by individuals including difficulties with attention and executive function and strengths in visual information processing.
TEACCH is Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-handicapped Children and it is centred on five basic principles. First, physical structure refers to the children's immediate surroundings. Daily activities, such as playing and eating, work best when they are clearly defined by physical boundaries. Second, having a consistent schedule is possible through various mediums, such as drawings, words and photographs. Third, the work system establishes expectations and activity measurements that promote independence. Ideal work systems will communicate objectives with minimum written instructions. Fourth, the routine is essential because the most important functional support for individuals is consistency. Fifth, visual structure involves visually-based cues for reminders and instruction.
In CPA, environment plays an important role in children's learning. Children should understand where they should be, what is expected of them, and how to do it, all as independently as possible. Hence, our classrooms are set up based on the TEACCH method whereby each child will be following a daily schedule which includes many purposeful activities based on the IEP goals and structured environment designed to develop the creativity and imagination within a child, teaching life skills such as self help and problem-solving, working on social communication skills and play skills with peers, and overall developmental of gross and fine motor skills.
Activity-based intervention (ABI) originated with Diane Bricker and her colleagues at the University of Oregon. It is defined as a “child-directed, transactional approach that embeds intervention on children’s individual goals and objectives in routine, planned, or child-initiated activities, and uses logically occurring antecedents and consequences to develop functional and generative skills". It capitalises on children's daily interactions with their social and physical environments to facilitate skill development.
Activity-based intervention, which is based on an ecological approach to child development, emphasises natural, functional, and meaningful interactions with the environment. This type of intervention is founded on the belief that real-life activities consist of sensory, motor, cognitive, communicative, and social components that should not be isolated from one another. Real-life activities, therefore, are the most appropriate milieu for conducting the intervention and they can be structured to meet a child's developmental and therapeutic needs. If a child has a goal to use words to express wants and needs, the consequence for a correct response would be a logical reply that closely resembles the intent of the behaviour. For example, the child asks for an apple. The natural and logical consequence would be granting the child an apple and permission to eat it, rather than a sticker or star on a chart for providing a correct response to a targeted task.
ABOUT ABI & AEPS
Assessment, Evaluation and Programming System for Infants and Children (AEPS®) is a curriculum framework that is incorporated with Activity-Based Intervention in linking the assessment outcomes, developmental goals, intervention activities and evaluation strategies altogether.
Under AEPS, an early intervention teacher would identify appropriate environments where intervention can occur and plan strategies around the child’s routines and activities. This taps into the child’s natural environment to help him or her acquire and generalise developmental skills. The natural settings provide reassurance and a sense of familiarity for the child, allowing the child to engage more actively in the activities that interest the child and usually for a longer period of time. The child is then more motivated to learn new skills. The teachers usually focus on developing functional skills that grow a child’s independence and improve his or her quality of life.
To optimise the child’s opportunities for learning, the ABI approach incorporates learning in daily interactions that are meaningful and purposeful to the child. The interaction between the child and his or her physical and social environment will create more varied learning opportunities for the child.