Learning to Learn
ShoeboxTasks® are designed to help students overcome some of the challenges presented by autism.
The purpose of the Tasks is made visually clear to capitalize on strengths that many children with autism exhibit. ShoeboxTasks® are one-unit constructions that aid students in overcoming organizational difficulties. In some of the Tasks, the manipulatives presented on the top of the lid are arranged separately, creating a structure in which the student is visually directed to take one object at a time. This also reduces the possibility of having the sensory experience (of putting a hand in a full container) overpower the purpose of the task.
We hope that teachers are inspired to modify these activities to fit the specific needs of their students. The dynamic process of learning involves trial, assessment, re-structuring, and retrial. Centering on Children continues to seek ways to improve ShoeboxTasks® and to design new activities that will broaden their application. We welcome your suggestions!
Learning How to Learn within a Structured Work Session*
ShoeboxTasks® are appropriate for children within the developmental age of 12 to 30 months. Used in Structured Work Sessions, ShoeboxTasks® encourage students to focus on the purpose of the activity by reducing the number of potential visual distractions. The Tasks are intended for supervised use in the classroom, home, or clinic.
The purpose of the Tasks is implicit within their design. ShoeboxTasks®’ one-unit presentation, visual clarity, and organizational relevance help students complete their work successfully and with as much independence as possible.
*Structured Work Sessions are one part of the teaching approach developed by TEACCH—Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped Children—a statewide program serving the autistic population of North Carolina. TEACCH is a member of the School of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.