Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

A tiny bit of curriculum

Back from our vacation and with a long list of curriculum topics, this month I’m starting to plan and conduct lessons with some aspects of Soma Mukhopadhyay’s .

In addition to exposing Joaquin to new knowledge, the main goals are to build his tolerance for listening and paying attention to varied topics out of his interests, and to engage his reasoning skills as he processes all the information exchanged during these conversations.


Because I know that the auditory learning channel is his weakest, I’m making sure that my lessons include a lot of visuals (which is natural for me since I’m also very much a visual person), and as much as possible hands-on activities to engage his kinesthetic learning channel –very strong for him along with the visual.

Planning these sessions and fitting them in our days with all the other activities we’re doing (Fast ForWord, The Listening Program, and daily reading) plus Joaquin’s own activities, has been challenging. But I’ve managed to conduct three 40-60 min sessions this month and as Fast ForWord is approaching its end, I plan to go for two lessons a week to begin with. Kiki is taking it all really well; his participation and attention in every lesson has been great so far.

After five months of keeping my focus on developing his auditory channel through different activities, I’m having to remind myself that this takes time, and that –like with a young bamboo plant– the lack of significant visible growth “above soil” is probably due to a growing system of foundational “roots” taking place under the ground. At some point in the future I would love to see that explosive growth that takes place when the neurological network has been established and strengthened and it has come online to map the skills that were not differentiated enough in the beginning.

These lessons remind me of our Son-Rise days. All those years building my attitude and ability to connect with Joaquin’s uniqueness and motivation have paid off in a million ways.

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