Promoting Social Development Through the No Limits Method
Blog on September 20 2022
Throughout this series of blogs, we’ve discussed the Core Values of the No Limits Method as a means to empower teachers of exceptional students and help these students to reach their fullest potential. Recently, we discussed how the No Limits Method can provide teachers and other professionals with strategies to meet their students’ emotional and spiritual needs. Today’s blog entry discusses a related topic: helping students progress and develop socially. It’s important to remember that every aspect of the Method is related to the others. We’ll discuss how social development takes place within the implementation of the Method’s other Core Values, and the insights provided by the No Limits Method team through our two product lines: Digital Lessons and Micro-credentialing Courses. We will see that a student’s social development doesn’t just include access to communication (including augmentative and alternative communication devices), but also involves the student’s emotional development and their understanding of themselves as individuals.
Engaging Social Development
Students who are nonverbal, or who have speech and language differences, require alternative communication methods. Without these alternatives, students are left with no way to express their wants, needs, or preferences. Once new means of communication are provided and learned, these students gain access to the world in a new, profound way. This, in turn, helps them connect to others: fostering their social development with their families, classroom peers, and community. Whether high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech, access to communication is essential for everyone. As we learn about and engage with others, we learn more about ourselves. At No Limits Academy, the demonstration school where the No Limits Method was developed and enacted, we have seen students learn to communicate on their own through these adaptations and techniques. The lives of families have been changed forever, as their children are able to say “I love you” on their own for the first time! This kind of access allows students to make friends of their own, and see the world (and themselves) in a new light. A new understanding of oneself also lessens the frustrations that these students may feel since they can now engage with others on their own terms, rather than having others communicate for them.
Leaving aside the importance of communication, we can also consider activity, in general (and play in particular), a core aspect of social development for all students. In an earlier set of blog entries, we discussed how the No Limits Method helps teachers, paraprofessionals, and parents meet the physical needs that their students have as a result of their disability. An understanding of these needs allows for unique adaptations, activities, and lessons for each student. This also promotes the adaptation of play activities for each student, further creating opportunities for their social development through interactions with their classmates and teachers! With this, each student’s social development is an outgrowth of the Method as a whole, rather than the sole purpose of it.
The No Limits Method is a simple and accessible professional development program, combining Micro-credentialing videos and Digital Lessons, to empower teachers, paraprofessionals and parents to reach and teach exceptional students. The Micro-credentials are a series of video courses hosted by our multi-professional No Limits Method team. These are designed to equip anyone using the Method with best practices throughout multiple fields in an accessible way. The Digital Lessons contain resources for teachers as well. These pre-made lessons and lesson plans provide the extra time needed to adapt activities, even including some options for adaptation within the lessons! Above all, we know that teachers want what’s best for their students, as they just need resources to help them. The No Limits Method can help you better understand your students’ needs, and unlock their full potential.
We also offer virtual professional development, training, and support with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology and strategies that spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening!
Follow us on social: