The need to teach children cultural awareness and diversity is getting a lot of attention these days in light of recent national events. As you search for ways to mold your child in culturally-sensitive ways, you’ll find many wonderful resources. One learning system stands out from the others: Montessori and cultural awareness have always gone hand in hand. To teach children diversity, the most important first step is to expose them to diversity, to give them a solid foundation to work from. At Mindful & Modern ABA Therapies, we do that and much more.
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Teach children diversity at a young age
Many parents believe that raising a child to be “color-blind” is a good thing, but in reality, ignoring race does not give your child a solid foundation for developing cultural awareness. It is important to talk to children about race beginning at a young age– from as early as age three. Children are naturally curious about the way that people look and the differences among people. Making sure they understand these differences helps them to make sense of the world. By opening a child’s eyes to differences, they can learn to accept and value the richness of cultural diversity in the world.
How does Montessori teach children cultural awareness?
Montessori environments are designed with diversity and connection to the wider world in mind– culture is built into the curriculum. Children learn cultural awareness through hands-on activities, visual prompts, and culture-specific music, foods, and arts. From an early age, children are exposed to concepts and materials designed to illustrate that the world is both diverse and interconnected. Children seek and find connections as they learn more about the diversity around the globe.
Mindful and Modern ABA Therapies teaches children to value diversity
In addition to promoting Montessori philosophies about cultural awareness, Mindful and Modern ABA Therapies has a diverse staff. Mindful and Modern ABA Therapies is an African-American-led organization, and our organization’s leadership has always been focused on inclusion and diversity. Exposure to people with different ethnic backgrounds is one of the keystones in developing generalized awareness of ethnic diversity. Our passionate, multicultural staff create an environment of inclusivity and acceptance that leaves a positive impression on the children we work with.
What is the level of cultural diversity among the children at MMAT?
The children who receive therapy at MMAT are a less culturally diverse group than we would like to see. However, this is balanced nicely by the rich diversity of students in the Montessori program. This is one of the reasons why we believe that it is important to maintain an inclusive environment– the cultural crossover that happens between the two groups of children is of tremendous value to the families we serve.
Ways to teach children about cultural awareness at home
There are many ways to teach children about diversity and cultural awareness at home.
- Children’s books that celebrate diversity help introduce a sense of identity and understanding of the differences in people.
- Introduce your child to cross-cultural experiences through films, art, foods, and events. Have fun while naturally exposing your child to ethnic diversity.
- Teach your child common phrases in other languages is another way to help them recognize diverse cultures.
- Above all, be a good role model by focusing on the strengths and abilities of all people who are different from your child. You will set the tone for their own exploration of diversity in the world.
Get started teaching your child about cultural awareness with MMAT
The first step towards teaching your child about cultural awareness is exposing them to environments that demonstrate diversity. Modern and Mindful ABA Therapies is just such an environment. We invite you to tour the MMAT facility to see if it is a good fit for your family. If you believe that our staff and program is right for your child, then you must schedule an assessment with us to get a clinical diagnosis for your child. During the assessment, a BCBA will spend 15-30 minutes working with and observing your child in order to determine whether they have ASD. Once your child has been diagnosed, the process of being approved by your insurance company begins, and once you are approved, you may enroll your child in therapy. Once your child is enrolled, the BCBA will create a treatment plan specific to your child, and they will be paired with an RBT for their treatment.
Frequently asked questions about ABA therapy for Autism
ABA therapy works on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. That means we provide therapy one-on-one, with a strong, ongoing emphasis on “pairing” the child with one dedicated therapist so that they develop a secure, long term relationship. We use ABA therapy methods are data-driven, meaning that they are highly individualized to fit with the needs of each child on a case-by-case basis.
A Registered Behavior Technician (RBT®) is a paraprofessional certification in behavior analysis. All of our RBTs have undergone 40 hours of training, taken and passed an exam, and must renew their certification annually.
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA®) possess an undergraduate-level certification in behavior analysis. BCaBAs are required to complete continuing education and apply for recertification every two years.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®) possess a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. BCBAs are also required to complete continuing education and apply for recertification every two years.
There is no prescribed duration of time for a child to receive ABA therapy. While we love watching your kids learn and grow, we understand that the ultimate goal of therapy is to prepare children for moving on to school successfully. Most children spend 2-3 years with an ABA therapist.
MMAT is for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) whose families want them in an environment that cultivates social skills, language development, and increased independence. Because we are a sister institution to Maria Montessori International, we are able to provide one-on-one therapy for children right alongside their typical developing peers. This allows your child to interact socially in a typical setting, make friends, and build a solid foundation for success when they transition to school.
Many people know Maria Montessori as a pioneer in the education field, but her revolutionary education style began after working with children who had various disabilities. The Montessori focus on personalization in education coupled with natural approaches lends itself to teaching children of all abilities. Mindful and Modern Therapies was inspired by seeing many of our students with ASD flourishing in Montessori education. By bridging the gap we saw in connecting traditional therapy to learning, we found an effective way to treat students with ASD in a natural environment.
We believe Montessori brings purpose to therapy.
A natural environment includes objects such as real dishes that children learn how to use, clean, and put away. These small but important details prepare your child for functioning in the world. A garden area allows children to learn about nature and how they fit into the picture, as well as helping a child to see beyond their immediate surroundings. A natural environment for your child helps them to learn the skills they need to become life-long learners. This follows the principles of Montessori education, and encourages your child to develop their whole self – physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Yes! We believe children of all abilities can learn together and from one another. We create an environment where everyone can learn at their own pace, and benefit from their peers, regardless of ability.
Our Full Day program is from 8:30 to 3:30, while our half-day programs are either 8:30 am – 12:30 pm or 1:30 am-5:30 pm.
Our lunch is from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ABA therapy, as each child is different. We approach every child on a case-by-case basis and make recommendations accordingly. Some of our children attend a half-day session in combination with a half-day at school.
We take the following insurances for any of our therapeutic services:
- Indiana Medicaid
- Medicaid Managed Care
- Anthem Medicaid
- CareSource Medicaid
Our therapy is currently covered by the following insurers:
- Indiana Medicaid
- Medicaid Managed Care
- Anthem Medicaid
- CareSource Medicaid
While we currently do not offer speech therapy for children with ASD, we are looking into adding it as a service in the near future. Stay tuned and do not hesitate to inquire with us about it.
The Mindful and Modern therapies we use are suitable for children from as young as birth to as old as 9 years old.