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Naturalistic Teaching

Naturalistic Teaching may also be referred to as “Natural Environment Teaching (NET)” or “Incidental Teaching.” As the name suggests, naturalistic teaching or NET occurs in a child’s natural environment. Providing services in a natural setting can make it easier for a child to generalize the skills and behaviors to another setting. Zelexa may use naturalistic teaching for children, depending on their individual needs and learning style.

For example, you might teach a student to receptively and expressively label colors of items at the table. Then, during NET the student would get to practice the skill by labelling colors of crayons that you’re coloring with that you’re playing with.

A child can memorize lots of labels and words but if the chid can’t then use them in everyday, common uses then we haven’t done our job. As we’re teaching a skill, we want to concurrently teach the child how to use it in many different ways that are applicable to their life. NET is also important for generalization of a skill. Before a skill is considered “mastered”, the child should be able to show us that she can use the skill during play or other real-life situation. For example, we can teach a child to label pictures of animals and then, while playing with a toy barn, the child can have the opportunity to ask for the animal they want.