THE CONNECTIONS MODEL

Bridging the gap between the therapy room & the classroom

Teaching self-driven interventions in the classroom to modify behavior

The Connections Model ™ (TCM) takes a new approach to assisting students who struggle to manage their emotions and in turn, their behavior. We develop and design technology for students with challenges such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder and other significant learning needs.  These disabilities can create deficits in language, social skills, academic skills, as well as sensory sensitivity and emotional dysregulation.

Traditional approaches to special education are not equipped to handle the full array of difficulties faced by this population of students.  Science has shown that children with these disabilities have multiple areas of the brain that are impacted. At TCM we believe that one of the most significant areas of impact, in terms of learning and overcoming deficits, is on the areas of the brain that regulate emotions. Research is showing the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is helpful in managing the behaviors stemming from emotional dysregulation.123

TCM’s approach stems from Cognitive Information Processing Theory (CIP) which explains the mental processes involved with managing incoming information and storing and encoding that information in the brain. Many students with disabilities have difficulty learning due to deficits in their ability to process and integrate incoming information. These deficits impact all areas of their functioning, not merely academics. When they face information overload, they typically either act out or they shut down. 45

Our mission is to develop technologies and teaching strategies that will assist students in learning and developing basic strategies to manage their emotions. When students lack the ability to regulate their emotions, classroom learning is incredibly difficult if not impossible. By using tailored education technology, in the classroom, we can help these students thrive.

1. Samson, A. C., Huber, O. and Gross, J.J. (2012). Emotion Regulation in Asperger’s Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism.  American Psychological Association, 12 (4), p 659-665.
2. Jahromi, L. B., Meek,S.E. and Ober-Reynolds, S. (2012). Emotion Regulation in the Context of Frustration in Children with High Functioning Autism and Their Typical Peers. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53 (10), p 1-8.
3. Scarpa, A. & Reyes, N. M. (2011). Improving Emotional Regulation with CBT in Young Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pilot Study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 39, p. 495-500.
4. Ashburner, J., Rodger, S., Ziviani, J., (2010). Surviving in the Mainstream: Capacity of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Perform Academically and Regulate Their Emotions and Behaviour at School. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4. p. 18-27.
5.  Rieffe, C., Oosterveld, P., Meerum Terwogh, M., Mootz, S., Van Leeuwen, E., Stockman, L. (2011). Emotion Regulation and Internalising Symptoms in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism, 15 (6), p. 655-670.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

Children must be taught how to think not what to think.

Margaret Mead