Incidental teaching is defined as creating a highly motivating learning environment by fostering and nurturing our students' interests. Incidental teaching simply uses developmental activities based on the students' cognitive level.
Incidental teaching is considered part of a behavioral therapy program however you can also see this technique used in relationship models as well. Relationship models tend to call this technique something similar to "environmental sabotage" or "playful obstruction". Please note that in relationship models this technique tends to be used in a more naturalistic way rather than part of a structured behavioral approach. Whatever you choose to call it, this technique can be a very simple and effective approach for speech therapy if used appropriately.
The Steps of Incidental Teaching:
- Arrange the therapy environment so materials are within child's sight (not reach), making it necessary for child to request objects that are highly motivating for him/her.
- Wait for child to initiate engagement.
- Prompt child to respond only as necessary.
- Provide child with access to materials requested when child uses correct response.
- Fade out prompting over time.