Functional Learning is based on the play of the normally developing child. It is an approach developed by Dr George Stroh and his staff at High Wick Hospital School in the 1970’s. It is based on the teaching techniques, and underpinned by the early learning philosophy, of Dr Geoffrey Waldon. I trained for 3 years with Dr Waldon in Manchester at the end of the 1970’s before working at High Wick Hospital for severely developmentally delayed young children.
I give Functional Learning lessons to private clients and encourage both parents to work with their child wherever possible. Research shows that when fathers are involved, the child responds more positively to support and intervention. I also do Workshops for the Waldon/Functional Learning Approach in Edinburgh, Oxfordshire, Berlin and New York City. I also supervise Functional Learning/Waldon practitioners using Skype to support their own work with children and families.
EVERY CHILD CAN LEARN
‘Every Child Can Learn’ is a handbook for parents and carers written by Katrin Stroh, Thelma Robinson and Alan Proctor (Sage 2008). It introduces Functional Learning and how to use Early Learning Tools (eg Placing, Separating, Sorting etc) and play to help children with developmental delay.
The book describes early play and how this relates to early learning; it covers the important area of feelings and how challenging behaviours can affect family life. It discusses the integration of language and learning and how Feeding can be a very powerful therapeutic tool.
The work I do with developmentally delayed children is based on this Handbook.