There is a significant misunderstanding of the Special Education community by those who are not familiar with its inner workings. It’s a misconception that people in the special education community are unable to clearly communicate themselves. Many individuals in the special education community understand what is being said to and around them, but do not have the necessary skills to express their responses to those around them. Our job as teachers is to help
them rise to their fullest potential and ideally, better enable themselves to self-advocate, attain employment, and become more independent.
Danielle Francingues and Adriana Barriga have a combined 20 years of experience teaching Special Education in both the public and private sectors. They noticed a need for more individualized instruction after the school day ends and launched a business in Hurst, Texas in September 2019. Their mission was to provide additional help to students and families and get them working at grade level.
Since Barriga and Francingues both specialize in the Soma Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) to help people with Autism and related disorders, it was a natural fit for them to bring their two companies together at their Hurst location. Having been in the classroom as long as they have, they had experience using multiple different methods and found that RPM allows a student to receive one on one instruction tailored to each individual student. Francingues and Barriga use the RPM method to empower students and parents to be able to be able to communicate at home. With this parent led method, RPM, parents are the primary teachers.
Through the use of the RPM educational method, students increase their ability to communicate through learning, understanding, reasoning, and thought. Each session is tailored to the
individual student’s needs for that specific instance of learning. RPM allows a student to demonstrate what they know and what they have been taught. RPM can further be used to learn self-help skills, hobbies, and leisure activities. After every RPM session, a student should feel successful. A student will leave a session knowing something about math, science, history, or literature, but in the end, a student should feel good about being able to show what he knows,
his thoughts, and opinions.
Frequently Asked Questions
~ What sets RPM apart from schools?
“As a teacher, I know that every student is capable of learning. I see students of all ages, and part of presuming competence is speaking to students in an age appropriate way. Each session is tailored to the individual’s needs and we recognize each student and each session is different,” said Barriga.
~What’s an example of progress that you have seen in one of your clients?
“A nonverbal kindergartener was struggling to sit in a chair and needed assistance when writing. It took us a few sessions for him to become comfortable, but he began going and sitting in the chair independently when I would get there. He initially did not have the skill to choose from 2 options. He not only became fluent in choices, but can now spell small words,” Francingues recalls about one of her clients.
~ What kind of progress have you seen in your clients?
“Jacob came to me at 12-years-old, working at a 2nd grade level. After a few months, his reasoning skills progressed to the point where he could accurately spell out his responses. Over the next few years, he caught up to grade level academics and even took online general education homeschooling classes. He enjoys creative writing and even published his own children’s book on Amazon called Kindness Matters. We have been working on building his independent communication skills which includes speech. Jacob can now say or spell his answers out loud during his sessions. He has come a long way through careful, patient practice,” says Barriga.
Open Pathways, LLC and RPM of Texas are open Tuesday-Saturday (by appointment only)
135 E Harwood Rd Hurst, TX 76054
Danielle Francingues can be reached at (682) 503-9967 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Adriana Barriga can be reached at (682) 214-7459 or email@example.com
Danielle Francingues has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in General Studies with a minor in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching from McNeese State University is in Special Education. She has been teaching in Special Education classrooms for 11 years. For the past 5 years, she has been providing outside tutoring for students with special needs, and providing RPM services since 2017.
Adriana Barriga has a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Since 2012 she has been teaching Special Education and providing RPM services , working with a variety of students on the autism spectrum, as well as students with other diagnoses. She is a Certified RPM Provider, the highest trained teachers in RPM and is able to work with any student 1:1, conduct RPM workshops, and provide consulting services to schools, therapists, and aides.