Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
What the child's 'new' teacher can do to help a child with ASD transition to a new classroom and/school:
1. If a homemade book has been made about each student in the room ( a really wonderful idea, by the way), let the family with the new student borrow it. This allows the student to get a idea of who will be in there new classroom while in a comfortable setting.
2. Allow the parent an opportunity to ask questions.
3. Give the parent as much contact information about yourself as you are willing to provide. My son's new teacher gave us a laminated copy with a magnet on the back with her contact information.
4. If you know in advance when your new student will be visiting, have his or her desk and locker set up so that they'll have an idea where to go on their first day.
5. Schedule the classroom visit so that the child can easily participate in a classroom activity. My child listened to a book being read, participated in a question/answer session and then did a related art project.
Next up is Part III. In that post, I'll write about how a current teacher can help a student prepare to leave the classroom and move into another one.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
We love to read in this house. My husband is a librarian and I'm a good, little, bun-wearing librarian's wife! We read every day. I've been helping my kids' with suggested reading activities this month. Below are the chronicles of success as well as the documentation of, gulp, a reading month failure.
Tonight my ten year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder brought home a book to read for homework. He read his book to us during our normal bedtime routine. Usually I read both boys' choices, but today I just read the little guy's pick and sat back and let the big one do his homework. He did a good job reading Sarah and the Barking Dog by Jenny Giles.
Below are some activities we successfully completed on different days that were on the school calendar for the month of March:
Wear shades to school for Hollywood day (theme at school for reading month is Lights! Camera Action), Bring a favorite book to school (Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown), Wear a hat to school, Wear a button to school; Wear workout clothes, Watch (or perform in as my two guys did) a talent show, Bring a joke or riddle to school (my little one brought several kitty knock knock jokes), and wear cozy pajamas (the little guy has really cute blue owl pajamas he proudly wore on this very day).
Below is the chronicle of our mistake:My oldest son attended the school with the very full reading calendar up until March 9 and now attends another school that has an older Special Education class. Fortunately that school doesn't have a calendar of activities or I would have a heck of a time keeping up. Unfortunately we missed doing one little thing for that school because my mind was still full of calendar activities as well as strategies to get the school switch to go smoothly. I was supposed to help my oldest child pack his favorite book in his backpack to take on Monday (March 16) and I forgot! Maybe it's also because both boys' have to take library books back on Monday and we couldn't find one of them.
The book we would have sent was Beware of the Frog by William Bee. It's a cute, funny little book that my frog-loving ten year old received at his going away party from his regular third grade teacher and class. It's too bad that my son's new special education class missed hearing it read by their teacher. I think they would have enjoyed it, but then again the book does have a rather dark ending...
More success or one, two, or more mistake(s)?
Tomorrow my little one is planning to take in a book to trade while also bringing a book order in for his Kindergarten class visit to the school book fair. He is also supposed to bring a blanket and pillow to school so that he can participate in a onetime, hour-long, after school reading program. Hopefully, we'll remember everything!
P.S. Did I mention that the reading calendar school also has us playing reading bingo? Do a reading activity at home, fill a bingo square. Get a standard bingo, get a small prize. Fill the card, get a special treat. My little one (who remained at the same school after his older brother left) is thinking big...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Nowadays, many parents and children alike do not have to worry so much about any pinching going on during the school day because of the fairly new and welcome trend of anti-bullying policies supported by school systems. As a parent of one boy with special needs and another one who is super sensitive, I'm glad that our school system has adopted a no pinching policy. I think that having such a rule in place for March 17 is a good way to avoid a whole lot of trouble. From a child's point of view it might be fun to pinch someone, but it isn't so much fun to be the recipient!
Anyway, in case you are curious, here is a link from Yahoo that gives a likely explanation of how the whole pinching tradition on St. Patrick's Day began. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Monday, March 9, 2009
- "No interaction: the child shows no interest in touching or holding toys.
- Manipulative: explorative play: the child holds and gazes at toys; mouths, waves, shakes, or bangs toys; stacks blocks or bangs them together; lines up objects.
- Functional play: The child puts teacup to mouth, puts brush to hair, connects train sections and pushes train, arranges pieces of furniture in dollhouse, constructs a building with blocks.
- Symbolic/pretend play: the child pretends to do something or to be someone else with an intent that is representational, including role-playing (e.g., child makes hand move to mouth, signifying drinking from teacup; makes a puppet talk; uses a toy person or doll to represent self; uses block as a car accompanied by engine sounds."
"Isolation: The children appear to be unaware of or oblivious to others. They may occupy themselves by watching anything of momentary interest.
Orientation: The children have an awareness of the other children as evidenced by looking at them or at their play materials or activities. However, the children do not enter into play.
Parallel/proximity play: The children play independently beside, rather than engaging with, the other children. There is simultaneous use of the same play space or materials as peers.
Common focus: The children engage in activities directly involving one or more peers, including informal turn taking, giving and receiving assistance and directives, and active sharing of materials. There is a common focus or attention on the play. "
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Participating and engaging with other children
Laughing, talking, singing
Alternating between players for turn taking
Play Part II (by Julie Lorenzen): What play means to parents of a child with autism
Patiently encouraging child to engage in play
Learning new ways to introduce playful endeavors to child
Alternating activities to avoid too much ritualization
Yearning for improvement in this area, especially when child is young.
Author's Note: I have one more post planned for this series, Play and Children with ASD. The post will be about the stages of development in terms of play.