10 Great Educational Products For Children On The Autism Spectrum

PicMonkey Collage (2)

Thanks to Lakeshore Learning for sponsoring this post.

 

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I wanted to share 10 great educational products for children on the Autism Spectrum. Most of these are products I’ve used with my own boys or in a classroom setting. They also have the added benefit of being great for all kids so even siblings or classmates not on the spectrum can enjoy them!

Magna-Tiles

These are fun to build with and were a favorite in my classroom when I taught Pre-K. I love these for children on the Spectrum because they are magnetized and stick together which helps minimize frustration for children as they are trying to build. Many children stick with simple designs but kids can really use their imaginations and build something fun with these.

Good For Me Reward Kit

Sticker charts work amazingly well for Lucas and many children on the spectrum. Being able to see his progress and how far he has to go is very motivating for him and encourages him to continue good behavior and other tasks we want to see him do. A clear goal and reward planned ahead of time are ideal for these types of charts.

Following Directions Building Sets

Have a little one who has a hard time following directions? This building sets bundle is perfect for them! I like this for Lucas because he has a hard time following directions that are more than just a step or two and this will help him practice the skills he needs to work on. It also allows children to start with easy creations and then build up to more complicated ones which gives them a sense of accomplishment.

Flip & Read Sight-Word Sentences

Learning sight words is all about one thing- repetition! Every child learns things in different ways and I love this set of books to help kids practice the sight words they need to master before they can start to read. I think this is great for Lucas because he hates plain flashcards and teacher or parent directed tasks. With these he creates the sentences he needs to read which gives him just enough control of the situation to actually be willing to sit down and do this.

What Should You Do? – A Game Of Consequences

In this fun-filled game of consequences, players face everyday dilemmas that deal with topics like honesty, bullying, manners and more. As children race around the game board, they take turns deciding what they should do in each situation—moving closer to the finish line with each correct answer! For children who are still learning social skills this game is perfect!

Understanding Addition & Subtraction Using Manipulatives

Kids learn best through hands-on-learning, especially when the concepts are as abstract as mathematics. This set of manipulatives help children connect an object to a number for learning addition and subtraction.

Sensory Ball Set 

This set can be used for a number of things, from playing catch and practicing hand-eye coordination to using the smaller ones as fidgets. These balls are also a great way for kids with tactile sensory issues to get used to touching different textures.

Real-Working Cash Register

Once children start learning about money this cash register is perfect for helping them practice money skills. We love setting up a little store with empty boxes and then “shopping” and paying for our items.

Kids Can! Resolve-A-Conflict

With siblings, conflicts are bound to arise so having this can of tools on hand is wonderful. Whether children decide to pick and number, draw straws or roll a dice, they learn to solve their own problems. We are really enjoying using this set and I feel that our house is much more peaceful now.

Engineer-A-Coaster Activity Kit

This fun kit lets children create a “roller coaster”. It provides hours of play as children learn to follow directions and learn from trial and error. I like that it’s large enough for two children to play at the same time so children can work together to build it (or at least side by side).

Find more toys and educational products here. What products do your children love to use to learn and practice important skills?

Sensory-Friendly Easter Bunny Visits {National Locations}

easter bunny

If you have a little one with sensory processing disorder or Autism you know how hard some things can be for our kiddos. Something as seemingly simple as standing in line or being in a large crowd can be very difficult for some. Knowing this, AbilityPath partners with Simon Malls across the country to host a special morning each Easter season for Easter Bunny visits (sidenote: they do Santa visits each December as well!)

These private, RSVP only, FREE events are designed to support special needs children and their families. Children will be able to pose and visit with the Caring Bunny™ in a calm, comfortable environment during mall private hours. They have taken great care to consider the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children of all abilities.

Please note: This event is free with professional photo packages available for purchase.

See if the Sensory-Friendly Easter Bunny is coming to a location near you here.

Tips For Parenting A Child With Sensory Processing Disorder

parenting a child with spd

Today’s guest post is from Celina Miller, a fellow special needs parent who is a passionate advocate for children affected with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

How much sensory can my kid with Sensory Processing Disorder {SPD} take?

This is a question I’m faced with daily. My 12 year old has Asperger’s and with that comes the complex and confusing world of Sensory Processing Disorder. I never know what’s too much, or what’s not enough, sensory input for him. The other day, I’d finally convinced my son to help me clean up our playroom. As he put away toys and straightened up, I started the vacuum. Immediately, he put his hands over his ears and stood completely frozen. He was so overwhelmed he couldn’t even ask me to turn it off, nor could he leave the room. I was taken aback – this wasn’t like my high-functioning sixth grader who plays basketball and loves to dance. I knew the vacuum would bother him, but I thought he would get through it and we would move on.

So why was it that this time the vacuum completely shut him down – whereas before it didn’t? Or why is it that sometimes on the basketball court he covers his ears after the crowd roars and sometimes he’s completely unfazed? I never know how much sensory exposure he can take and so I never know how much I can expose him to – which often leaves me feeling just as uncomfortable as he is.

I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to my son’s sensory issues. How can I know what he’ll react to, and when? The answer is I will never know, and the truth is he often doesn’t know as he’s still learning what works…or how he can make it work for him. If you’re a mom with a child on the spectrum or who has sensory integration dysfunction, you totally understand how I feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me, which is probably how my son feels when he’s overstimulated.

Here are five thoughts that help me, and may help you, get through a day in the life of the maze that is sensory integration disorder.

1. What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. A phrase I live by personally, but I have found it translates in the sensory world as well. I don’t avoid stimulating things. Exposing my son to different types of sensory stimuli helps him learn to cope with it and to be prepared the next time he comes across it. And while he may be bothered, it really won’t kill him. He will get over it. I never want to hinder him by what I think he may or may not be able to handle. In this world, I have to take his lead, give up control, and let him learn what works for him and what doesn’t.

2. Every day is a new day, and every day is different. I have learned that each sensory experience is interpreted differently every day. And depending on what else is going on during that experience, my son’s reaction may or may not be different. I’ve come to know that even a slight change in body temperature will make his sensory dysfunction… more dysfunctional. Just like he wakes up every day prepared for the unknown, so am I.

3. Talk about it. When I’m able to talk to my son about his sensory experience, we both understand it better. When I ask him to verbalize what he saw, heard, smelled or felt, he is able to learn from his experience and perhaps handle it differently next time. This conversation also helps me to better understand what’s going on in his world.

4. Don’t sympathize, empathize. I will never feel sorry for my son, I think he’s an amazing person with amazing gifts. He also has challenges to overcome and I do have empathy for that. I hurt when he hurts, and I smile when he smiles. When he’s left overwhelmed, in a different way, I am too. It is in this way that I can empathize with him.

5. Be an advocate. This will help you both. When I’m able to go before my son and tell people he has asperger’s – like at school, church or in sports – I’ve removed the elephant from the room. Is my son amazing and remarkable? yes. Is he also quirky and unbelievably inquisitive? yes. And when others have the opportunity to prepare themselves for the possibility that he may become overstimulated on the basketball court or during a burst of applause in the middle of the school play, everyone has the benefit of more understanding. And this understanding gives them the ability to see my son not for a quirky kid, but for that amazing boy who is gifted and overcoming challenges most of us couldn’t imagine. It gives people an opportunity to admire him – just as I do.

Celina Miller’s Bio

Celina Miller is the mother of Jim, who was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when he was in the 2nd grade in 2009. Celina has worked tirelessly to gain the education support for her son’s civil right according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Celina has worked with the Oasis Center for Women and Children and has spoken on the importance of supporting children with mental disorders and their families. She has also been active in fundraising and reviewing grants with Autism Speaks in the Birmingham, AL area

(All thoughts above are those of the guest post Author.)

 

The Sensory Child Gets Organized

sensory child

As a mom of a child on the Autism spectrum and another with un-diagnosed but suspected SPD/ADHD, life is sometimes completely chaotic at home. I know this is because my kids “hold it together” all day at school and then can finally be themselves at home but it is still extremely stressful at times. Since October is ADHD Awareness Month I was offered a book to review called “The Sensory Child Gets Organized” that promised to share “proven systems for rigid, anxious, or distracted kids” and was skeptical at first but so far I’m learning a lot from it.

In the book the author, Carolyn Dalgliesh, provides simple, effective solutions that help kids thrive at home and in their day-to-day activities and helps parents:

  • Understand what makes their sensory child tick
  • Create harmonious spaces through sensory organizing
  • Use structure and routines to connect with their child
  • Prepare their child for social and school experiences
  • Make travel a successful and fun-filled journey

With The Sensory Child Gets Organized, parents get an easy-to-follow road map to success that makes life easier—and more fun—for your entire family. I like how the book includes picture examples of schedules and spaces along with writing space for parents working through the book. There are also some great resources in the back of the book.

Here are a few tips that I’ve learned so far and plan on implementing with my kids:

1) Arrive at birthday parties (or any event where there will be a lot of people) early so the kids can have some time to get comfortable with the location in a small group before there is a large crowd

2) When thinking about the upcoming holiday events make a “must do” list for your sensory child. Consider letting them skip events so they can have a little downtime and enjoy the events you really want them to go to.

3) Organize feelings by having the child rate where they are on a scale of 1 to 10 (with words or pictures). Jacob seems to get just as upset about tiny things as he does about big things so I want to start having him rate his feelings so he can start to realize when he is “just a little” mad vs. “really” mad and learn to react accordingly.

4) Build flexibility one small step at a time. One example was to create a “choices when there is a change” jar that can be used when something in their schedule changes. If something gets cancelled and they are very upset they can pick an alternative activity that they love doing that will make the activity getting cancelled a little easier for them.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the book. If you have a child with some sensory processing difficulties I thing this book will be beneficial in helping you create the best home environment for your kiddo as possible.

(Disclosure: I received this book for free but all thoughts are my own.)

 

Dear Social Worker At My Son’s Preschool

Dear Social Worker at my son’s school,

Jacob is my first-born child. I loved and cherished him as a little one in my womb while mourning the loss of his twin. I walked around for months with cankles and spent half my pregnancy with my head in a toilet. I gave birth and attempted breastfeeding. I joined mommy and me groups so I could make friends with other moms and he’d have playmates. I listened to everything I could about how to be a “good mom” and tried to do it all. I read book after book at my child’s request, cleaned up mess after mess, and changed diaper after diaper.

A few years into his young life, after I swallowed my pride, I took him to the Doctor and shared some concerns I had. When my son’s Doctor dismissed me, I pushed because I knew, I knew, something was not right. I had him tested and, with delays found in multiple areas, he was put in Early Intervention. After learning he had some difficulty processing his senses I researched everything I could on Sensory Processing Disorder. I sat through endless hours of therapies to help him catch up to his peers and then he was tested for preschool and he qualified for services in the public school district. Fast forward to the end of his second year of Preschool and today’s IEP meeting where I sat, outnumbered, in a room  listening to how worried the school staff was about my son.

This wasn’t the first meeting that I’ve endured but somehow this seemed to be the most important that I’d ever have since this was the meeting where we’d start discussing placement for Kindergarten. This is a heavy decision for any parent, including myself, because it’s the one that would probably determine the rest of his school career. I knew once he was in a track at school, be it special education or children labeled with “behavior problems” or regular education, he would most likely be in that category for years to come and I’d have to fight to change it if I ever felt like the placement needed to change. I’ve heard horror stories of parents trying to change services or add things in and I knew my journey would be a long one. I wanted to make the right choices now and it was a lot of stress knowing that I was making such a big decision in the coming months.

All the school personnel on Jacob’s team shared about their experiences with Jacob, both what he was doing well and what their concerns were. Then it was your turn. Seeing that a mother was hurting, worried, and anxious it would have been best to assure me that we would figure this out as a team and that, in the end, everything would be okay. Instead you decided to use many of your words to bring me down and attack my child.

You told me how your team couldn’t be expected to change my child’s behavior that he’d spent the past four and a half years learning {assuming, I guess, that I had not spent the past four years trying to raise him correctly}. You told me how the school personnel was ultimately the one who’d decide placement for my child and basically told me that in the end it wasn’t up to me and I could make suggestions but they wouldn’t really make much of a difference. Then, and this really, really hurt, you implied that I would do anything other than what was in my child’s best interest when all I was doing was trying to understand the different options that were available.

What hurt most of all though, and what made me meltdown once I was safely in the hallway away from you, was that you spent the majority of your time criticizing my child. You used the results of a survey his current teacher and his old teacher had taken and pointed out everything that was “wrong” with my son. Not once did you point out one of the great things about him. Not once.

But that’s probably because you don’t know him. You’ve spent, what? 15 minutes with him?

He isn’t perfect by any means and when you brought up attention problems and ADHD I believe you probably aren’t too far off. All those other things you listed? Yep, those are issues I’m aware of and we are working on.

You seemed to have missed a few things though. His smile. His belief in right vs. wrong. His willingness to help. His laugh. His ability to remember the smallest detail. His inquisitive nature. His joy for life. His love for others. His excitement. His concern for friends who aren’t on the bus or at school.

Any of these qualities you could have pointed out among the other things but you didn’t. Instead, you chose to look at a chart full of dots that represented all his “problems” and completely missed the child behind the chart.

I’m begging you, next time you are in an IEP meeting, think about the parent sitting on the other side of the table and at least one positive thing you can say about their child. Of course, to do that you may actually have to get to know the child you are talking about. They are more than just a list of behaviors, dots on a chart or a diagnosis. They are special regardless of what problems brought their parents into that meeting with you.

Signed,

Jacob’s mom

Ability Path’s Holiday Gift Guide For Children With Special Needs

ability path logo

I’m excited to share the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide For Children With Special Needs put together by Ability Path. The guide features gift ideas from many bloggers, including a suggestion from me. If you have a child with Special Needs on your “to buy for” list you have to check this guide out.

You can find the Holiday Gift Guide here. Enjoy! :)

 

Santa Visits For Children With Special Needs

caring-santa-badge-2

Visiting Santa is a really fun Holiday tradition for most families. It’s one I loved as a child and was excited to continue with my own children. The first couple years went well but eventually, visiting Santa became a tradition that I dreaded. It has turned into an overwhelming experience for my boys and as a mom, when my children aren’t having a good time, I’m not enjoying the tradition either.

As a mother of two preschoolers with special needs I am honored that Ability Path contacted me to share about their “Caring Santa”. It brought tears to my eyes to realize that people cared enough about my children and other children with special needs that they’d work together to create this special experience for our children.

This year Caring Santa will be at over 80 locations across the United States. Here are more details from Ability Path: Due to this collaborative effort and greater mall participation this year, more children with special needs and their families will have an opportunity to participate in the time-honored holiday tradition of taking a photo with Santa in an environment set up to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of children with all abilities. Each mall will be asked to make some minor modifications to subdue the mall the morning of Caring Santa, and the result of that will be a magical experience for families; and some will walking away with their first-ever holiday photo of their child or family with Santa.  Until now, visiting with Santa and the Bunny really wasn’t a reality for families of children with special needs.

Last year, families who have experienced Caring Santa expressed great appreciation to participating malls for the extra care and welcoming environment.  While the accommodations made are for the child with special needs, often there are siblings who, as a result of their brother or sister’s disability don’t have the opportunity to partake in moments like these. The Caring Santa event is as much for them as it is for the child with a disability.  It is truly a morning for making memories for children of all abilities!

You can look to see if there is a location near you and RSVP by clicking here.

A HUGE thanks to Ability Path, Simon Malls, and Noerr Programs for organizing these events.

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post.)

 

Something To Think About This Halloween….

halloween patience

Last year on Halloween this was passed around on Facebook and I thought it was really great so I wanted to share it with you all this Halloween:

Tonight a lot of creatures will visit your door.

Be open minded.

The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills.

The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues.

The child who does not say trick or treat or thank you might be shy or non-verbal.

The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have an allergy.

The child who isn’t wearing a costume at all might have SPD or autism.

Be nice.

Be patient.

Its everyone’s Halloween.



Sensory Friendly Films At AMC Theatres

sensory friendly films

AMC Theatres offers sensory friendly movies once or twice a month at many of their theaters across the nation. I’ve written about this program before but wanted to share the newest movies being offered. Here are the movies they plan on showing from now through the end of the summer:

May 5 – Pirates! Band of Misfits

June 16 – Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

June 30 – Brave

July 21 – Ice Age: Continental Drift

August 11 – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days

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*More details can be found here*

Special Needs Moms {A Look Inside}

special needs moms

My cousin posted this on Facebook. I’m not sure of it’s origins but I just had to share :)

Easter Sensory Table

Easter sensory table

I can’t believe that it’s almost Spring! I put the Easter themed sensory table together today. The picture above shows most of the items that are in it but I added a couple other things as well.

Items in Easter Sensory Table:

Easter grass

Easter eggs w/ different designs

Easter themed erasers

Easter colored textured balls

Bunny figurines

White pom poms

Easter cups

The pom-poms were from the Valentine’s Day sensory table but I thought they worked for the Easter one as “bunny tails”. Most of the items I found were in the dollar section at Target and in Walmart’s Easter selection. Target’s Easter aisles, dollar stores, and craft stores are also a great place to find sensory table items.

Easter sensory table

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Close up of the Easter sensory table

Valentine’s Day Sensory Table

Valentine's Day Themed Sensory Table

My children have sensory processing issues that make sensory table a must have item in our home but I think sensory activities are a great activity for all young children. I like to create themed ones around Holidays or certain things that interest my children. Our latest table is Valentine’s themed.

 

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A close up of the items that are in the table

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Items in the table:

-mini themed erasers

-mini spiked balls

-clear decorative stones

-red heart shaped stones

-white feathers

-white pom poms

-red,white, pink shaped heart beads

-white yarn tied in bows

-pieces of white ball garland cut into smaller strands

-small heart shaped containers with lids

-heart shaped bowls

-Valentine’s themed cups

Hot Cocoa Sensory Tub

hot cocoa sensory tub

Now that it’s cold outside we are always looking for fun activities to do. I put together a hot cocoa sensory bin with a canister of hot cocoa mix, a bag of mini gingerbread man marshmallows, a funnel, a spoon, and some cups and bowls. Jake loved playing with this sensory tub and it smelled delicious!

Hot cocoa w/ marshmallows. The marshmallows were on clearance because thcy were from Christmas.

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Ready for playtime

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Jake liked eating the marshmallows, too!

Advent Day #8

Today’s Truth In The Tinsel ornament was to make the sun. We substituted glitter paint for glitter foam and Jacob smeared the paint all over the ornament (which is a great sensory activity for him). He handled it okay but as soon as he was done he wanted his hand cleaned off.

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If you are participating in Truth In The Tinsel, how is it going? Are your children liking the activities?

{Chicago Suburbs} Special Kids Day

One of my friends in a Facebook group for moms of children with SPD posted about Special Kids Day and I just had to share with you that are local. Special Kids Day is a day where all children with special needs and their families are invited to a FREE Holiday event just for them. Santa Claus will be there for children to get their pictures taken. I love that they are having this event because it’s so hard to go out in public and get stares or comments and this is pretty much a safe, non-judgmental event where everyone can be themselves and have fun in an environment designed to accommodate their special needs.

EVENT DETAILS:

Christmas Sensory Table

Christmas Sensory Table

Items Included:

-Garland (cut into 6 inch pieces)

-Jingle Bells

-Holly Berries

-Mini Ornaments

-Mini Present

-Small stockings

-Bows

-Red cups

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Did you make a Christmas themed sensory table or bin for your children?

I’d love to see what you included if you did! :)

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Linked up at: The Sunday Showcase, Sharing Time, Weekend Wrap Up Party, and Link & Learn

Cyber Monday Deal: 40% Off Soft Clothing {Perfect For Children With Sensory Issues}

soft gift guide new


{Thought I’d share this for all the parents of children who have sensory issues, like mine do}

HAPPY CYBER MONDAY! Soft Clothing is having an incredible sale event on their website:

40% off storewide until MIDNIGHT tonight!

Use code at checkout: cybermonsoft.

Learning About Sensory Processing Disorder {Saturday Stumbles}

spd

October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness Month so before the month is over I wanted to share a few resources for people to learn more about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Even if your child doesn’t have sensory issues you might know someone who does and will probably come into contact with at least one person who does so I thought these resources and stories would be great to share:

*What is SPD???? The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation has a quick overview here.

*I get asked often about my children’s behavior. It’s hard because I am still learning what actions are behavior related and what actions are sensory related. It’s hard to tell because they are similar. This post explains it.

*That child you *think* is throwing a tantrum in the store may just be having a meltdown because they are on sensory overload. Read this before you head out shopping this Holiday season. This story of adults laughing at a child is heartbreaking…. Don’t Laugh At Me

*Are you a friend to a mother of a child with SPD? Want to know what you can do? Find out in this post.

*I love the poem at the end of this post about embracing SPD.

*Learn about SPD through this parody of If You Give A Pig A Pancake- If You Give A SPD Kid A Pancake

*Did you know there are EIGHT senses? Find out what they are here.

Find out more about SPD from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation

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If you have written anything you’d like to share please add it to the comments below! :)

Occupational Therapy Fun {Wordless Wednesday}

Swings on a platform swing and plays with weighted frogs (in green bin)

Both boys get occupational therapy for Sensory Processing Disorder. I wanted to share pictures of Luke’s last therapy session and the activities that he does during it:

Sitting on a bouncy ball putting pegs on a pegboard

Sitting in a chair pulling small objects out of theraputty

Swings on a platform swing and plays with weighted frogs (in green bin)

Practicing eating with a spoon while wearing a Spio suit (which he wears for the whole hour session)

Playing with shaving cream on a tray

(Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or a Doctor. I’m just sharing what Lucas does during his therapy sessions. Please consult your child’s therapist or Doctor before doing any of these activities with your child. If you are a parent of a child who has Sensory Processing Disorder please contact me (email in sidebar) if you would like someone to talk to.)

I have linked this post to: Wordless Wednesday Home

5 Minutes for Mom ~ Go Graham Go! ~ Jolly Mom

Mom of 3 Girls ~MomStart ~ Two of a Kind…

Momma Findings ~ Mom Knows It All

A Daily Dose of Toni

The Divine Miss Mommy

Grammy Mouse Tails

Fall Sensory Table

SAMSUNG

Our Fall Sensory Table: beans, leaves, and gourdes

The boys were also given spoons and nesting cups.

After this picture was taken I added other items:

Acorn Bells

Pretend apples and small pinecones

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More ideas of what you can put in your Fall sensory bins can be found on the following blogs:

1+1+1=1

Counting Coconuts

I Can Teach My Child

No Time For Flashcards

Our Cup Of Tea

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Linked up to: The Sunday Showcase and Link & Learn

$250 Sensory Friendly Giveaway

spdgiveaway

The SPD Blogger Network and Soft Clothing have teamed up to give away over $250 worth of sensory friendly products.

For more details and to enter to win this amazing prize pack please visit the entry page.

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(Disclosure: I am part of the SPD Blogger Network but am not affiliated with this giveaway. I’m sharing because I think it’s a great giveaway and receive an extra entry for posting about it.)

Picture Schedule For Children {Tutorial}

Picture Schedule

Some children, especially those with difficulties when transitioning, benefit from a picture schedule. Seeing what their day will look like and knowing what is coming up will make transitions easier. It’s also helpful for children who are waiting for something later in the day. My son’s Developmental Therapist suggested that I make one for him.

When I was a preschool teacher I had a picture schedule up on the chalkboard that showed our day. Since every day followed a similar schedule and we were almost always in one room this worked for my classroom. As a parent that method would not work for me since our schedule varies day to day and we don’t spend all day in the same room. I wanted a daily schedule that could travel with us from downstairs to upstairs to the mall and to the Doctor. I envisioned something small that could fit in Jacob’s backpack or my purse that would show Jacob what we were doing next. I was also hoping it would stop the questions about when Daddy was coming home since I could show him what we had to do before Daddy was going to come  home.

I headed to Hobby Lobby with a general idea of what I wanted to make and after wandering down the aisles I settled on making a picture schedule using a small, hard covered scrapbook. If you want more ideas of things you can use to make a picture schedule check out the story of my shopping trip.

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Items Needed:

-Pictures

-Small Scrapbook

-Cardstock

-Velcro

-X-TREME School Glue Stick

-Scissors

-Markers

-CraftBond Adhesive Squares

-Contact Paper

Directions:

1. Gather pictures of your child doing everyday things. If you don't have ones you need make a game out of it by having them pretend to do things so you can take pictures.

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Use the CraftBond Adhesive Squares to stick the pictures onto the cardstock.

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Write a general description of what the picture is on the cardstock underneath the picture. Don't be too specific.

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Cover the pictures with contact paper...be careful that it doesn't "bubble". You can smooth bubbles out with your finger. Cut the pictures out of cardstock.

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Cut the velcro into small squares. Be sure to put the rough sided ones in a pile and the smooth sided ones in another.

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Use the X-TREME School Glue Stick to stick the velcro on to the backs of the laminated cardstock. I suggest using the rough half of the velcro.

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Adhere the other half of the velcro to the scrapbook pages using the E-XTREME School Glue Stick

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Put the pictures in your scrapbook based on your day's schedule. Every morning you can take out pictures or add new ones depending on what you will be doing that day. Any extra pictures can be stored in a ziploc bag until you need them.

Suggested pictures to take/find include: Brush Your Teeth, Get Dressed, Go To The Store, Eat Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack, Take A Bath, Go To A Playdate, Go To School, Go To Church, Daddy Comes Home, Watch TV/Movie, Read Books, Take A Walk, Go To The Park, Play Outside, Bike Ride, Go To The Pool, Bake With Mommy, Clean Up, Art Project, Play A Game, Play With Your Toys, Bedtime, and any other ones that relate to something your child does on a daily or weekly basis.

(Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a craft recipe project using Elmer’s #collectivebias. All thoughts are my own.)


Find more projects on Twitter! Follow the hashtags: #gluenglitter #xtremeschoolglue

Why I Was Happy To Have A Diagnosis

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Ever have a conversation with someone and spend most of the time thinking that they look different?  “Hmmm, she looks different today. I wonder if she got her haircut? Or maybe she got it colored? Something is definitely different today.” So at the first chance you have you ask, “did you do something different with your hair today?” and your friend says, “my hair? no. I got new glasses though.” and suddenly it all makes sense. Yes, those are new glasses. The rest of the conversation flows easily and you no longer have a nagging feeling that something is “different” but you just can’t put your finger on it.

That was me. Only it wasn’t my friend… it was my son. And it wasn’t just a nagging suspicion during a conversation… it was an overwhelming fear in most of my daily interactions with him. I began to notice something was “different” when at two and a half Jacob still didn’t have age appropriate play skills, got overly excited when around other children, had a hard time with other children’s personal space, still mouthed many things, spun in circles, walked on his tippy toes, never seemed to pause for very long, chewed on his clothes and had a variety of other “odd” behavior. The big red flag came when he started getting excluded by his peers. When older toddlers and preschoolers were noticing that he didn’t interact the same way other children their age did and didn’t want him playing with them or sitting next to them. That hurt. I didn’t want him to go through life being awkward in social situations.

So I called Early Intervention. When it came time for the initial consult the woman from EI mentioned that maybe Jacob had Sensory Processing Disorder. I had heard of that but from what I knew about SPD it was people that didn’t like loud noises, strong smells, and things like that. People that avoided sensory experiences. That was NOT my son.

He was evaluated by therapists and we were told that was, in fact, what he had. Then I learned about the other end of Sensory Processing Disorder- the sensory seeker. It all made sense. THAT WAS MY SON. Suddenly his crashing, and chewing on things, and throwing toys, and all the other things that he did that just made him look like a BAD kid and made me look like a BAD mom…. now I knew there was an underlying reason for that behavior.

I was happy for a diagnosis because now I know what is “different” with him. Now I can get him the help he needs. Now I can adjust how I parent. Now we can move forward.

Things I Love Thursday: Our New Trampoline

Trampoline

My boys were recently diagnosed with  Sensory Processing Disorder and I was told they would need Occupational Therapy (among other services). When I was told that OT would be hard to find I took matters into my own hands and researched what items were recommended for sensory seekers. I made a list and shared it with my family and was excited when I got a package in the mail about a week later. My sister-in-law, Jennifer, had bought the boys a trampoline (this one). I was so happy because this would give them an appropriate way to get the movement  they crave.

Thanks so much, Auntie Jennifer! :)

Do you have a child with SPD? What “tools” have you bought or made to help your child? Though every child is different, I’d love to hear what works for your family!

This post is being linked up to The Diaper Diaries: Things I Love Thursday.

(Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. This trampoline was purchased, not given to us by the company.)

Sensory Friendly Films at AMC

sensoryfriendlyfilms

I was so excited to find this that I just had to share… AMC Entertainment is partnering with The Autism Society to bring Sensory Friendly Films to select communities on a monthly basis. According to their website, “the program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!”

The tentative upcoming Sensory Friendly Films are:

(Updated Movie Schedule 9/23/11)

October 1 – Dolphin Tale

November 5 – Puss in Boots

 

*The site says that all shows are scheduled for 10am on these days but that dates and movies are tentative so be sure to call ahead.

(Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.)