In our clinical practice, determining the right school placement is one of the more challenging processes our staff and families must undergo. While inclusion in a general education setting is often viewed as the most ideal situation (and for many of our clients, this is something we are striving for), it is essential that the student's individual needs be carefully considered.
Trick or treat! Give me something good to eat! How about some candy corn! Help your child get into the Halloween spirit with this fun creation of a classic Halloween staple. And while you're at it, why not let your child sample some real candy corn! This is one project that is more treat than trick.
Street safety is a common concern amongst parents of children with autism. Often we find our clients may be unaware of the dangers associated with crossing the street, and measures must be taken to increase this awareness and ensure safe pedestrian behavior...
"5-year-old Michael asked, "When I turn 6 will I be bigger?" I said, "Yes, you'll probably be a little taller." He then asked, "As tall as you?" I said, "No, not that tall, but someday when you are a grown-up you will be as tall as me." Upon hearing my response, he held the top of his head and said, "But how will my Michael head get on top of a grown-up body?"
– Keri Spence (West Coast, San Diego)
"James has been practicing community safety skills where we role-play getting lost in public places and reciting his parents' phone numbers and descriptions. Recently, we were role-playing getting lost at Disneyland and I was pretending to be a Disneyland employee. I asked James to tell me his dad's phone number, and his reply was, "Well, I don't need to know his number because I can just get him on Facetime with my iPod Touch!" I then had to explain that even though iPods can do really cool things, it is still important to know his parents' phone numbers!"
– Holly Cable (West Coast, Inland Empire)
"When I coughed during an observation of Sophie at home, she looked at me and asked, "Why did you come to play with me if you're sick?" and then added, "You shouldn't have come to my school, too!"
– Sona Gulyan (West Coast, Los Angeles)
"Reggie lost his SpongeBob video due to inappropriate behavior. When his mom told him he lost the video, he replied, "But mom, Jesus wants me to watch SpongeBob!"
– Jason Vaughan (West Coast/Inland Empire)
The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.
During teaching, have a toy guitar, piano or drum nearby. When the child responds correctly, pull out the instrument and sing a line from one of their favorite songs. After another correct response, sing the next line. You can do this after each correct response or more randomly to build anticipation! Sing the rest of the song at the end of teaching!
Hold a tissue and pretend you are going to sneeze, then blow the tissue towards the child! Or pretend that you're going to sneeze while the child is sitting across from you in a chair, then "sneeze" the child back in his chair or spin the child around while holding hands!
Place a piece of a favorite snack at the far end of the table, then pretend like you're going to get it first (e.g., "It's mine, I'm gonna get it!!" while hitting your hands on the table toward the snack). Let the child get it first!
That's My Chair!
When the child comes over to sit down for teaching, say, "Hey, that's my chair!" Then quickly switch spots with them. Then change your mind, "No wait, I want to sit there instead!" Then quickly switch spots again! Keep doing this a few more times to get the child giggling!
Use your finger to "write" a letter on the child's back, and have the child guess what letter it is. Each time the child responds correctly during teaching, write a new letter until you have spelled a fun word!