Showing posts with label Communication and Life Skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communication and Life Skills. Show all posts

Take Me Out to the Ball Game- Week 3

Hey there, baseball fans! There's still time to have some open ended fun before the season ends!


Free, fun open ended color matching freebie from Looks Like Language!
Catch the newest section of the freebie and have some fun with it! The third section is available to download here.


Fall is a colorful time to build colorful words! Make nixed level groups easier!
Speaking of newest, did you see my newest adapted bool multiple activity set for Fall mixed level groups? 

It builds describing skills using literacy activities and games. Check it out! Click here!


3 Tips to Help Children Handle 'NO'


How in the world do you teach kids to accept ‘no’? If I had a sure fire way to teach and  guarantee this, my name would be known world wide!

no, temper, tantrum, meltdown, choice boards
My friend, Lisette, over at Speech Sprouts, asked what I did to help kids understand and accept 'no'. It takes a lot of work and very few 2-3 year olds will easily accept 'no' for something they truly want! But there are some strategies you can use to help kids start moving along the path to accepting ‘no.’

Don’t ask a yes/no question! Give choices instead.
Be careful how you word your questions! Asking a child, “Do you want A ?” implies that you are asking them for their wishes. This leaves it open for them to say, “No, I want B.” when B is not an option. Then you have to say “No.”

Instead, try “Today we have A or B. Which one do you want?” While some kids will then reply, “I want C!” this leaves it open for you to say, “I like C, too, but today we get to pick from A or B.”  You notice that this response did not include the ‘N’ word! Sometimes just hearing that word sets some kids off!

Choice Boards
To do this visually, use a choice board! Visuals are important to help kids see the choices, even for verbal kids. While they see the 'no’ symbol, they also see that there will be other choices available. Without the visual, they will hear the 'no' and can have a meltdown before processing the other choices.

Carefully Sequence the Options
First, help your students understand 'no' (whether visually or verbally) in the context of structured activities where it doesn't have an emotional impact. Then build up to hearing ‘no’ when it actually is something that the child wants, after they have seen that there will be other options that are good, even if not their #1 choice.

Note: Some students may just not be able to handle ‘no’ for various reasons, but don’t make the mistake of giving in to tantrums or outbursts by giving them what they want! As painful as it can be to out wait a sobbing or screaming child, you will only be making it more likely that it will continue if you give in!

Work a deliberate sequence of choices into your daily routines, but don't start with your kids' most favorite choices. Here is one way it could be done.

Make the ‘NO’ choice a 'no' for someone else.

See this picture? I  never had a kid get upset when they couldn't feed a make believe chocolate cookie in shoebox play. To read more about this, click here.

no, temper, tantrum, meltdown, choice boards
   •Make the ‘no’ choice something that the child doesn’t like.
This is a great place to start for kids who just react to the word. Hearing ’no’ gets a bit of desensitization when it is used for something unwanted.

no, temper, tantrum, meltdown, choice boards
Make the ‘no’ one of 3 equally liked choices.
Switch them around from day to day.

no, temper, tantrum, meltdown, choice boards
    •Make the ‘no’ the 2nd favorite, where the favorite choice is available.

no, temper, tantrum, meltdown, choice boards
Make the ‘no’ the favorite choice, with the 2nd favorite available.
 It also helps to have an empty chocolate chip cookie bag available for the child to see that there are no cookies in it. This can make settling for 2nd choice easier.

Build sabotage into your daily routines!
One day the crayon box can be empty, so kids have to choose from markers or colored pencils instead.
One day, the Lego basket is empty, so they have to choose a different building toy instead.

You get the idea! Learning that there are changes and new choices to be made in life is tough learning for little ones, especially anxious little ones! But by presenting it in a way where there are positive outcomes as well as negative ones, many children can start to take it in better stride.  No miracles, just slow, hard work.

Good luck!

More Shoebox Play Tips: EAT! A Visual Blog Post

Hi! I'm glad you are here! 

More ideas for shoebox play (EAT!) and how to develop skills from there!
I was so excited to be featured on The Speechie Show and wanted to give you some more ideas about the shoebox play I showed there.

If you missed it, you can see me live here! Then this post will make more sense!

If you are looking for more shoebox play ideas, click here for car play and here for playground ideas.

I hope you enjoy this visual post!

More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!
More shoebox play ideas from Looks Like Language!

Many thanks to Barbara Bloomfield. Rest in Peace.

3 Ways to Teach Saying Thank You! Even When You Don't Mean It!

3 Ways to teach children to say thanks- and why it is important! Looks Like Language
Little kids get reminded by their parents all the time: “Say please.” “Say thank you.” This is how we start teaching politeness. Politeness and manners are such important social skills!

When friction develops, manners can keep a situation calm enough to talk it out instead of fighting. In normal every day life, it is practice beginning to be able to take another’s perspective.

Think about it it- who does saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ benefit? The speaker or the listener? Obviously, the listener or we wouldn’t have to work so hard to get kids into the routine of saying it!

Although they may say it faithfully as a learned routine, children with autism may have a difficult time understanding why it is important. Even more difficult- saying thank you when you don’t like the gift!

To help with this important skill, I have 3 ideas for you today!


PRACTICE the ROUTINE

Young or nonverbal children can benefit from practicing the routine. This adapted book will let you put items that your students like and dislike in the presents to visually teach that we still say thank you. Opening presents is such a fun activity, even when it is make believe!

Get this fun social skills activity here
Saying thank you is so important! Get this adapted book at Looks Like Language!
Using shoebox to teach children to say thanks! Looks Like Language
Of course, having some decorated boxes to open up and see a real toy inside is a great activity to coordinate with the book. You can read more about it here.


FEELINGS and WORDS

Saying "Thank you!" is important! Tips for teaching at Looks Like Language
This free game from my store gets kids identifying how receiving different toys would make them feel and giving an appreciative response anyway. Try it out here

Kind feedback is always appreciated!







EXPLAINING  WHY

This social rules story can help your older children or students to begin to understand why it is important to say thank you for gifts we don’t really want. One page is filled in completely as an example.

Click here to download this freebie as my way of saying,"Thank you for your support!"

The second page is a fill in the blank. You can use this page as a basis for discussion and letting your students fill in answers that are pertinent to their lives.

Discussion questions could include:
* Did you ever get a present that you didn’t like?
* How did you react? What did you do or say?
* How did they person who gave you the gift react? What did they do or say?
* How did your reaction make them feel?
* Is that how you want that person to feel?
* What could you do differently next time?
* What could you say differently next time?
* How can you help yourself sound sincere? Sincere means you really mean it. We show that in our facial expressions, body language and tone of voice.


You can use all of these resources at holiday time or for birthdays! Enjoy!

More Shoebox Play for Autism- Cars

When the holidays are coming around, we often get asked for recommendations from parents about toys that are appropriate for their children to play with. For more typical students, this isn’t usually difficult. But what about our students on the spectrum who don't have typical play skills?

Take your student who works happily to get some play time with small cars, but then when he gets the cars he doesn’t actually play. 

All he does is line the cars up. Sometimes the cars are in size order, sometimes they are grouped by color, and sometimes there is no apparent pattern. Is there something we should do? And what in the world do we recommend when his parents ask us?

Your student shows that he is able to categorize by features, but he doesn’t get the function piece needed for representational play. How do we change this?

Get tips for expanding the play skills of students with autism using shoeboxes!

I love using shoeboxes to develop play skills for 3 reasons.


1. They make the play steps and ‘all done’ visually obvious.

2. They stabilize the toys to help with physical manipulation problems.

3. It makes one complete activity that the child can learn to do independently.

Design Your Own 

It is important to design the play shoebox so your student sees what to do and when it will be done from the visual set up. 

Another important piece is teaching how to use 2 or more objects together in play, since that is where make believe play begins.

Remember that when you are teaching a new skill, this is work! 

So, your student will work on learning how to play, but will get to line the cars up however he likes once the work is done.

Does your child with autism just line cars up? Read More Shoebox Play - Cars!
The photo shows one possible way to teach pushing toy cars and using them with a ramp to play. The little boy I used this with was nonverbal, with limited play skills, but he was able to learn how to make the cars go up and down the ramps on the shoebox. 

I faded the box by first using just the lid on the table, and then removing the lid. Eventually, he was able to request the color cars and ramps that he wanted and then play independently. 

You know that you have made progress when your student  requests cars and actually pushes them instead of just lining them up!

Does your child with autism just line cars up? Read More Shoebox Play - Cars!

Don't forget to add language skills! 

This photo shows how I put requesting into the activity, but communication is so much more than requesting! 

Add verbs and descriptive language:
go up, go down, go fast, go slow, stop, wait, go behind, go in front, etc.

Model visually and verbally- use your student's AAC device or make symbol play boards to point to the language as you say it.

Adapt some car books and expand the play to toy garages, roads and any other type of car play you can think of. 

But, what about IEP goals and academic standards?

Now, I know that there is great pressure put upon schools nowadays to align all work to educational standards. However, if you don’t help your students develop representational language and thinking skills, how are they going to comprehend higher level academics? 

And if they don’t know how to play, how are they going to develop friendships with their peers? Or the turn taking skills that are a basis for so many social interactions? My feeling is that helping with the language for play and behavioral difficulties are vital to include in your work with students, no matter what IEP goals you also have to address.

Where to start?

1. Figure out the level of your student’s play skills.
2. Pay attention to the toys your student takes out but doesn’t use appropriately.
3. Toys your students looks at, or picks up and sets down, can indicate interest without knowledge of what to do with the toy.

Working with Parents

1. Find out from the parents what kind of toys your student pays attention to at home, and exactly what he does with them.
2. Starting with a type of toy that is available at home has the benefit of offering more chances for carryover.

Suggestions for Parents

1. Buying a toy that is similar to one that your student knows how to play can be a good idea for carrying over play skills at home.
2. It is more beneficial for a student to have a toy he can play with appropriately than to buy a more advanced one that he doesn’t know how to use.
3. Consider asking a parent (who can afford it) to buy a toy that you will work on playing with in therapy sessions and send home when he can play with it independently.

If you found these suggestions to be helpful, you will want to check out my other shoebox play blog post here.

Get started with autism- a free download from Looks Like Language!
And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter and get your free download of GettingStarted with Autism now!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Helping Our Students Transition to Independence

Transitioning? What?

You might be wondering if these links have nothing useful for you, but if you are working with a moderately to severely impaired population, then it is my opinion that you can never get started thinking about this too early!

Building functional independence skills can never start too early! Check out these free resource links at Looks Like Language!
Our students who have moderate to severe deficits need us to be the ones who are thinking ahead and planning how to build their skills to their greatest potential! Since they need so much practice with work presented at tiny little steps, it will only help if we all have in mind the eventual desired outcomes as we plan each year's therapy.

With this in mind, maybe you want to take a look at these links even if your students are still younger!

The complete list of links can be found in this post.

If you don't have time to check out the complete list, I recommend that you at least go to my most favorite download, Moving Toward Functional Social Competence.

The Minnesota Region 10 Low Incidence Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) project compiled this thorough checklists at three levels for joint attention, greetings, self regulation, conversations, perspective taking, social problem solving/critical thinking skills, friendship and life skills. They also included a recommended resource list for further reading. 

Be sure to download this helpful free resource!

I hope you are enjoying your summer! 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...