Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Categorization


At the outset categorisation sounds easy and simple , given a set of flash cards and the child is asked to sort the pictures into categories , transport, fruits , vegetables, clothing.That would be the basic sorting. However Categorization is a difficult skill for children on the spectrum, and for children with speech disorders and cognitive abilities.Dwell a little deeper into categorisation, categorise transport into air, road  and water, categorize household items. A little deeper , state the functions and ask the child to categorise given the functions of the object, categorise objects in a room, it gets a little trickier.  Identify an object by the senses. For example it taste sweet/ sour. It grows on vines and is green or black in colour. It is a fruit. Name the fruit. Or try giving the objects in a category and ask them to name the category. Taking it a step ahead , discriminate among a given set of objects , pencil, pen,chalk ,door . What is not used for writing? Furthermore given a category , say body parts, ask the child to name 10 different body parts. Categorization is also very important not just as part of receptive language skills but enhancing expressive language skills. There are some good apps for iPad that help with categorization.

Tactus therapy has an app , category therapy. They have a lite version, which you can check out.
Smarty ears has an app by the name Describe it to me.
Pocket SLP app has also an app by the similar name Describe it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Perler beads activities


I find the perler beads activity an engaging one.It was introduced to me by my daughter. Whether it is making cartoon characters or coasters , this one helps in focussing, copying patterns, fine motor skills  and in moving towards independent work skills . Works as a family fun activity as well .To see the designs emerge after placing it on the iron board, gives you  a sense of creative satisfaction. Parental supervision will be required. More pictures on my fb page.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Alexa and Autism


For a start, they both begin with A. Is there more to Alexa , than just requesting songs.  There is this interesting article on use of Alexa in a classroom from the blog Autism Vault. From setting timers, to answering /asking questions, to encouraging the kids to articulate clearly , the author puts those view points in favour of Alexa.  At home parents find varied uses for it as in making lesson plans for their kids,guided meditation, working on giving commands.... The timer functions of Alexa helps in giving clear start / stop instructions for activities like cooking or other tasks. I could think of spaces like restrooms, where you want to give the person his privacy but give the necessary prompts to move on to the next activity.There are some parents  with kids on the Retts syndrome who have hooked it up with Tobi eye gaze system. Alexa seems to be a good thing to help with independence goals. This is an article in favor of this view point ,http://fortune.com/2017/04/17/amazon-alexa-autism/. However, the author does caution that people should not use technology to bypass the much needed hands on personal care training required.

                                        On the flip side, some parents feels it has not really helped with speech, and unintelligible speech is not rewarded and hence acts as a deterrent , more to the point it doesn't reward  intelligible speech with a Thank you! As with everything on the spectrum , unless one tries it out , one would not be able  to say if it works or not for their child.


         





Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Teaching punctuation

I just checked out some books from the local library to teach Ramam punctuation.
Here are the titles.

Punctuation takes a vacation
Punctuation station
Alfie the apostrophe
Yo! yes
The girl's like spaghetti, why, you cant imagine without apostrophes!
Greedy Apostrophe: a cautionary tale.
Twenty-odd ducks: why , every punctuation mark counts!

                               The illustrations are a delight in themselves in all the books.  This one is form the book, twenty- odd ducks.



                                             The punctuation station book also has some beautiful illustrations with a ticket window for the tall animals and an another one for the shorter ones, My 6 th grader daughter also enjoyed these books.

                                             The punctuation takes a vacation lends itself to humor with the comma calling themselves the list makers, the exclamatory marks calling themselves emotional. More importantly they drive home the importance of punctuation, without boring you. Wish I had  these books to read when growing up!


                                           All the books listed are a must -read!












                           



Friday, March 10, 2017

Ramam being in ESE high school, my priorities as to what I should teach him in functional academics seems to be getting clearer. This would be a long term project with the beginning, interim and advanced stages.
a) One being to execute a simple transaction, which would be to do with word problems and actual handling of money.
b)To know where to look for the items in the correct aisles
c)To know after a purchase where would the things go in , do they belong to the pantry, to the fridge, basically categorization
d) Making a grocery list
e) Buy items needed selectively for a recipe.
f) Compare the prices of generic and branded products
g) Understand the savings when buying things on a discount.
h) comparing the prices online, with brick and mortar stores.
i) Making a budget to go shopping
Now to begin the process I the process. Eventually a used the online shopping app of Publix and their fliers.I found the app Proloquo2 go very handy to help me put the categorization in place. I give Ramam  pictures form the flyers and ask him to categorize. Eventually I plan to give a list and ask him to look for items in the correct aisles.  

I shall keep posting when I make some progress:)

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