Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Interacting with Autism Project” Video

WOW. CLICK HERE to check out this video from the “Interacting with Autism Project” on Sensory Overload. Absolutely incredible.

Screen Shot 2014-05-10 at 9.30.27 AM

Posted by on May 14th, 2014 Comments Off on “Interacting with Autism Project” Video

 

How To Make Free Flashcards the Quick & Easy Way

How much time do you spend searching for therapy materials and making them?  If you are like me, you often feel like you are just spending too much time making therapy cards.

I am going to share with you my little therapy card “trade secret”.  It’s super easy, and even better- it’s free!  All you have to do is go to Quizlet (http://quizlet.com/).  This is a terrific site; it is a virtual community of people who use flash cards, make them and SHARE them.  To join, all you have to do is create a user name plus password.  You can search by topic and Quizlet will populate the results section with a myriad of choices for you to grab and print.  Or, better yet, (yes- it gets better!), you can upload whatever deck of flashcards that you want from Quizlet onto your iPad.  Poof!  Immediately, you have a deck of flashcards to use in your therapy or lesson.  No hassle, no cutting, no laminating, no fuss.  Now, if you do want to use the iPad as a platform for your flashcards, it will be necessary to have a “flashcard App”.  I like to use  the free App, “Cardboard”  (http://slidetorock.com/apps/Cardboard-flashcards-for-iPad.html).  There are other free flashcard apps such as, “Brainscapes” (https://www.brainscape.com/) and  “Flashcards Delux” (http://orangeorapple.com/Flashcards/).  It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s even kind of fun to see how creative some people are in the Quizlet community!

Posted by on February 2nd, 2013 Comments Off on How To Make Free Flashcards the Quick & Easy Way

 

Lonely Does Not Mean Violent

All of us are sickened by the school massacre in Newtown. Those of us who have an emotional investment in autism are also troubled by the possibility that the killer may have had Asperger’s Syndrome. Could that have caused his rampage?

No.

I have worked with hundreds of children, teens and young adults with autism across every level of the spectrum. Some of them have personality disorders, but only about as often as other people have. Perhaps some of them could have been triggered into violence, but no more so than any other people I’ve known.

Of course autism comes with challenges. It is a lonely place to live, a place with its own sensitivities and pains. Autism asks for understanding and help. But we don’t need to wonder if it poses a special threat. All my experience says it doesn’t.

Posted by on December 18th, 2012 Comments Off on Lonely Does Not Mean Violent

 

App Update

Whew!  This new onslaught of Apps for our profession is both sensational and overwhelming at the same time!  I thought you might find it useful to have a regular update, a few at a time, on some of the Apps that we like at CLASS, Inc.

1. “Things That Go Together”- this is an app that works on associations and starts out with two pictured associations on a page and moves to six or more to a page.

2. “ABA What Doesn’t Belong“- this app works on spotting the difference between four pictured objects per page. The objects may differ from colors to categories each item is associated with.

3. “Sentence Maker”– this app is great for teaching the beginning concepts of sentence structure. Each sentence has a picture representation. The sentence from two to six words and you place the correct word in the blanks to make a complete sentence.

4. “Grammaropolis”– this is a great app to work on grammar. It’s decided into categories of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, and interjections. Each category has quizzes books and videos for that part of grammar. It’s very comprehensive!

5. Spellmania”– this app works like a spelling game show and makes spelling really fun and challenging. As you progress in levels, you are given a certain amount of time in which you are suppose to spell the word correctly.

Posted by on November 26th, 2012 No Comments

 

Is My Child a “Late Talker”? How Do I Know?

“He’s a boy…boys talk later than girls.”  “She is the baby of the family and her older brothers are just talking for her.”   “My brother didn’t talk until he was five.”   “Einstein didn’t talk until he was five.”  “Wait until he is three and then we will see how he is doing.”   These are just a few of the many responses that parent receive from well intentioned friends, family and doctors when parents confess that they are worried that their child is not talking as much and/or as clearly as he or she should be for his/her age.  In most cases, a  parent’s “gut feeling” is correct.  Why wait and see what might happen when you can get an evaluation today from a professional who is trained to identify children who have communication delays?  While it is true that each child develops at his or her own pace, there are certain milestones that should be attained by specific ages.  Children who are behind in meeting those benchmarks can often quickly catch up with some speech therapy.  Speech therapy is fun, and can’t hurt, so why do parents often wait and worry?  Usually because we parents don’t want our children to be “behind” and silently hope that they will just catch up.  While some do, many won’t.

It is difficult to predict which children will catch up on their own.  What follows is a list of  identified “red flags” or “risk factors”  that, when  present, indicate that a child is unlikely to attain speech and language milestones without professional speech therapy support:

  • Family has a history of speech or language delays
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Limited babbling as an infant
  • Produces few consonant sounds
  • Does not imitate sounds or words
  • Does not point
  • Has limited eye contact
  • Uses only a few gestures to communicate
  • Speaks with mostly nouns or just a few words
  • Appears to have a hard time following directions
  • Does very little pretend play
  • Has a hard time being understood by people other than family

The best course of action is, if you have a nagging worry, consult a speech language pathologist.  Many offer free consultations.  Wouldn’t it be great to have your mind put to rest?  If there is a delay, the sooner that your child receives help, the faster he will catch up.  Bottom line:  asking for help from a certified speech language pathologist is the way to go!

Posted by on November 20th, 2012 Comments Off on Is My Child a “Late Talker”? How Do I Know?

 

Successful School Meeting!

My client’s father sits across the table from six school professionals. The principal, psychologist, teacher, para, special education director and OT have all gathered together for this morning progress meeting. I am there as my client’s private SLP. Despite the lack of balance in representation, my client’s father reaches deep into his heart,  graciously praising the school team for their care, interest and ongoing hard work with his son. He knows, he says, that his non-verbal and often self-injurious pre-teen is not easy to work with and that the rewards are in the smallest of gains. I gaze around the table at the individual faces of this large school team and see them lift with gratitude at the father’s words;  even if they don’t always know what to do, they always have his son’t best interests at heart.

My client’s father then outlines what he wants school’s next steps to be in educating his son. As I once again glance  at the faces of those six professionals, I notice a hardening of their features and slight glare in their eyes. I am unsure if my client’s father notices this or not.  Many things are discussed over the next hour. Most of them are trivial.  My client’s father politely, yet relentlessly, returns to his requests.  Words are tossed back and forth between the large team of six to the small team of one. The most solid ideas to foster educational progress are those spoken by  my client’s father. It is crystal clear that he has thought long and hard about the current needs of his son and how to overcome them. The school staff really has no option; they are wonderful, loving, highly-educated folks with the best of intentions. But, they aren’t Dad. There is no way that they can possibly have the depth of understanding about this young man that Dad does, and he doesn’t expect them to.  What  he does expect them to do is use his wisdom to teach his son. They understand this.  They also realize that his ideas really are what is best for his son at this moment in time.  They tweak a few ideas to better fit my client’s school day.  A  plan is developed.  I take one final look around the room and see smiles, glowing eyes and postures indicative of mutual respect.  This was a successful  meeting.

Posted by on November 5th, 2012 Comments Off on Successful School Meeting!

 

Fantasy & Pretend Play Boost Cooperation Skills

Pretend Play teaches kids how to cooperate better with their peers. Dramatic play, whether it’s pirates, house, school or super-heros actually refines children’s social and communication skills. This summer, consider putting together a dress up treasure box filled with creative castoffs, set your kids loose and let their social communication skills blossom!

Posted by on June 28th, 2011 No Comments

 

Fun Food Apps for the Elementary School Aged Picky Eater

Worried about your son or daughter’s nutritional needs?  At this age, your child should be taking some responsibility for establishing healthy eating habits.  Eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean protein is essential to brain devleopment and body growth.

Try out these fun apps to teach healthy eating concepts in a way that kids ages 9-12 like to learn: on the iPad or iPhone!

  1. FITTER CRITTERS:  you have a virtual pet that needs healthy foods that are garden fresh.  If you give him too many treats, he may get into the habit of eating them and become a junk food junkie, get a tummy ache, or other troubles.
  2. LUNCH LINE:  with this app, BMI is calculated for your child and using this, your child must then navigate her way through the lunch line menu choices to build a healthy meal, or else….
  3. FOOD BUSTER:  the goal of this game is to find nutritious foods that are low in calories, sugars and saturated fats, put them on the food scale – but careful….the scale can break!

Posted by on June 25th, 2011 No Comments

 

How much should a parent do when feeding their child?

This is something that I am frequqently asked by parents, “Am I doing too much?  Am I not helping enough?  How much should I be doing?”  I like to follow the guidelines that Ellyn Satter outlines in her book,  Child of Mine:  Feeding with Love and Grace.

First and foremost, it is really important for parents to understand that no matter what the age of their child, there really is a feeding role that both parents and child play.  For babies, the parent decides what the baby will eat; formula or breast milk?  The baby then eats as much as he or she wants.  Parents help the baby eat their fill by providing warmth, comfort, security and being sensitive to their baby’s signals.

During the toddler stage, once again, the parents are responsible for what is presented to the child for meals, when the child eats and where the child eats- in the car on the way to older sister’s ballet class?  At preschool snack time?  At dinner time with her sibblings?  The toddler will decide on how much of what he wants to eat, and may even appear to be a bit “picky” at this age.  Parents should continue to present to their toddler the same foods that they are eating for meals while allowing their toddler to consume as much of it as he desires.

In later childhood, the parent continues to decide what, when and where the child will eat, as long as the child is at home.  The child will decide what and where he will eat while at school, friends’ houses and in the community.  If parents discourage grazing and snacking, chances are that the children will eat what is prepared for them at the parent’s prescribed meal times.

Remember to do what you can to make meal time an enjoyable, relaxing, social time between your and your child.  Expose them to new foods in fun ways and speak positively about eating.  Chances are, your child will grow into an adventurous and healthy eater!

Posted by on March 29th, 2011 No Comments

 

Tired of turning socks inside out….turn no more

I remember vividly all of the times that I neglected to turn my children’s socks inside out and the tantrums that ensued….stumbled across this site and thought you might take advantage of their products:

http://www.smartknitkids.com/

Posted by on February 22nd, 2011 No Comments