Sunday, April 26, 2009

Duck Duck Goose!!!

In the type of autism 'thearpy' that we do there is a flip on the game duck duck goose. There are a variety of ways to change it (sky is the limit) but one version is 'Splish Splish Splash. In this version, you take a cup of water...tap people on the head..splish ..splish..splish... and then for the person you pick you say SPLASH and dump it on their head. And run! doesn't work if you have a cochlear implant on your head. This WOULD be a wonderful NONVERBAL game to play with autistic implanted kids with ears off. I do not recommend this sort of thing immediately after implantation. You need to spend lots of time with ears on and ALL efforts should be to get that hearing muscle working. But...after a few years..let kids have time with ears off for a game like this. You could play this with hearing and deaf kids but say....voices off. Just tap each individual for a 'SPLISH' and dump the water for a 'SPLASH.' And this would be a great activity for those that use different languages; ASL, English, even Spanish! It can be a fun way for the kids to connect!

On to another 'listening' version. If you are working on specific word groups, tie those into a game. For the beginner you might STILL do Duck Duck Goose but could do Dog Dog Cat! A higher level might be Cage Cage Page! Harder still: Ron Ron Wrong! Even if you are focusing on the words, you can still share a ton of emotion sharing!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Should we work on the autism or the hearing today??

I've started another post 10 times on the various therapies we have done with Andrew for his hearing and also for autism but they were write and I'm sure to read. I thought an example might be better. Today we were doing alphabetizing with a list from Enchanted Learning. What I do with THIS sheet is cut out the half that has 1 thru 10 and then have Andrew cut apart the words I want him to alphabetize. This is SCAFFOLDING so that I he does not have to concentrate on writing. Then there are various routes we could take:

1) Concentrate on listening: With this process, I would assist him in putting the words together by using words only and maybe even covering my mouth. You could also alphabetize words where you are working on listening. bat, pat, scat, rat, wrap, etc.

2) Concentrate on referencing and guided participation: For this I would minimize my words, glance to which word or words might come next and confirm his 'guess' with a nod. I could guide him with my glance for referencing if I want him to glue it on the paper or if I want to do that part.

3) Academic only: Leave him to finish the exercise on his own.

To be honest, I do ALL of these at various times for various subjects. When dealing with multiple issues there is no right/wrong. It varies from day to day.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Deafness and Autism

Through comments on this blog and privately, I think that Autism + Deafness is a topic that isn't discussed enough. First, there are those that are initially diagnosed with deafness and the autism is missed. Then there are those that are diagnosed with autism and the deafness is missed! For Andrew, both were diagnosed....yet the challenges are heady even with the correct timing. So, I have decided to focus on this blog, at least for the next few months, the challenges of handling both. This will include:

  • diagnosis
  • cochlear implants
  • teaching options
  • additional challenges
  • bilateral discussion
  • autism therapies that may work well with both
  • discussion when there are both challenges in the family with separate family members
Please feel free to leave a comment on what you might like to see discussed here. Mostly I have had 'writers cramp' so this will give me an opportunity to focus on this specific topic that I don't see addressed in many areas on the internet. I have facebook too and will post there when I give an update. So feel free to chime in either place...send me a friend request if you would like. (Amy Lapain.)
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