Thursday, December 29, 2011

Learning the Cheap Way

This is a great idea and so cheap for a seasonal activity, one of Lucas DI' s (Development Interventionist) brought this and it was so cute. Dollar Store tags buy couple of each and laminate them I have a laminator it was a good investment that I got a long time ago to laminate some pictures. She just laminated the tags in a blank paper than the tags by themselves.Voila you have a matching game.
He is doing excellent now with matching I can see that he develop this skill really well now, in the beginning it was not so easy now it's beautiful to see how he scans the paper and find matches. The same with wood puzzles.
Matching is good for the brain, develop pre requisite for reading and math. Also we work with speech in this game as we can work with any game.
Say the name of characters if the kid is older like Lucas and have speech problems it's important to try to make the child say before giving the tag, if the child is younger you just model saying the name.

I hope you have a great 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ipad Apps for Education and Special Needs

So we decided to get Lucas a iPad well ok not just for him for me too ;) but the primary goal is to help him, I think everyone know there is a lot of talk about iPad helping kids to learn better. We have seen how he does well with the iPhone which I'm also going to talk about of the apps we have for him for both  just the ones that worked for us. The bottom line is you have to know your child, for Lucas he likes interaction where he has to do something, has to be animated because he is very visual, if the app has a free version even better. The iPhone helped me to know things he attracted to .
I will start today talking about 2 of his favorite apps they are so well made they have for iphone and ipad right now we just have on the iphone it was one of the first ones and I don't want him to get tired so I dont repeat the iphone and ipad apps. This company makes excellent well made apps. Duck Duck Moose

I like that the made him learn the song, they beautifully sang almost like classical music style. there is a lot of interaction, so two things my son loves music and cause and effect type of interactions. Here you can see a video of a child using it .

Wheels on the bus is another good one Lucas got a little tired of it , he has his phases but it's beautiful done. You can't beat for the price. Here's a video that shows the app.

But now his favorite all time crazy about is Fish School which is so beautiful.I'm thinking to get for the iPad because on the big screen must be even better.

You can see the video and screen shots at Duck Duck Moose site HERE.
Lucas loves the aBC song and all the fish forming the letters, also has numbers and shapes. It's beautiful. And sometimes he attempts to sing with it which I'm all excited for something that makes him wanting to speak.

So on a regular bases I will come back with more app reviews of the ones I'm using.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Pretend Ideas

I think to see the real potential of pretend toys is hard, specially if you're dealing with kids that struggle with pretending, but that has been a constant thing on my mind. Lucas struggles a lot with pretending it's something hard to grasp with Autism, but it's a very important skill to any kid. Here is a good article pointing out the importance of pretend play. HERE.
But I think some parents take for granted that some kids know how to pretend play or play by themselves and just think have a room full of toys and let the kids play alone will benefit them and they don't need to pretend play. It's important for them to play alone? Yes I believe  that the real benefits of pretend play and the lessons you want them to learn will come through of you or any one sitting down and playing with them.

So a recently  a former therapist brought this toy and Lucas did so well that I thought would be a good addition to his food play which he loves although he get's repetitive with the corn and the knife but that it's typical distraction.

But he loves this tea pot.

What I love about this set, even though I don't like noise toys this is the right noise in the right time. It makes this noise when you tilt the pot that the water is flowing in the cup. Which it made total sense to Lucas and It makes me so happy that we say : Can you put more tea? and he grabs the tea pot and tilt in the cup. Yes he gets distracted wanting to hear noise all the time or open the tea pot. But that is part of it, what matters is he knowing and learning we are together drinking tea, he has to serve tea for the baby toy, to me and the therapist.

Target words

Tea, pour, more tea, cakes, give me cake, yummy, please , thank you


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Music and the Brain Therapy Podcast

I found this great podcast about the music and the brain. I'm a firm believer that music has a great impact with our kids and the brain.
I will do another post about benefits with music for Lucas. But for now I wanted to share this.

HERE at iTunes

Because when you know better You DO better - Maya Angelou