Saturday, September 28, 2013

Something About Mary

I purchased this Mary on the Move series about 5 years ago after borrowing one of the videos from a co-worker. There's something about Mary that is so captivating to the students who watch it. The videos follow Mary, who is a young down syndrome girl living on her own. The videos are both serious and funny as Mary and her friends tackle everyday tasks like cleaning house, getting to where you need to be on time, and planning a dinner party for friends. I would highly recommend this series to your video library.

You can read more about it here.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Emotion Cards

I have been searching for affordable emotion cards for ages now for my classroom and couldn't seem to find what I was looking for. I have no problem finding ones with little kids but none with adults. I wanted them large and realistic looking.  I told my co-worker yesterday that I was finished looking and was going to go on-line this weekend and find my own pics to make a PowerPoint presentation.  Her reply "Why don't you just take pictures of our staff?"  OMG why didn't I think of that!  
So, I spent yesterday and part of today trying to convince my co-workers what a "GREAT IDEA" this was. In the end I ended up with 23 emotion pics! They are absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to do a class with them!  I have each picture twice in the presentation.  The first one just showing the face (I blocked out my co-workers face here, but believe me it was priceless).  I figure we will use this slide to talk about what emotion we think it might be and why someone would have that emotion.  When they click the next slide (PowerPoint novice) it will give the answer of what emotion the teacher was going for.  The kids are going to just LOVE this!!!!  I will update you next week and let you know how it went.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Teaching Moment

One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give someone living or working with a person with special needs it to let them do as much for themselves as they can. I know sometimes it's easier and faster to do it for them, but we are not teaching them to be the independent young adults that we want them to be.  

Last week I was standing in line with one of my students at Starbucks.  In front of me was another of the students from our program with an aide waiting to order. I know this young man and was anxious to watch  his exchange with the cashier.  He is autistic and very quiet but I knew he could do it!  What happened next caught me off guard. When the barista asked him what he wanted the aide turned to him and asked him. When the young man told her what he wanted she turned back to the barista and told her.  When the barista asked what size the same exchange happened  (from this point on the barista only exchanged conversation with the aide and not the student).  When given the amount owed the aide removed it from his wallet and put the change back in.  When the barista asked his NAME the aide told her!  I was so sad to see such a perfect learning experience had just been wasted. 

What is our long term goal?  Do we want them to be able to do their own laundry?  Make themselves a snack?  Order their own food?  OF COURSE!  Just because someone has a disability it doesn't mean that they can not learn.  It may take them longer.  They may do it differently.  But with time, love and patience these kids can do things that most people didn't believe they could. I couldn't even count how many "teaching moments" happen during my day.  I too need to be reminded sometimes to slow down and take advantage of these times. What better way to teach a skill than to do it hands on while it's happening!

Hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend!

P.S. check out this guys clip art depicting kids with disabilities. I love them!