Thursday, April 24, 2014

Free Apps!!!

Because this month is Autism Acceptance Month there are lots of free and discounted apps.  Check out this post from Smart Apps for Special Needs to see all of them. 

George the Turtle

Next week for Large Group we get to meet George the Turtle!  I will be doing Large Group in both classrooms on Tuesday and Wednesday.

George the Turtle
You can learn a little more about George by checking out this post about PAW.  Here is our learning card:

We will be looking at these pictures of fruits and vegetables and working on categorizing.  They are some of George's favorite, and least favorite things to eat!  The Budget SLP has another wonderful post that has 20+ resources for working on classification or categorizing!  So check out that post and try a few of the activities, especially if you have a little one who will be going to kindergarten next year.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Asking Someone To Play

The nice thing about working with a great group of SLPs is that you have such wonderful people to bounce ideas off of and share activities with.  One of our SLPs over at Jordan Valley, Amanda Burr, shared this fun large group with me. She recently did it with her kiddos and it was a hit, so I'm excited to do it with our group of kids!  That being said, after spring break we are going to be working on some social language skills during Large Group.  Here is our learning card:

We will first read this social story about how to ask someone to play. We will focus on the steps of asking someone to play, then we will practice it with each other. To help us practice each other's names and how to get someone's attention, we will play a game of pass the ball as well. Since we will be focusing on social skills, our handout talks about greeting others--another great social skill some of our kiddos are working on. You can get an English or Spanish version. It is from Super Duper.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

National Pets Are Wonderful Month

I love animals, especially cats, so I was excited to learn that April is officially 'Pets Are Wonderful' (PAW) month!  In addition to just being wonderful to have around, many of you probably already know that research shows pets are also good for your health.  They can improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, help with depression, and even facilitate social interactions among those who have them.  Pets can also be beneficial for the elderly and children with special needs.  There are even some wonderful organizations to help those interested in getting a pet for children with special needs.  The Autism Service Dogs of America (ASDA) is an organization that provides trained dogs to children with autism.  A Rinty for Kids Foundation (ARFkids) helps families with children who have special needs.  They assist in selecting appropriate puppies for families nationwide.  The puppy will then be trained to be a pet-assisted therapy dog.  A $25 donation is required during the application process, and it looks like it takes about a year to receive your dog once the application is submitted.  If you are considering getting a pet, make sure to look up some guides provided online for first time pet owners, especially if you are thinking of getting one for your child.  Here are a few for dogs, cats, birds, and choosing a pet for your child.

Turtle at 45+ years, Missy at 12 months
Just keep in mind that getting a pet can be a pretty intense time commitment. ;) My husband got his pet turtle, George (above), at the age of 11.  He is now 33, and George is now 45 (a guesstaminet given by the vet) and the way things are looking, our daughter may get to take her as a pet when she leaves for college!  As a side note, yup you read that correctly, George is a girl--11 year olds are apparently not great at recognizing turtle gender.  But honestly, we love George, and to celebrate PAW, I will be bringing her to school after Spring Break for an exciting Large Group.  Check back soon to learn more about that!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Move Like This

Next week we will be doing fun things with our "clicking camera" sound.  Here is our learning card:

We will be reading "The K Book:" 

It's a nice way to do auditory bombardment, something I talk about often in my posts about the sound of the month.  After we read the book, we will practice some words that have our "k" sound it in, especially some actions that have our "clicking camera" sound.  Next, we will play 'move like this.'  We will try to think of actions or animals to move like, but they have to have our "k" sound in it (kick, kangaroo, cough, catch, kitten, etc.).  We will focus on actions and past tense-ed.  Our weekly handout talks about how to teach children past tense.  It is from Speech and Language Kids, again! :) If you need some action cards, try these from Testy Yet Trying.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April is Autism Acceptance Month

I'm sure many of you know that this month is Autism Awareness Month, but after doing some research, I have decided to post on Autism Acceptance Month.  Tomorrow, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day and many people may be "lighting it up blue" to spread awareness.  But after reading this article from ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) and learning about the Golden Hat Foundation, we have decided to 'Go Gold,' by wearing gold tomorrow in support of autism acceptance.  There is a list of helpful websites here, if you would like to get involved or learn more information.  Check out this article to learn more about autism.