Tag Archives: Asperger syndrome

Ways to Help Kids With Special Needs in the Classroom

Why is play so important in early childhood development? Not only does play encourage creativity and imagination but it also facilitates language development, decision making abilities, social skills, fine and gross motor development and problem solving skills that help develop the physical, social and emotional well-being of children. For a child with disabilities, pretend play is even more crucial.

Subject: Quinn, a boy with autism, and the lin...

Subject: Quinn, a boy with autism, and the line of toys he made before falling asleep See more about Quinn at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7kHSOgauhg Date: Circa 2003 Place: Walnut Creek, California Photographer: Andwhatsnext Original digital photograph (cropped and resized) Credit: Copyright (c) 2003 by Nancy J Price (aka Mom) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sensory processing can be difficult for these children and sensory toys are specially designed to help kids with disabilities learn problem-solving skills and gain a measure of control over their environment. More and more teachers and parents of children with disabilities are learning the important role sensory toys play in the life of a child with special needs and are incorporating them into their classrooms and homes.

Sensory toys are not necessarily geared towards a specific age group but rather a developmental level and skill set. A child’s age should not determine which toys are appropriate. Older children with autism, for example, can derive great benefit from toys that are designed for a younger child, such as blocks or a ball. Sensory toys for autism education are particularly important.

Many children with autism have difficulty with various textures and toys like sand and water tables, textured balls and other tactile objects can help a child overcome their difficulties with texture and touch. They can help a child with autism learn to interact with the world around them. In addition, sensory toys can help a child focus and aid in cognitive processing. Studies have shown that children who play with sensory toys during lessons retain more information then when they do not. Also, using sensory aids like a wiggle seat can help students to focus.

Some other helpful hints for the classroom:

  • Provide a fidget toy and/or wiggle seat, cushion or weighted stuffed animal during circle/seated work time.
  • Have a child do something physical in the morning or before any long period of seated time. For example, jump on a trampoline, complete an obstacle course, crash into pillows, push or pull heavy objects or do jumping jacks.
  • Position an easily distracted child away from doors, windows, fans, lights or anything that may be overly stimulating or noisy.
  • Develop consistent routines and picture schedules to help children develop good habits. Children with disabilities often crave routines as it gives them a sense of control. Make sure to try and prepare kids for any changes in routine ahead of time.
  • Once routines are established for a significant period of time, begin changing them slowly to help kids develop coping skills and build their tolerance to change.
  • Always provide positive reinforcement.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7114506

By Allen Yesilevich

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Speech and Language: How to Help Your Child Develop

How would you decide whether your child’s language development is on track? As communication is the basis of success in life and at work, emphasis should be given early on to assess the level of your child’s control over his or her strength in managing language. This is especially true for special needs children who have either autism, asperger syndrome, learning disabilities, ADHD and down syndrome. Many may also have learning problems and intelligence that is below average.

Children playing in a push car. An instance wh...

Children playing in a push car. An instance where “vroom” may be used during play in early language development (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Children with Asperger syndrome have milder symptoms affecting social interaction and behavior. Their language development is usually alright but, they can have problems certain aspects of language, for example, understanding humor. Their intelligence is usually above-average. Some are skillful in memory, logic and creativity, example in music, art, and pure sciences. For children with learning disabilities and ADHD (sometimes these two conditions can occur together) paying attention and staying focused is a problem. Those who are hyperactive will have trouble staying still and can turn classrooms into chaos. Dyslexic children are those who could not read very well, could not construct sentences and have trouble with writing letters backwards. With down syndrome children, you are looking at different level of mental retardation, though some of them can speak quite well. Intelligence will unfortunately affect the way a person picks up language and learn new things. So overall we are looking at early detection and then intervention for children at a young age. Detecting problems early on have been proven to be an effective way to manage and control language and other difficulties.

If you are unsure of your child’s language development, these red flags may helped put things in perspective. You can use the report presented below as a guideline, but for better understanding your child’s needs, it is better to consult a professional.

1). By 12 months your child does not babble; does not use gestures like waving “bye bye” or shaking head for “no”; does not respond to her name; does not communicate in some way when she needs help.

2). By 15 months your child does not understand and respond to words like “no” and “up”; says no words; does not point to objects or pictures when ask: “Where is the… ?”; does not point to things of interest as if to say: “Look at that!” and then look at you.

3). By 18 months your child does not understand simple commands like “Don’t touch”; is not using at least 20 single words like “Mummy” or “up”; does not respond with a word or gesture to a question such as “Where’s your shoe?”; cannot point to two or three major body parts such as head, nose, eyes, feet.

4). By 24 months your child says fewer than 100 words; is not consistently joining two words together like “Daddy go” or “no “shoes”; does not imitate actions or words; does not pretend with toys, such as feeding a doll.

5). By 30 months your child says fewer than 300 words; is not using action words like “run”, “eat”; is not using some adult grammar, like “two babies” and “doggie sleeping”.

6). By three years your child does not ask questions; is not using sentences (e.g. “I don’t want that” or “my truck is broken”).

7). By five years your child is not able to tell a simple story.

If you are concerned about your child’s language development, one of the things you can do is to consult a speech language pathologist (SLP). It is discovered that, from data taken from the United States has pointed to about 5 – 8% of preschool children experiencing language delays which continue into adulthood. So it is best to get an earlier diagnosis and a program in place to help train and guide your child as soon as possible.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7060399

By Ashley Jane Tan