Tag Archives: Social skills

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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The Benefits of Preschool Education

Preschool education can be very beneficial for children, both academically and socially. Preschool prepares children academically, socially and emotionally for kindergarten.

Mayor Preschool Visit 3

Mayor Preschool Visit 3 (Photo credit: Mayor McGinn)

Attending preschool can have long-term academic benefits for your child, by ensuring that they arrive in kindergarten ready to learn. Many preschools offer academic programs as part of their curriculum. They help children to develop the skills that they will need to learn well in a classroom environment, and they begin to teach the basic lessons that will give your child a head start when they arrive in kindergarten. The academic benefits of attending preschool will be particularly important during kindergarten, but the effects will continue throughout their educational experience. Ensuring that your child has the best introduction to learning will give them the best chance of doing well throughout their school career.

Preschool can also help your child to develop their social skills and to become more emotionally mature. Spending time with other children of a similar age will help children to learn about communication, sharing and interacting with others. They will learn how to work and play on their own or in groups, to follow rules and instructions and to cope with being away from you. Preschool can help your child to become more confident and independent. Adjusting to a classroom environment at an early age, and without the additional academic pressures of kindergarten, makes the change much easier for your child.

Different preschool programs will focus on different aspects of the experience. You can choose a preschool program that will help your child to become socially and emotionally ready for school, by finding a preschool with a curriculum that will suit your child. Some programs are very structured and academically focused, while others are more concerned with allowing your child to play and socialize.

Sending your child to preschool can also have benefits for you. Handing over your child into the care of the staff at the preschool can allow you to enjoy some time to yourself, to run some errands without having to look after your child at the same time, or to go to work.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5100230

By Sarah L. Harris