Attention Skills Strategies

Attention is defined as the ability to keep the mind on something and the ability to concentrate. Skills often include careful observation or listening. The ability for a student to sustain attention, motivation, language, and sensory intervention. Children with autism, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, executive functioning disorders, and Cri du Chat have difficulty sustaining attention over a long period of time.

Strategies they may provide to be useful include:

  • Eye Contact
  • Repeat instructions
  • Provide frequent breaks
  • Use in a leadership role.
  • Provide choices in test-taking
  • Ongoing prompting.

The following are articles on ways to improve concentration and attention:

4 concentration activities for students – Getting Smart

7 in-class activities to improve concentration in children-TEACH

10 Games to boost attention and focus– Heart-Mind Online

Attention Activities– The OT Toolbox

Activities that help develop attention skills– Boise Speech and Hearing Clinic

Attention and Concentration– Kidsense

Brain training activities– Our Journey Westward

Pay attention: Ten steps to improving attention and concentration- ADHD Center

The attention games: Catching focus through fun– Additude

Using play to increase attention– Miss Jaime OT

Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Weighted Blanket

Published by: Forbes Magazine

It seems like every category of bedding is getting an upgrade these days, whether it’s in the form of memory foam mattresses or custom pillows.

Chances are you’ve heard friends or family discussing these new product types, or maybe even saw someone receive one as a gift this past holiday season. But while weighted blankets have exploded in popularity in recent years, this innovative product isn’t necessarily new — it’s long been used in the special needs community, helping individuals on the autism spectrum, among others. Still, it wasn’t until companies like Gravity Blanket brought their flagship designs to the broader public that people began thinking of it not as a niche medical device, but a general sleep aid for the wider community.

Want to learn what all the hype is about? Here’s everything you need to know about weighted blankets, from their many benefits to how you can find one that perfectly complements your style of sleeping. Click here to read the rest of the story.

10 Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activites

Here are some fun fine motor activities to do with your students. Children and adults with special needs often face challenges with coordination of the small muscles that affect writing, and grasping objects. These activities will help students both strengthen and maintain abilities in fine motor control and dexterity. For these activities, you will need the following supplies:

  • scissors
  • construction paper
  • glue or paste

50 Easy Valentine’s Day Crafts and Activities- From the Thrifty Kiwi

Brain-Building Valentines Activities– From Integrated Learning Strategies

Heart Bunny Rabbit Craft– From Crafty Morning

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activity– From No Time For Flash Cards

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activity– From The Resourceful Mama

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Activity for Preschool– From Pre-K Pages

Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Sparkle Craft –  From The OT Toolbox

Valentine’s Day Tree Paper Craft– From Housing a Forest

Valentine’s Day Scissor Cutting Practice Tray– From I heart Crafty Things

Valentine Heart ORCA Whale Craft- From Crafty Morning

Free President’s Day Activities

Here are some free activities to work on to honor President’s Day. This article includes 3 activities. the first is a President trivia activity. This activity gives the student an opportunity to look up information on past Presidents using their research skills on the computer.

The second activity reinforces counting skills. The student will first identify the coins and then will count each box and place the correct number in the box below. The third activity focuses on fine motor skills giving the student the opportunity to trace and identify the word of each coin.

 

Download the links below:

president day trivia

president day trivia answers sheet

counting presidents

president trace.coins

 

Finding a Creative Outlet With ADHD

Published by: Psychcentral.com
Written by: Neil Petersen

Here’s something I think every ADHDer should try: a creative hobby of some kind.

For me, my main creative outlets are playing and writing music, but the range of creative hobbies you can try is limitless, from writing to drawing and photography to crafting.

Although creative projects can be a fun way for anyone to relax, there’s something about the way the ADHD brain works that seems an especially good fit to any hobby involving some kind of creative process.

The thing about creative activities is that they’re open-ended, and you have room to go in whatever direction your impulses take you. When you’re creating something new, taking off in an unexpected direction isn’t getting distracted, it’s just having a moment of inspiration!

If you’re like most ADHDers, you do many things in daily life that aren’t open-ended in this way. I mean, OK, everyday tasks such as grocery shopping can be a little open-ended, but if you get too creative with them, the results probably won’t be what you intended! Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

What is Turner Syndrome?

February is Turner Syndrome Awareness Month. It is a rare disease that occurs in between one and 2,000 birth only affecting females. Turner Syndrome has several names including Ullrich-Turner Syndrome, Bonnevie-Ullrich-Turner Syndrome. gonadal dysgenesis and 45X. This rare disease is the result of the absence of one set of genes from the short arm of one X chromosome.

Special Needs Challenges

While girls and women with Turner Syndrome usually have normal intelligence, there is a risk of learning disabilities involving spatial concepts including math and memory and ADHD

Teaching Strategies:

Young girls diagnosed with Turner Syndrome during their early development may have delays in learning the alphabet, speech, difficulty in following one command at a time and conceptual difficulties such as up and down. Signs and symptoms of math or dyscalculia challenges include difficulty with counting money, estimating time, losing track when counting and remembering phone numbers or zip codes. The following strategies should be used when teaching students diagnosed with Turner Syndrome:

  • Use flashcards to aid in memory as well as workbooks, games and video’s.
  • Break learning into smaller steps by using a task analysis framework.
  • Administer probing and feedback as a check in
  • Model instructional practices
  • Provide prompts
  • Use visuals such as diagrams, graphics and pictures.
  • Give clear directions
  • Use multiple models including visual and auditory learning models
  • Make sure directions are clear
  • Allow time to process and take notes

 

Resources

Associations
Turner Syndrome Foundation
Turner Syndrome Society of the United States
Turner Syndrome Support Society- UK

February Day Habilitation Activity Ideas

February has arrived!! here in the northeast, it is seasonably warm , but still the month known for groundhog and valentine’s day. The following are February observances, celebrations, events, and holidays that can be used as ideas for your Day Habilitation Program.

Keep in mind the following when planning activities for individuals with special needs:

  • People with intellectual/developmental disabilities are more likely to learn when using a multi-sensory approach which includes engaging people on all levels where they are able to use some of their senses. For example a cooking activity should include, allowing individuals to see what they are doing, taste, smell, and touch, etc.
  • Make sure each activity is broken into small steps
  • Use continuous probing
  • Provide prompting strategies such as independence, verbal, gestural, hand over hand and physical prompting.
  • Allow extra time to complete the task
  • Give immediate feedback including praise.

Study: Horseback Riding Helps Kids With Autism, ADHD

Therapeutic horseback riding combined with brain-building exercises can improve the dexterity, coordination, and strength of children with neurodevelopmental disorders, shows a study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science.

Neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), affect as many as one in six American children. Physical activity is known to benefit these patients in a variety of ways, but this is the first study showing the short- and long-term effects of a program combining horseback riding and cognitive training.

“We wanted to investigate how a combination of equine-assisted activities and various brain-building tasks, administered by a speech therapist, would affect motor skills in children with disorders including autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity,” says Brandon Rigby, PhD, MS, of the Texas Woman’s University, in Denton. Click here to read the rest of the story

Free Skip Counting by 5″s Worksheet

Learning to skip count helps students in many ways including seeing patterns in numbers and preparing students for more complex math skills including adding, subtraction and multiplication. It ialso helps students to learn how to count forward and backwards develop entry levels skills to developing money management skills.

Use the worksheets below to practice skip counting by five’s

counting  cherries worksheet

 

counting ice cream cones worksheets

 

counting sea shells

 

counting water bottles

counting stars

 

Developmental Disability Awareness Ribbons

Awareness ribbons inn recent history began when Penney Laingen used the ribbon ass a symbol of vigilance ( from the song, Tie a Ribbon Around the Ole Oak Tree) when she tied a yellow ribbon around the oak tree in her front yard when her husband, Bruce Laingen. a top-ranking U.S. diplomat was a hostage during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. This was followed by the red ribbon during the AIDS epidemic and the pink ribbon bringing awareness to breast cancer.

Ribbons have long been used as a way to bring awareness and raise consciousness for a cause. Ribbons and disability awareness has evolved from brining awareness to various disability topics such as sensitivity, core information, inclusion and advocacy to including information in various formats including resources, activities and print information. People are using social media as a means to promote awareness including using hashtags and setting up Facebook pages specifically for disability awareness.

The Ribbons below in staying consistent with the Special Needs Resource Blog, focus on ribbons that bring awareness to developmental disability and special needs issues. Awareness is only a part of educating and training people on disability awareness. Any training activities should also include acceptance.

Awareness Ribbons

Autism Spectrum Disorder- The Autism ribbon continues to evolve overtime. The puzzle piece was first used in 1963 by a parent and board member of the National Autistic Society in London indicating the puzzling, confusing nature of autism. In 1999, the puzzle piece ribbon   was adopted as the universal sign of autism awareness by the Autism Society reflecting the complexity of the autism spectrum. Overtime, the both the puzzle and ribbon have become a symbol for seeing autism as something that is puzzling an needs to be fixed rather than acceptance. A more positive symbol includes the infinity loop used as a symbol for acceptance rather than awareness.

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Epilepsy

Cerebral Palsy

Down Syndrome

Purple Awareness Ribbon

epilepsy ribbon

Down Syndrome

down syndrome ribbon

Down Syndrome

Lime Green Ribbon

lime awarenss ribbon

Muscular Dystrophy 

Spinal Cord Injuries

Orange Awareness Ribbon

adhd.ribbon

ADHD

Multiple Sclerosis,

Sensory Processing DisorderRett Syndrome

Blue Awareness Ribbon

hydrapany.ribbon

Apraxia,

Cri Du Chat,

Hydrocephalus

Light Blue Awareness Ribbon

Trisomy 18,

DiGeorge Syndrome

 Observance  Awareness Months

February

Turner Syndrome Awareness

March

 Trisomy18

Kidney Awareness

Multiple Sclerosis

Cerebral Palsy

Developmental Disabilities

April

Autism

Auditory Processing Disorder

May

Apraxia

Cri Du Chat

Cystic Fibrosis

Williams Syndrome

June

Dravet Syndrome Day

July

Fragile X Syndrome

National Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

September

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day

Hydrocephalus

Sickle Cell Anemia

Spinal Cord Injuries

October

ADD/ADHD

Down Syndrome

Rett Syndrome

Sensory Processing Disorder

November

DiGeorge Syndrome

Epilepsy