10 Passover Craft Activities

Passover,m also known as Pesach is the Jewish festival celebrating the exodus of the Israelite’s from Egyptian slavery. There are craft ideas in the link below that are fun as well as improving fine motor skills including writing, cutting, gluing, painting and buttoning.

Other skills developed from these activities include attention to task, following directions, following two- step commands, and listening.

8 fun crafts to get kids ready for Passover

8 Passover activities to do with your kids

9 great Passover crafts

10 kid friendly crafts for Passover

15 DIY Passover Seder plates your kids will love to make

15 Passover games and activities

Passover activity pages for kids

Passover crafts for kids

Passover teacher resources

Planning a child-friendly Seder

COVID-19 and Handwashing Powerpoint

Most news today whether it is social media, newsprint or broadcasting, focuses on the crisis of the COVID-19. It seems information changes everyday and we are still learning ways to protect ourselves. When the news of COVID-19 first appear, there was emphasis on the implications for people who have severe underlying conditions  such as heart or lung disease and diabetes. The picture painted were people that were over the age of 65 who were more likely to be at risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19.

It occurred to me that very little information indicated that people with disabilities and special risk also fall under the high risk category. for us who are parents or professionals  (in some cases both), we know the dangers of this deadly disease for children and adults with serious medical issues.

Many special needs children and adults have co-occurring issues including chronic heart disease, GI issues, diabetes, asthma, seizure disorders, GERD, and breathing issues.

For this reason, it is all the more reason to ensure that professionals, frontline staff and families know how to hand wash properly.  The Powerpoint focuses on the transmission of the virus as well as the appropriate way to wash hands. You will find the link to the Powerpoint at the bottom of the page.

COVID-19 and Hand Washing

Oatmeal Cookie Activity

This is a fun activity for students and adults with special needs who would like to work on increasing their fine motor skills. This activity includes both a coloring and tracing activity. you can make several copies to print out for additional practice at a later time. Click on the link on the bottom of the page.

Download the activity here: COLORING AND TRACING ACTIVITY

 

Printable Down Syndrome Fact Sheet

Today is the last day to recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

You can download a free printed copy of the Down syndrome fact sheet, providing information on the types, prevalence, definition, signs and symptoms, and teaching strategies. Further information includes a list of Down syndrome organizations and foundations.

Click here to download

Special Needs COVID-19 Resources and Information

Hi Everyone, Like most people in the world, the COVID-19 Virus has greatly impacted my own little universe. Living in the epicenter of the virus at last count, almost 4,000 people in my county have tested positive. I too seek ways to live a normal life in these trying times.  Its been very challenging to continue to write articles on special needs with so much is going on in the world.

Looking to see how I can help others during this time, I created COVID-19 virus page which I will continue to add more information as we learn more. I advise you to stay tune to both local news and get regular updates from the CDC as they update on a regular basis. If you are a reader from another County, please check on updates from your government on a regular basis.

Please all stay safe during these trying times, continue to help one another and we will come out from this better and stronger.

 

Articles on what you need to know about the COVID-19 Virus:

CDC

CNET.Com

RWJ Barnabas Health

Washington Post

UNICEF- What parents should know

CDC Resources

Cases in the United States

Community and Faith Based Leaders

How to prepare

Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs

Travel

The following are free social stories on Teachers Pay Teachers Must have a log on account):

COVID-19 No Print Social Story

COVID 19 and Social distancing Story

COVID 19 Social Narrative

Social Narrative for Autism

The following links and information comes  from the U.S. Education Department. Check for updated information:

Additional Resources for Higher Education Institutions:

Schools should continue promoting everyday disease prevention strategies:

  • If you are sick, stay home from school.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or the crook of your arm.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Consult this web page for further guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

Schools can share relevant CDC fact sheets to help students, families, and staff understand COVID-19 along with steps they can take to protect themselves:

COVID-19 and Special Needs

Best practices in using telemedicine for ADHD during the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus and Anxiety

How to help a child with autism adjust

Supporting families through COVID-19

Handwashing

CDC- Handwashing Training and Education-Includes lessons and activities for all ages including a 30-page PDF and age appropriate handwashing curriculum.

Free Printables– Activities from nourishinteractive.com, includes handwashing worksheets, lesson plans and a math sequencing worksheet that teaches the important steps to good handwashing techniques.

Kids Handwashing Coloring Page– Developed by Lancaster County Health Department including 2 coloring pages and instructions on how to wash your hands properly.

Teach-nology- A lesson plan for kids pre-school age which discusses germs and how germs make people sick.

Why We Wash Our Hands– From Florida Health Department for children ages 3-41/2. The lesson educates children on how to prevent common health problems by developing handwashing skills.

The following articles are links to articles specific to handwashing and the COVID-19 virus:

CDC- Handwashing and Prevention

Family Doctor

UNICEF

USAToday

The following are worksheets to keep your little ones busy during this time:

Identify Money Freebie

Free Printable Money WorkSheets

Free Skip Counting by 5″s Worksheet

 

St. Patrick Day Activities

St. Patrick’s Day is finally here!! Did you know that St. Patrick’s day celebrates the Roman Catholic feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. One way to celebrate  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. The following are links to fine motor activities:

Fine Motor Activities

20 St. Patrick’s Day activities for kid’s fine motor and sensory skills– Growing hands on kids

33 St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids that boost fine motor skills– Hands on As We Grow

Charmingly fun St. Patrick’s day fine motor- The Letters of Literacy

St. Patrick’s Day fine motor activities– Pink Oatmeal

St. Patrick Day fine motor activities– Pre K Pages

St. Patrick’s Day fine motor activities– Trillium Montessori

St. Patrick’s Day fine motor activities for kids– Little Bins, Little Hands

St. Patrick’s Day fine motor activities kids will love– STEAMsational

St. Patrick’s Day kids fine motor activities– Mess for Less

Sensory Activities

Sensory activities serve the purpose of supporting growth in the area of cognitive development and problem-solving. Sensory play focuses on stimulating the senses of touch sight, hearing and movement.

Sensational St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Activities- Letters of Literacy

St. Patrick’s Day sensory bin– Teaching Mama

St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Bin and Activities– Fantastic Fun and Learning

St. Patrick’s Day Sensory Jars– Fun Littles

St. Patrick’s Day sensory play– Fantastic Fun and Learning

St. Patrick’s Day sensory play and craft- No Time For Flashcards

Free Printable Cerebral Palsy Fact Sheet

Want to learn more about Cerebral Palsy?  The following is a fact sheet that provides information on the facts of cerebral palsy including the definition and the prevalence, signs, types, and causes.

The fact sheet also includes information on teaching strategies and organizational resources.

Download fact sheet here

Cerebral Palsy- Facts and Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is the most common motor disability in childhood. It is estimated that an average of 1 in 345 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy

The following are facts and statistics worldwide on cerebral palsy:

  • Around 764,000 people in the United states have at least one symptom of cerebral palsy
  • Around 10,000 babies are born each year with cerebral palsy
  • Boys are diagnosed more often than girls
  • Cerebral palsy is the mot commonly diagnosed childhood motor disability in the United States
  • Over 77% of children with cerebral palsy have the spastic form
  • More than 50% of all children with cerebral palsy can walk independently
  • African American children with cerebral palsy are 1.7 times more likely to need assistance with walking or be unable to walk at all
  • Around 41% of babies and children with cerebral palsy will have limited abilities in crawling, walking and running.
  • Around 41% children with cerebral palsy in the United states have some form of a cognitive disorder
  • Behavior problems are common in children with cerebral palsy including social skills and anger issues.
  • Seizures are a common associate disorder of cerebral palsy and can range from mild to extreme severe.
  • There is no known cure
Australia Facts and Statistics
  • 1 in 700 Australian babies is diagnosed each year
  • 1 in 2 is in chronic pain
  • 1 in 2 has an intellectual disability
  • 1 in 3 cannot walk
  • 1 in 4 also has epilepsy
  • 1 in 3 has hip displacement
  • 1 in 4 cannot talk
  • 1 in 4 has a behavior disorder
  • 1 in 5 is tube fed
  • 1 in 5 has a sleep disorder
  • 1 in 10 has a severe vision impairment
  • 1 in 25 has a severe hearing impairment
United Kingdom- Facts and Statistics
  • The current United Kingdom incidence rate is around 1 in 400 births
  • Approximately 1800 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year
  • There are an estimated 30,000 children with cerebral palsy in the United Kingdom
  • For every 100 girls with cerebral palsy, there are 135 boys with cerebral palsy
  • just under half of children with cerebral palsy were born prematurely
  • One in three children with cerebral palsy is unable to walk
  • One in four children with cerebral palsy cannot feed or dress themselves
  • one in four children with cerebral palsy has a learning disability
  • one in fifty children with cerebral palsy has a hearing impairment

 

Resources

Cerebral Palsy Alliance-Australia

Cerebral Palsy Guidance

The Pace Centre Organization

Teaching Children and Adults with Rare Diseases

February 28th is the official day of bringing awareness to rare diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, in the United States, a rare disease is defined as a condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people. Definition of rare disease vary from country to county. In Europe affect 1in 2,000 people and in Canada, more than 3.5 million or 10percent of the population are diagnosed with a rare disease.

Facts You Should Know About Rare Diseases

  • There are over 300 million people living with one or more of over 6,000 identified rare diseases around the world
  • Each rare disease may only affect a handful of people but taken together directly affected is equivalent to the population of the world’s third largest country.
  • rare diseases currently affect 3.5%-5.9% of the worldwide population.
  • 72% of rare diseases are genetic while others are the result of infections.(bacterial or viral).
  • 70% of those genetic diseases start in childhood
  • About 30 million people or 1 in 10 people in the United States are affected by a rare disease
  • 95% of rare diseases do not have FDA-approval treatment.

Most children diagnosed with rare diseases are more than likely to also exhibit some form of learning disabilities including intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, speech and motor issues. Also, you may find in addition to an intellectual disabilities, students may also have medical issues including epilepsy and ongoing medical concerns.

While it is impossible to know and remember all of the signs and symptoms of rare diseases, the key is to teaching students based on their level of development. The following are useful teaching strategies when teaching students diagnosed with a rare disease:

  1. Teaching should include using multisensory teaching strategies by engaging students on multiple levels by encouraging students to use their senses. This is done by utilizing learning that includes visual (text, pictures, flash cards), auditory (music, songs),tactile (textured items, clay), kinesthetic (games, movement activities), taste ( cooking activities).
  2. Use concrete items and give examples
  3. Use hands on material as much as possible
  4. Break longer, new task into smaller task. Use task analysis.
  5. In some instances, children may have tactile and sensory issues.Signs include over and under reacting to pain, avoiding messy textures, picky eaters, and reacting to loud and sudden noises. Strategies include using a sensory diet and create activities using play doh or silly putty.

The following are articles and links to further information on rare diseases found in this blog:

Aicardi Syndrome– A rare genetic disorder that occurs in 1 in 105,000 to 167,000 newborns in the United states and occurs exclusively in females. People with Aicardi Syndrome often have undeveloped tissue which connects the left and right halves of the brain.

Angelman Syndrome– A genetic disorder that affects the nervous system. Characteristics include developmental delays, intellectual disabilities and speech impairments.

Chromosome 22q11.2 (DiGeorge Syndrome)- a rare disorder that is caused by deletion in chromosome 22 located specifically in the middle of the chromosome in the area. It affects 1 out of 4,000 births. Symptoms include developmental delays, poor muscle tone, learning development and feeding issues.

Cri Du Chat– A rare genetic disorder that results when a piece of the 5p Chromosome is deleted. Characteristics include intellectual disability, hyperactivity, and developmental delay.

Dravet Syndrome– A rare form of epilepsy found in children. Symptoms include developmental delays, sleeping conditions, and chronic infections.

Duchenne Muscular– Occurs in 1 out of 3,600 male infants and is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration. early signs include muscle weakness in the hips, pelvic area, thighs and shoulder affecting delayed motor skills, sitting and walking.

Landau Kleffner– Characterized by the gradual or sudden loss of language in children between the ages of 5 and 7.

Lowe Syndrome– Is a rare genetic disorder that affects the eyes, brain and kidneys. It has a prevalence of 1 in 500,000 and mainly affects males.

Prader Willi– A genetic disorder resulting from an abnormality of chromosome 15. It is found in 1 in 20,000 births affecting both sexes. It is also the most common recognized genetic form of obesity.

Rett Syndrome– A neurodevelopmental disorder occurring mostly in females in which the child exhibits reduce muscle tone, and autistic-like behaviors including hand movements consisting of wringing and waving. It is a rare disorder that affects about 1 out of 10,000 children.

Williams Syndrome– A rare disorder with a prevalence of 1 in 7,500 to 20,000 caused by the deletion of genetic material from chromosome 7. Signs and symptoms include moderate intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities.

 

Teaching Counting to Special Needs Students

Teaching individuals to count is an early prerequisite to working on money skills. Before starting to work on a counting goals, students should be able to count numbers 1- 100. Make sure to break any counting activities into short, easy-to-manage steps and provide clear expectations.

6 methods for teaching money counting-Thought Co.

7 ways to teaching counting to 100- Raising Da Vinci

10 tips to teach numbers and alphabets to children with autism– The Learning App

Counting Strategies– National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Easy way to teach preschool children to count– VeryWell

Math: Counting and Comparing– The Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity

Skip Counting for Autism– Autism Educators

Teaching Counting- The Autism Helper

Teaching Counting Skills– The Autism Helper

Teaching Counting– National Center on Intensive Intervention