4 Tips On Task Initiation For Children and Adults

Task Initiation is often a challenge for children and adults with an executive functioning disorder. For a child, it may be lack of initiative in doing homework while for an adult, it may include forgetting or putting off paying bills. Children and adults with task initiation issues generally have a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, Intellectual disability or a learning disorder.

Signs of a task initiation impaired executive functioning skill would be someone having difficulty in getting started on a task and keeping the effort needed in order to complete the task. A child or an adult require external cues in order to complete the task. Also, it will require understanding what is expected and understanding the task. Here are a few strategies:

  1. Limit Distractions. In the classroom any type of added sensory input can defer the student from getting started in their school work.
  2. Create a List. Visual support will help to increase getting the work done for a school-age child, you may want to create a to-do list which the steps are broken down into smaller steps. When a person with an executive function is given a task, it may be overwhelming, making it more difficult to get started.
  3. Use Cues. A clock or a timer will help the child or adult stay on time and understanding the amount of time it will take to complete a task
  4. Break task down. Create where the work is done in chunks so that the work will not be as overwhelming for the student.

16 Must-Read Training Resources In The U.K.

There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the U.K.- An estimated 1 in 100 people are affected. Studies also show that 60% of teachers in England do not feel they have adequate training to teach children with autism.

Thankfully across the U.K., a number of trainings that focus on autism help parents, professionals, caregivers and educators learn more about the autism spectrum disorder. below are links to trainings in the U.K.

England

Autism West Midlands
  • Autism West Midlands supports families and people with autism. Seminars and workshops are offered as well as an annual conference on autism.
Child Autism U.K.
  • Child Autism U.K. provides information and support for parents of children with autism. Training courses for parents includes beginner ABA and social skills.
The National Autistic Society- 
  • Leading U.K. charity for autistic children and their families. Provides information, support and services. NAS offers scheduled training events, in-house training and online training modules including training modules on communication, sensory experiences, stress and anxiety and physical activity.

Northern Ireland

Autism Initiatives
  • Provides a range of person-centered services throughout the U.K. Autism Initiatives Northern Ireland includes a learning and development department which is designed to meet the needs of all professional staff. Upcoming training topics for July includes, Understanding Autism, Epilepsy Awareness, and Keeping Children Safe. E-Learning courses are also available.
Autism NI
  • Northern Ireland’s longest-serving autism charity and training provider. Autism NI  provides family support workshops and discussion group. Training topics include, Fundamentals of Autism, Understanding Social Skills, Sensory Processing, and PECS training courses are held off-site.
Centre For Autism
  • Provides a wide range of training for professionals working with autistic children to parents, educators and caregivers. The organization also publishes a research bulletin designed to meet the needs of professionals working in education with autistic children. Trainings for parents include topics on, transition, sensory processing and life skills
PEAT
  • PEAT provides a wide range of training services for parents of children with autism and professionals involved with individuals with autism. PEAT provides in-house training and tailors made programs to meet the needs of parent groups and specific organizations.
The National Autistic Society, Northern Ireland
  • Provides information, support and training for autistic people, families, and professionals. Offers a variety of scheduled events, courses and online training modules.

Scotland

Autism Forth Valley
  • The Autism Forth Valley Website includes a table which contains information on training providers and courses including university courses on autism, professional organizations and social service agencies.
NHS Education for Scotland
  • NES offers a wide range of education and training support for both clinical and non-clinical staff in Scotland. Formats include e-learning, workbooks, publications and blended learning.
Scottish Autism
  • Provides a wide range of support services across Scotland for individuals with autism, their families and professionals. Scottish Autism offers external training core courses including, Introduction to Autism and Autism Profiling.

Wales

ASDinfoWales
  • An E-learning introductory course on autism spectrum disorder. Participants will be asked to answer a series of 20 questions. Once completed, participants will receive a certification.
Awares
  • Provides a library with a wealth of information on autism topics from previous conferences in Microsoft PowerPoint format. Geared towards professionals however this are also useful information for parents as well. Sample topics include; psychosexual development in ASD, A guide for practioners and resources for families living in Wales.
Learning Disability Wales
  • Training program includes a range of person-centered and practical courses for people in the public, voluntary and private sectors as well as parents and caregivers. Courses include a fee at an onsite facility. Training topics include, An Introduction to Mindfulness and Making Information Easy to Read and Understand
Ringway Training

A training provider delivering online courses on autism for professionals working with children, young people and adults on a host of topics including, Autism Spectrum Condition Advance Level Training and Autism and ADHD

The National Autistic Society/Wales
  • Offers a host of free one-hour webinars for teachers, professionals and parents. The website includes two series of one hour webinars on various topics such as, promoting inclusion, preventing bullying, and neurodevelopment and social competence in autism spectrum disorder.

World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. A campaign designed to create a single voice for advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down Syndrome. Resources on this page include information on inspiring articles and facts on people with Down Syndrome.

Post From Special Needs Resource Blog:

20 Facts You Should Know About Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome Characteristics

Facts About Down Syndrome (Infographic)

Top Books On Down Syndrome For Parents and Professionals

The following are articles highlighting stories around the country on Down syndrome:

Clemson Student With Down Syndrome To Compete In Pageant

Couple with Down Syndrome Celebrate 22 Years of Marriage

Displaying The Myths of Down’s Syndrome

First Person With Down Syndrome Finishes Local Half-Marathon

Funny Down Syndrome Ad Will Change The Way You Feel about “Special Needs”

Get To Know Madeline Stuart, The World’s First Supermodel With Down Syndrome

Swimmers with Down Syndrome Find Empowerment in the Pool

Walgreens Features Model With Down Syndrome

Woman With Down Syndrome Starts Her Own Bakery

World Syndrome Day Marked In Georgia

National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities

 

NACDD

Through the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, created the State Councils on Developmental Disabilities which serves to coordinate and provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities. In the United States, there are 56 councils focusing on advocacy, systems change, and capacity building.

Alabama
Executive Director: Elmyra Jones-Banks
Phone: 334-242-3973
www.acdd.org

Alaska
Executive Director: Patrick Reinhart
Phone: 907-269-8990
www.dhss.alaska.gov

American Samoa
Executive Director: Norma Smith
Phone: 684-633-2696

Arizona
Executive Director: Erica McFadden
Phone: 602-542-8977
www.azdes.gov/addpc

Arkansas
Executive Director: Eric Munson
Phone/TDD: 501-682-2897
www.ddcouncil.org 

California
Executive Director: Aaron Carruthers
Phone: 916-322-8481
www.scdd.ca.gov

Colorado
Executive Director: Marcia Tewell
Phone/TDD: 720-941-0176
www.coddc.org

Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands
Executive Director: Pamela Sablan
Phone: 670-664-7000/1
www.cnmicdd.org

Connecticut
Executive Director: Melissa Marshall
Phone: 860-418-6160
www.ct.gov/ctcdd

Delaware
Executive Director: Pat Maichle
Phone: 302-739-3333
www.ddc.delaware.gov

District of Columbia
Executive Director: Mat McCollough
Phone: 202-724-8612
http://ddc.dc.gov

Florida
Executive Director:Valerie Breen
Phone: 850-488-4180
www.fddc.org

Georgia
Executive Director: Eric Jacobson
Phone: 888-275-4233
www.gcdd.org

Guam
Executive Director: Roseanna Ada
Phone: 671-735-9127
www.gddc.guam.gov

Hawaii
Executive Director: Waynette Cabral
Phone: 808-586-8100
www.hiddc.org

Idaho
Executive Director: Christine Pisani
Phone: 208-334-2178 or
1-800-544-2433
www.icdd.idaho.gov

Illinois
Executive Director: Kim Mercer
Phone: 312-814-2080
www.state.il.us/agency/icdd

Indiana
Executive Director: Christine Dahlberg
Phone: 317-232-7770
www.in.gov/gpcpd

Iowa
Executive Director: Becky Harker
Phone: 800-452-1936
http://iddcouncil.idaction.org

Kansas
Executive Director: Steve Gieber
Phone: 785-296-2608
www.kcdd.org

Kentucky
Executive Director: MaryLee Underwood
Phone: 502-564-7841
www.kyccdd.com

Louisiana
Executive Director: Sandee Winchell
Phone: 225-342-6804
www.laddc.org

Maine
Executive Director: Nancy Cronin
Phone: 207-287-4213
www.maineddc.org

Maryland
Executive Director: Brian Cox
Phone: 410-767-3670
www.md-council.org

Massachusetts
Executive Director: Dan Shannon
Phone: 617-770-7676
www.mass.gov/mddc

Michigan
Executive Director: Vendella Collins
Phone: 517-335-3158
www.michigan.gov/mdch

Minnesota
Executive Director: Colleen Wieck
Phone: 651-296-4018
www.mncdd.org

Mississippi
Executive Director: Charles Hughes
Phone: 601-359-6238
www.mscdd.org

Missouri
Executive Director: Vicky Davidson
Phone: 573-751-8611
www.moddcouncil.org

Montana
Executive Director: Deborah Swingley
Phone: 406-443-4332
Fax: 406-443-4192
www.mtcdd.org

Nebraska
Executive Director: Kristen Larson
Phone: 402-471-2330
www.dhhs.ne.gov/ddplanning

Nevada
Executive Director: Sherry Manning
Phone: 775-684-8619
www.nevadaddcouncil.org

New Hampshire
Executive Director: Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre
Phone: 603-271-3236
www.nhddc.org

New Jersey
Executive Director: Kevin Casey
Phone: 609-292-3745
www.njcdd.org

New Mexico
Executive Director: John Block III
Phone: 505-841-4519
www.nmddpc.com

New York
Executive Director: Sheila Carey
Phone: 518-486-7505
www.ddpc.ny.gov

North Carolina
Executive Director: Chris Egan
Phone/TDD: 919-850-2901
www.nccdd.org

North Dakota
Executive Director: Julie Horntvedt
Phone: 701-328-4847
www.ndscdd.org

Ohio
Executive Director: Carolyn Knight
Phone: 614-466-5205
www.ddc.ohio.gov

Oklahoma
Executive Director: Ann Trudgeon
Phone:  405-521-4984
www.okddc.ok.gov

Oregon
Executive Director: Jaime Daignault
Phone: 503-945-9941
www.ocdd.org

Pennsylvania
Executive Director: Graham Mulholland
Phone: 717-787-6057
www.paddc.org

Puerto Rico
Executive Director: Myrainne Roa
Phone: 787-722-0590
www.cedd.pr.gov/cedd

Rhode Island
Executive Director: Kevin Nerney
Phone: 401-737-1238
www.riddc.org

South Carolina
Executive Director: Valarie Bishop
Phone: 803-734-0465
www.scddc.state.sc.us

South Dakota
Executive Director: Arlene Poncelet
Phone: 605-773-6369
www.dhs.sd.gov/ddc

Tennessee
Executive Director: Wanda Willis
Phone: 615-532-6615
www.tn.gov/cdd

Texas
Executive Director: Beth Stalvey
Phone: 512-437-5432
www.tcdd.texas.gov

Utah
Executive Director: Claire Mantonya
Phone/TDD: 801-533-3965
www.utahddcouncil.org

Vermont
Executive Director: Kirsten Murphy
Phone: 802-828-1310
www.ddc.vermont.gov

Virgin Islands
Executive Director: Yvonne Peterson
Phone: 340-773-2323 Ext. 2137
www.dhs.gov.vi/disabilities

Virginia
Executive Director: Heidi Lawyer
Phone: 804-786-0016
www.vaboard.org

Washington
Executive Director: Ed Holen
Phone: 360-586-3560
www.ddc.wa.gov

West Virginia
Executive Director: Steve Wiseman
Phone: 304-558-0416
www.ddc.wv.gov

Wisconsin
Executive Director: Beth Swedeen
Phone: 608-266-7826
www.wi-bpdd.org

Wyoming
Executive Director: Shannon Buller
Phone: 307-777-7230
www.wgcdd.wyo.gov

 

10 Must Read Articles On Special Needs Children and Safety

 

safety

According to the National Autism Association, children with special needs are at an increase risk for injuries than the general population. The following article links provide information on additional tips and resources on a variety of safety topics.

7 safety strategies for kids with special needs

How to teach fire safety to special needs kids

Keeping children with disabilities safe

Keeping your autistic child safe

Special needs children and safety

Teach home and community safety skills to kids with special needs

Teaching stranger safety skills to children and adults with disabilities

Teaching stranger safety to kids with autism

The importance of teaching children body safety

Traffic safety for children with special needs

2017 Disability Awareness Month and Observances

Awareness campaigns serve the purpose of informing and educating people on a certain causes. Each year, the number of special needs organizations bringing awareness to specific disabilities and disorders seems to grow. Awareness activities range from one day to a month.

Here is a calendar of major special needs awareness months, weeks, and days. Most websites include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets.

awareness-header

January

January 4- World Braille Day

National Birth Defects National Month

February

February 15- International Angelman Day

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Week February 13-19

March

Down Syndrome Awareness Week March 18- 24 (United Kingdom)

Brain Injury Awareness Month

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Multiple Sclerosis Month

National Tuberculosis Awareness Month

Social Work Month

Trisomy Awareness Month

April

Auditory Processing Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month

Occupational Therapy Month

May

May 5- Cri Du Chat International Day

International Cri Du Chat Awareness Week May 1-7

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

Apraxia Awareness Month

Better Speech and Hearing Month

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

Prader Willi Awareness Month

Williams Syndrome Awareness Month

June

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week June 24-30

Dravet Syndrome Awareness Month

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month

July

National Fragile X Awareness Month

August

Aicardi Syndrome Awareness Month

September

Craniofacial Acceptance Month

Hydrocephalus Awareness Month

National Spinal Cord Injury Month Awareness

Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Month

October

October 6- World Cerebral Palsy Day

OCD Awareness Week- October 8-14

ADHD Awareness Month

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

National Disability Awareness Month

National Dyslexia Awareness Month

National Physical Therapy Month

Rett Syndrome Awareness Month

Sensory Processing Awareness Month

Special Needs Law Month

Spinal Bifida Awareness Month

November

November 4- National Stress Awareness Month

22q Awareness Month

Epilepsy Awareness Month

December

December 3- International Day of Persons With Disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

December Special Needs Article Links

specialneedslinks

Welcome to the December links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of December on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

10 good reasons to hire a person with Asperger’s (Hub Pages)

How to decrease tactile defensiveness in children with sensory processing disorder (Brain Balance)

Is there a link between sensory processing disorder and anxiety? (Psych Central)

Local yoga instructor brings yoga to classrooms (Learning Success)

People with autism make more logical decisions (The Conversation)

Points to consider when choosing materials (Active Learning Space)

Simple ways to help your child with ASD sleep without medicine (Autism Parenting Magazine)

Top 10 children’s books for kids with ADHD, learning differences and sensory processing disorder (Brain Balance)

What does success mean for an autistic woman? (Network Autism)

What it feels like to receive an Asperger’s diagnosed later in life (The Guardian)

What it’s like to be married to an ADHD husband (Attitude)

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays From:

logo

Special Needs Resource Blog will take a break during the holidays and will return Monday, January 2, 2017 with new information, tools and resources to post including more downloadable free tools and templates Monday thru Friday. I am excited and look forward to sharing more resources with you in the new year.
Thanks to all of you for following my blog this year. Wishing you and your families joy and peace all through the holidays and throughout the new year. May the spirit of the holidays be with you throughout the new year.  🙂  🙂

Speech-language Pathology and Adult Services

speech-word-cloud
Guest Blogger, Anne Marie Pineiro, M.A. CCC-SLP, 

Speech-language Pathologists serve individuals, families, and groups from diverse

linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Services are provided based on applying the

best available research evidence, using expert clinical judgments, and considering

clients’ individual preferences and values. Speech-language pathologists address

typical and atypical communication and swallowing in the following areas:

pragmatics (language use, social aspects of communication)

-literacy (reading, writing, spelling)

– prelinguistic communication (e.g., joint attention, intentionality, communicative signaling)

paralinguistic communication

  • cognition- attention,  memory,  sequencing,  problem solving,  executive functioning
  • feeding and swallowing- 4 phases of swallowing

-oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal

orofacial myology (including tongue thrust)

-oral-motor functions

Source:   http://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/SP2007-00283.pdf

In providing services to those Adults diagnosed with a variety of Developmental Disabilities, the SLP’s role may become much more defined, focusing on what is most functional to an individual in the areas of speech, receptive and expressive language (verbal or non-verbal communication) and feeding/ swallowing.  Very often we are attempting to assess and/or maintain an individual’s current level of functioning in the above areas and to train all those involved in the care of that individual in the strategies and implementation of them to achieve that goal.  In our Agency, for example, we break the assessment down into the following areas in order to develop functional and measurable outcomes:

Speech

  1. Does the individual use speech functionally to communicate wants/needs in a variety of settings?
  2. If so, is their speech understood by all, some, few communicative partners?  Are there any strategies a person might use to increase his/her intelligibility- modifying volume, rate, resonance, increasing fluency, etc.?  Does the person use Augmentative Communication to supplement speech when he/she cannot be understood e.g. low/high tech communication device, writing, American Sign Language, Picture Language Board, etc.

Language

  1. Receptive language (Language comprehension) including attention to objects, using objects functionally, identification of objects and/or pictures, comprehending one, two or three-step oral directives, vocabulary, comprehension of attributes and spatial relationships, or auditory comprehension on the word, sentence and paragraph levels.  Is comprehension on the literal or inferential levels?
  2. Expressive language- (Language expression)- for those who are verbal, the MLU (mean length of utterance) is assessed.  For non-verbal individuals, language expression can be in the form of pointing to one or two picture symbols consecutively on a picture language communication board or AAC device, writing or typing single words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs on paper, computer or AAC device.

-AAC device assessments for nonverbal individuals take into account the individual’s cognitive skills, physical abilities in order to access the device (direct selection with hand or finger, eye gaze, head pointer, switch/scanning, etc.), receptive and expressive language skills, communicative intent and pragmatic language abilities, and literacy.  All those involved in the individual’s care play an extremely important role in whether or not someone may receive an AAC device since they will be the ones to set up/take down the device and provide basic maintenance for the device, including programming, charging, etc.

Feeding and Swallowing:

Many people wonder why an SLP would be the one to review an individual’s mealtime plan or protocol.  ASHA guidelines state it best: “The speech-language pathologist is a primary professional involved in assessment and management of individuals with swallowing and feeding disorders. These areas include:

  • Performing clinical swallowing and feeding evaluation;
  • Performing instrumental assessment of swallowing function with medical professionals as appropriate;
  • Identifying normal and abnormal swallowing anatomy and physiology;
  • Identifying signs of possible or potential disorders in upper aerodigestive tract swallowing and making referrals to appropriate medical personnel;
  • Making decisions about management of swallowing and feeding disorders;
  • Developing treatment plans;
  • Providing treatment for swallowing and feeding disorders, documenting progress, and determining appropriate dismissal criteria;
  • Providing teaching and counseling to individuals and their families;
  • Educating other professionals on the needs of individuals with swallowing and feeding disorders and the speech-language pathologists’ role in the diagnosis and management of swallowing and feeding disorders;
  • Serving as an integral part of a team as appropriate;
  • Advocating for services for individuals with swallowing and feeding disorders;
  • Advancing the knowledge base through research activities.

In addition, Speech-language pathologists have extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and functional aspects of the upper aerodigestive tract for swallowing and speech across the age spectrum including infants, children, and adults (including geriatrics). The upper aerodigestive tract includes oral, pharyngeal, and cervical esophageal anatomic regions. Speech-language pathologists also have extensive knowledge of the underlying medical and behavioral etiologies of swallowing and feeding disorders. In addition, they have expertise in all aspects of communication disorders that include cognition, language, and behavioral interactions, many of which may affect the diagnosis and management of swallowing and feeding disorders.”

Source: http://www.asha.org/policy/TR2001-00150/#sec1.3

The dysphagia and feeding disorders that are seen in adults with developmental disability include poorly developed and absent feeding and oral preparation skills and competencies, physiological and anatomical impairments that degrade oral-pharyngeal and esophageal bolus motility, and disruptive or maladaptive mealtime behaviors. Nutrition, hydration, saliva management, ingestion of medications, and management of the oral hygiene bolus may be involved. Upper airway obstruction (choking), aspiration, malnutrition, and dehydration may result from the disorder (Rogers et al., 1994, Sheppard et al., 1988).  Source: http://www.asha.org/policy/TR2001-00150/#sec1.3

Therefore, in our Agency that serves Adults with Developmental Disabilities, the SLP works as one member of the Team, including the Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Nurse, Residential Team and Family Members to create a mealtime protocol or plan which simply states the best way to maximize nutrition while at the same time attempting to decrease incidents of choking (partial or complete blockage of the airway) or aspiration (food or liquid making its way into the lungs which can lead to aspiration pneumonia).  These plans are developed so that all involved in the individual’s care may be informed of the best feeding practices for that individual which include: adaptive mealtime equipment (any cup spoon, plate, straw, etc. used for an individual to improve ability to eat independently and to improve oral-motor control), positioning in chair or wheelchair, degrees of assistance needed for self-feeding, food and liquid consistencies, food allergies and intolerances, the presence of any mealtime behaviors, including rapid pace of eating which may increase risk of choking or aspiration, and any specific instructions the caregiver would find useful in feeding the individual or maximizing the individual’s ability to feed themselves.

I hope you find this information helpful in identifying the SLP’s role in providing services to adults with Developmental Disabilities.

This information is in no way intended to serve as a complete guide in this area, but is meant to simply assist in identifying ways the SLP works as part of the Interdisciplinary Team in serving adults with developmental disabilities in a day habilitation setting

15 Great Fidget Sensory Gifts For The Holidays

With the holidays approaching, finding the right gift for someone with sensory issues can be challenging. Fidget toys are great gifts for both children and adults, especially for children diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Fidget toys provides sensory input in a less distracting way. They can help improve concentration and attention to task and also help children and adults focus and remain calm as well as decreases stress and anxiety.Below are links to a variety of fidgets including texture, tactile and visual.

fidgetgifts

 

 Texture Fidgets

Tangle Creations Jr.- amazon.com
Metallic Texture-amazon.com
Brain Noodle-Therapy Shoppe
Tangle Hairy-Office Playground
Bumpy Gel Sensory Ball- Children’s Therapy Store
Palm Size Massage Balls- Therapy Shoppe

Stretch Fidgets

Stretching String-Therapy Shoppe
Stretchy Happy Face-Office Playground
Spaghetti Stress Ball- Office Playground
Pull and Stretch Bounce Balls-Amazon

Squeeze Fidgets

Poppin Peeters- Jet.com
Bug-Out Bob-especial needs

Chewy Fidgets

Oval Chewy Necklaces-Therapy Shoppe
Scented Textured Chew Stixx- Therapy Shoppe
Chewable Gem Beads Necklace-Stimtastic