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

 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich Lesson Plan

Goal: Increase Independent Living Skills

Lesson Objective: Student will make a grilled cheese sandwich with verbal assistance.

Prerequisite Skills: 

  • ability to use a knife
  • able to follow directions

Introduction: A fun and easy meal to make with an individual with a developmental disability is a grilled cheese sandwich. Very few ingredients are needed to make this tasty meal and it is often one of the first foods that many people learn to make.  This activity allows an opportunity for independence and a great reward when completed. The instructor will follow the following steps:

Step 1: The instructor will first make sure the person washes and dries their hands appropriately.

Step 2: The instructor will allow for choices. “What type of bread would you like to use.”, What type of cheese would you like to use?”

Step 3. Depending on the skill level, the instructor will assist the individual or place the pan n top of the stop

Step 4. The instructor will, with verbal prompting or hand over hand, ask the individual to pick the the knife.

Step 5. Once the individual picks up the knife, the instructor will verbally prompt or using hand over hand, assist the individual with cutting the butter.

Step 6. Once the butter is cut, the instructor will verbally prompt the individual to place the butter in the pan.

Step 7. While the butter is meting in the pan, the instructor will prompt the individual to take out 2 slices of bread and place on a plate

Step 8. The instructor will prompt the individual to pick up the knife and butter each slice of the bread.

Step 9. Once completed, the instructor will prompt the individual to take cheese out of the refrigerator and place on the bread.

Step 10. The instructor will prompt or assist the individual to place the sandwich into the pan

Step 11. Depending on the skill level, the instructor will turn the bread over when brown or closely supervise the individual.

Step 12. Once both sides are brown, the instructor will assist or supervise the individual removing the cheese toast with a spatula and place on a plate

Step 13. The instructor will prompt the individual to turn off the stove. i.e. “what do you think you should do next?”

Step 14. The instructor will prompt the individual to cut the cheese toast in half.

Step 15. The individual will start to eat.

Duration:10-15 minutes

Materials:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • margarine or butter
  • Cheddar or American cheese
  • frying Pan
  • knife
  • spatula

Skills Taught:

  • Attention skills
  • Choice-making
  • Fine motor
  • Independent living skills
  • Listening comprehensive
  • Memory
  • Sensory
  • Sequencing
  • Task attention

Special Considerations

Be mindful of any protocols for the individuals. make sure you are serving the meal with the right consistency. For example does the individual require his/her food to be cut up or are they able to eat whole foods?

April Day Habilitation Activity Ideas

Under normal circumstances I would suggest using the following April Monthly Day Habilitation Activity for ideas to plan for the month, however the new normal has changed.  Many school districts have created lesson plans and activities for school children that are home during these trying times including resources on speech and OT activities.

I have seen very little information for adults that receive day habilitation services. For some individuals, the new normal means staying at home in a residential setting and for others, it is staying home with family members. For people with developmental disabilities, adjusting to changes can be challenging affecting both the individual and the home.

For this month and upcoming months, I will blog articles on activities that can be used in the home to help individuals continue to work on activities and to help maintain their skills since many day habilitation programs are also closed.

For the month of April, I have included activities for National 1 Cent day, National Road Map Day, Farm Animal Day, Titanic Remembrance Day, National Earth Day and National Zoo Day. The activities focus on the following:

  • Following directions
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Task Attention
  • Multisensory skills
  • Money management skills

The activities can be used by anyone of any age as well.

You can find the links to the activities below.

Stay safe and healthy.

Download April calendar here

  1. Penny activities. the following worksheets focus on the following skills:
  • fine motors skills
  • visual- spatial
  • Tracing
  • Counting
  • Coin Identification

Download here: one cent activities

2. Earth Day Activities(Making an organic smoothie and creating a collage safe for the environment).

3. Reading a road map activity (develop skills in task attention, listening, following directions and following one and two-step commands)

4.The following are lesson plans and curriculum on habitats and zoos.

5. Farms

6. Titanic Activities:Download here

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.

 

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