According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.8% of children younger than 18 years in the United States have a diagnosed eye and vision condition and 3% of children younger than 18 years are blind and visually impaired. Visual disability is one of the most prevalent disabilities disabilities among children.
According to IDEA’s definition, visual impairment is defined s including blindness means an impairment in vision that even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The World Health Organization (WHO), classifies visual impairment as occurring when an eye condition affects the visual system and one or more of its vision includes both partial sight and blindness
The World Health Organization uses the following classification based on visual acuity in the better eye:
- 20/30 to 20/60- mild vision impairment
- 20/70 to 20/160- moderate visual impairment
- 20/200 to 20/400- severe visual impairment
- 20/500 to 20/1,000- profound visual impairment
- More than 20/1,000- considered near-total visual impairment
- No light perception- considered total visual impairment or total blindness
Types of Visual Impairment
- Strabismus– a condition when the eyes do not align with each other (crossed eyes)
- Congenital cataracts– a clouding of the eyes natural lens present a birth.
- Retinopathy of prematurity– a blinding disorder that affects prenatal infants that are born before 31 week of gestation.
- Coloboma- a condition where normal tissue in or around the eye is missing at birth.
- Cortical visual impairment– a visual impairment that occurs due to brain injury.
Signs of Visual Impairments
- Appears “clumsy” in new situation
- Shows signs of fatigue or inattentiveness
- Does not pay attention when information is on the chalkboard or reading material
- Is unable to see distant things clearly
- Eyes may appear crossed
- Complains of dizziness.
The causes of childhood blindness or visual impairment is often caused by Vitamin A deficiency which is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children. Other causes include genetics, diabetes, injury and infections such as congenital rubella syndrome and chickenpox before birth.
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)
Cortical Visual Impairment in children is attributed to brain dysfunction rather than issues with the eyes. Causes included hypoxia, traumatic brain injury, neonatal hypoglycemia, infections and cardiac arrest.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of celebrating Earth Day. Earth Day was the response to an environment in crisis including oil spills, smog and rivers that were heavily polluted. It is a way to help protect and restore our planet.
I created a lesson plan on creating an organic smoothie as a way to contribute in protecting the earth. Organic farming promotes an ecological balance by reducing pollution, conserving water and reducing soil erosion.
The lesson plan works on the following skills:
- following directions
- task initiation
- math skills (counting, id numbers)
- reading skills
Lesson: Make an Organic Smoothie
Smoothie- Mystic Mango Smoothie
Time: 15-20 Minutes
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Organic Mango
- Raw or organic honey
- Lime juice
- Organic yogurt
- Fresh organic spinach
The instructor will explain to the group the activity to help the environment by using items that are healthy and does not require anything to be recycled.
The instructor will give assignments to the group and allow individuals an opportunity to understand.
Step 1: The instructor will first make sure all individuals wash their hands.
Step 2: The instructor will pick up the mango and ask, “What type of fruit is this.” The instructor will then ask the group “What color is the mango?”
Step 3: The instructor will instructor the group to cut the mango in small pieces. Provide hand over hand assistance for those requiring extra assistance.
Step 4: Once completed, the instructor will ask individuals to place the mango in the blender.
Step 5: The instructor will have members of the group to measure the orange juice. The instructor will say, “where is ½ on the cup?” Once answered correctly, the instructor will instruct the individual to pour into the measuring cup.
Step 6: The instructor will say to the individual “good job, now pour into the blender.”
Step 7: The instructor will ask the group to point to the honey. The instructor will ask the individual to show 2 tablespoons on the measuring spoons.
Step 8: The instructor will ask the individual to measure 2 tablespoons of honey and to pour into the blender. Provide hand over hand if necessary.
Step 9: The instructor will ask the group to point to the lime juice. The instructor will then ask the group” show me 1 tablespoon on the measuring spoon.”
Step 9: The instructor will tell the group to pour into the blender.
Step 10: The instructor will ask the group to point to ½ cup on the measuring cup. Once pointed correctly, the instructor will have the individuals pick up the organic yogurt and put ½ in the cup
Step 11: With assistance, the individuals will wash out the organic spinach. The instructor should first place the spinach in a cup.
Step 12: With assistance or as needed, the instructor will have the individuals turn on the water.
Step 13: The instructor will ask the group to take a handful of organic spinach and place in the blender.
Step 14: Once all the items are placed in the blender, the instructor will someone from the group to hit the blended on the button blender.
Step 15: The instructor will allow 3-4 minutes for the smoothing to blend. Once completed, the instructor will ask an individual to hit the stop button.
Step 16. The instructor will ask an individual to place the cups on the table
Step 17. The instructor will continue with the activity until a smoothie has been made enough for everyone.
Step 17: The instructor will ask an individual to pour into each cup.
Download PDF Here: organic smoothie for Earth Day
Download Here: autism word search activity
Did you know that the Easter bunny and Easter eggs dates back to the 18th century in the United States when Protestant German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area brought the European folklore of the Easter bunny giving gifts of colored eggs to “good children” before Easter.
This activity is both a coloring and tracing activity focusing on strengthening fine motor skills of children and adults. Green was the color chosen since it is a spring color and also helps to reinforce colors. Any shade of green will work in the color and additional colors should be added as well allowing for individual creativity.
Once completed the bunny can also be cut out and pasted on construction paper.
DOWNLOAD ACTIVITY BELOW:
Source: KQED News
It was a Friday morning in early May, just before Mother’s Day, when a group of preschool teachers settled onto oversized pillows and colorful beanbags for a conversation that would lead to tears, frustration and — eventually — a sense of clarity on a delicate matter involving a child.
Karen Massingille, a preschool behavioral health therapist, sat on a tiny child’s chair, looking at the nine women seated around her in a cozy, carpeted corner of the sunlit room.
She took a few deliberate breaths, then started to speak.
“It’s Mother’s Day,” she said. “Anybody have any plans?” Click here to read the rest of the story.
Working in the special needs profession often leaves little room for self-care and developing a healthy lifestyle including exercising, which why it is vital that you take the initiative and create an exercise plan that will work well for you.
Exercise is essential for your health and well-being for many reasons. For one, it helps to prevent disease. By moving one’s body daily, we reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. A second reason is that it helps us control our weight. As we get older, we tend to slow down which causes us to burn fewer calories. Working in a profession which can take an emotional and mental toll, causes one to just want to go home and relax. However, exercising less and burning fewer calories can lead to obesity.
Benefits of Exercising
There are many benefits to exercising
- Improves memory and thinking skills. Research shows that working out on a regular basis boost the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. This is done through aerobic exercises.
- Relieves stress. Although not fully understood, regular exercise reduces anxiety and depression disorders. It is known however that aerobic exercise is associated with the lower sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for accelerating the heart rate and raising the blood pressure.
- Boost energy. While little is known on the relationship between exercise and energy, studies show that people who exercise on a regular basis, are more likely to feel more energy than those who do not.
Four Types of Exercises
- Endurance. includes aerobic activities which focus on your circulatory system and helps to build your endurance. exercises include walking, jumping, and running.
- Strength. Also known as resistance training, serves the purpose of strengthening and toning your muscles. Exercises typically include weight lifting.
- Balance. Helps to improve balance and strengthen your core. Exercises include tai chi and yoga.
- Flexibility. Used for stretching your muscles and improving your range of motion. Stretching exercises are usually part of a warming up and cooling down routine.
Here are following at exercises that include the four types of exercises:
- Tai Chi
- Lifting weights
- Strength Training
- Jump rope
- Horseback Riding
- Ice Skating
- Jumping Jacks
- Jai Alai
- Kick Boxing
- Martial Arts
- Scuba Diving