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.
The following training resources are from the Center for Parent Information and Resources:
Key terms to know in early intervention– Parent Center Hub. 6-page pdf document
Identification of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities– reviews the process by which schools identify that a child has a specific learning disability
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)– the module includes 1 sideshow presentation, trainer’s guide, speakers notes and 2 handouts
Introduction to Procedural Safeguards- Part C of IDEA designed to protect the rights of parents and their infant or toddler.
The basics of early intervention– Includes a 64-page trainer’s guide in PDF or Word format
Material and Resources from the CDC:
Autism Case Training– Web-based continuing education introductory course on autism.
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome-PDF format including resources on the topic
Specific Special Needs Topics:
Getting to know cerebral palsy- training resource in pdf format for facilitators
Supporting the student with Down syndrome in your classroom– created by Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.
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
Download Here: Free Money Bingo Card
The following sites provide resources on teaching money skills. The links teach the critical skills including coin identification including skip counting and matching. Teaching a child or an adult with special needs money skills should include teaching in a multiple settings at appropriate times such as a grocery story, dry cleaners, and playing money games.
There are also good ideas on using functional materials to create money skill opportunities.
5 best educational board games for money management– Money Crashers
7 board games that help teach kids about money– Amy Boyington
17 fun money activities for kids– Self-Sufficient Kids
50 fun ways to teach your kids about money– Policygenius
Interactive learning money games and exercise– Money Instructor.com
Money activities for kids– Education.com
Online games and apps that teach kids about money– Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Online money games– math-play.com
Teaching coin counting strategies– Caffeine Queen Teacher
This blog article is an introduction to cerebral palsy. In the past, very few educational programs offered courses on specific information pertaining to disabilities. I am hopeful this is beginning to change. Ions when I started working in the field, I felt that there was simply not enough information so I started to do my own research by reading books, journal articles and talking to both professionals and parents.
Here, I have included a short PowerPoint presentation on a brief introduction of Cerebral Palsy. The objectives include, the definition, prevalence and causes, types and the causes. This format can be used in various ways including a teaching course since most of us are currently learning online, or as a self-study course. Below, you will find a quiz along with the quiz answers.
If you would like to print out a copy of the PowerPoint, Download here: Cerebral Palsy PowerPoint
Download quiz test here: cerebral palsy QUIZ
Download quiz test answers here: cerebral palsy QUIZ answer
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.