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:
Fine Motor Skills
Money management skills
The activities can be used by anyone of any age as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders as a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank during pregnancy. The effects of the fetal alcohol disorders includes many learning challenges including hyperactivity, poor attention span, memory issues, coordination challenges, anxiety, speech and language delays, problem-solving issues, difficulty staying on task, behavioral challenges and social interaction.
Some children with FASD have co-occurring disorders or are often mis-diagnosed.
Memorial Day is an American holiday observed to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. It originated following the Civil War and became an official holiday in 1971.
Memorial Day is also an opportunity to work on fun Memorial Day activities. Children and adults with special needs lean best when using a multi-sensory approach. This helps to stimulate learning and engage individuals on various levels of learning.
The activities and lessons that I have chosen focus on visual and tactile stimulation and includes both math and reading activities. The craft activities work to improve fine motor skills.
Williams Syndrome also known as Williams-Beuren syndrome was discovered in 1961 by J.C.P. Williams, a Cardiologist from New Zealand. Williams Syndrome is a rare disorder with a prevalence of in 7,500 to 20,000 caused by the deletion of genetic material from chromosome 7. Williams syndrome symptoms include heart problems, low birth weight, l problems and developmental delays. 75 are diagnosed with mile to moderate intellectual disabilities or a learning disability.
Students with Mild intellectual disabilities will have difficulty with abstract thinking, executive functioning including planning, prioritizing, and cognitive flexibility. According to the Williams Syndrome Association Website, Children with Williams Syndrome face challenges with processing non-verbal information and displays difficulty with attention to detail.
Strategies should include:
Using short sentences
Break task into small steps
Use concrete examples when introducing new words or concepts.
Teach one concept at a time
Use a multisensory approach which will help to stimulate learning
Utilize visual learning style including the use of flash cars, pictures, images, handouts and colors.