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.
Repetitive body movements or repetitive movement of objects is referred to as self-stimulatory behavior, abbreviated to stimming. Stimming can occur in people with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Some people will stim when nervous, employing behaviors such as pacing, biting their nails, hair twirling, or tapping their feet or fingers.
In this article, we will examine why stimming occurs and the different types that occur. We will also look at what can be done if someone’s stimming behaviors are causing them problems in day-to-day life. Click here to read the rest of the story
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically have difficulty processing sensory information such as sounds, sights, and smells. This is usually referred to as having issues with “sensory integration”, or having sensory sensitivity, and is caused by differences in how the brain of a person with ASD understands and prioritizes the sensory information picked up by the body’s many sensory receptors. When this breakdown in communication becomes too intense, the person with ASD may become overwhelmed, anxious, or even feel physical pain. When this occurs, some with ASD may act out. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Shopping Centers (or malls as we call them in North America) provide a great way for customers to walk from one store to another without the hassles of having to leave one store in order to go into another. Through the years, Shopping centers have added on movie theatres, arcades, and food eateries. This has led to a variety of ways of teaching children and adults with disabilities a number of skills.
Increasing money skills can be used in almost all areas of a shopping mall. Opportunities include stores such as banking, clothing , restaurants, etc. examples of items to teach include:
Will identify coins
Will identify money
Will count change
Will create a budget
will fill out deposit slip
Will fill out a withdrawal slip
Will use an ATM
A shopping center provides a low-cost and effective way of arousing more of more of the five senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch). Yankee Candle offers candles with a variety of fragrances including apple pumpkin, apple spice, beachwood, black cherry, etc. Bath and Body Works also provides samples for both olfactory (smell) and touch. Samples of fragrances include lotions, cream, massage oils and fragrance mist. Window shopping is an additional opportunity to enhance visual cues with teaching a number of basic skills. Other places include day spas, massage chairs and nail salons. Examples of sensory teaching activities include:
Window Shopping (Visual)
Will describe the color of the outfits
Will identify which items cost the most
Will describe how many of the outfits are the same, different
Will describe the various shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangular)
Will count the number of items in the window
Will identify a good smell
Will identify a bad smell
Will identify the smell (i.e. smells like apples)
Will identify the object
Will tolerate hand massage
Will touch the object
Will describe the shape of the object
*** Be mindful some children and adults may have sensory processing issues and can be oversensitive to sights, textures, flavors and smells.
Teaching social skills involves communication, decision-making, self-management and relationship building. Locations in a shopping center to develop these skills includes, eatery and restaurants, banks, department stores and movie theatres. Samples of teaching social skills includes:
Will greet the store associate
Will say thank you
When promoted, will ask for help
Will wait patiently
Will make eye contact
Will use appropriately voice tone
A few guidelines in teaching new skills:
Teach a new skill at least 2-3 times. The shopping center allows multiple opportunities to work on a number of skills including money management, and social skills.
Allow the person to think for themselves use prompt levels to help navigate levels of independence: Independent, verbal, gestural and physical.
Allow for real choice-making. Choice is more realistic when it involves at least 3 items or more. Choosing a new outfit or an item from a menu are perfect examples.