During this time of year it is so important to be flexible. As the end of the school year approaches, it seems therapy schedules change on a daily basis. Whether it is because of assemblies, KPREP, or field trips– No one is ever where they are supposed to be!!! It is during times like this that versatile therapy materials come in SO HANDY! In this post I talk about some games that can be used to target many different speech, language, and fluency goals.
What materials do you use for last minute therapy sessions?
“What am I going to be if my autism can’t be cured?” As a small child, Naoki was very afraid that, because of his autism, he would never be able to live properly and do many of the things that other people do. He felt the need to apologize for his actions day in and day out. His goal for writing this book was to help people understand the obstacles that people with autism face, and that they are not the result of selfishness and ego. Through sharing with the world his thoughts on what it’s like to live with autism, he wants to give hope to other people with autism, making it easier for them to “stick at it”. Maybe then, he says, the future of people with autism will be connected with that of everyone else. By this I think he means that people with autism have the same goal of achieving happiness, just like everyone else.
I was surprised when Naoki said that the things people with autism do are not because of selfishness and ego, as I’ve never thought this about my students with autism. Also, I thought how sad it is for a little kid who feels like he has to apologize for himself day in and day out! I wonder how many of my students feel the same way. Overall I enjoyed reading about his insights on living as a person with autism. Even though each person with autism is unique (which can be said about humans as a whole), Naoki’s specific experiences with autism have helped me to understand my students a little more.
–Allison Dobbs, SLP at Moore Traditional
Materials: toilet paper rolls painted green, green construction paper, stapler, crayons, white paper, scissors, glue stick
Jump, Frog,Jump by Robert Kalan
Let’s Go, Froggy! by Jonathan London
Frogs Jump: A counting book by Alan Brooks
Objectives: sequencing, object function, positional concepts, following directions, verbs, Increase MLU.
Also use with:
Readworks.org (free to create account)
I used a few passages including ‘A frog’s life’ and ‘Frogs or Toads’ with 3rd-5th students for listening comprehension, retelling, main idea, sequencing, compare/contrast
–Katie Cohen, SLP at Maupin and Roosevelt Perry Elementary
Today’s post is a continuation of Naoki’s short story. Here, Melissa shares her thoughts:
One day I was at my desk talking to Kinsey and then I received a calendar invite from her with the heading, “I’m Right Here” for April 13th. My initial thought was, “Duh, I am talking to you”, so I asked her, “What is this about? What do you mean I’m Right Here”? Interesting sideline in comparison to my chapter—is this how Naoki felt all the time? He was right there, communicating but the conversation wasn’t making sense or was one sided?
In this chapter Naoki states he attempts to tell this story to show the pain of not being able to express himself to the people he loves and as a way to connect us to that feeling, for understanding and empathy. I find his story, much like the rest of the book, a style not pleasing to me or easy to read and laced with my skeptic thoughts of how much of the words are really his. It is a story of being on the outside looking in and although attempts to communicate are there—no one can hear him. You are privy to his attempt to use expressive language as a ghost, with an angel, in Heaven, and finally back on Earth giving the reader a glimpse into watching others respond to ineffective communication and the heart of the person attempting to communicate.
I can’t help reflecting on these questions and would love to see others thoughts as well:
* How often do we miss communication from our students with and without autism because it isn’t traditional expressive language?
* How many times have I not seen a student who is right there?
* Time—Naoki mentions many times about the concept of time—how often do we let time drive our communication expectations?
* Finally, how many times are we the actual person on the outside looking in?
I will leave you with a quote from this chapter that struck me. I loved when Shun said, “The future is a thing we build”—how true, right?
Happy Friday afternoon!! Courtney also shared this (unrelated) resource that has been useful for her and she thought might be for others, as well!
I have been doing this with my students this week and it has been very successful. We discuss first what we know about a baby chick using EET. We review vocabulary related to the subject and I show pictures to reinforce the vocab (beak, feathers, wings, down feathers, hatch, yolk, peck, exhausted, fluffy, wet, skinny, etc). I cracked an egg in front of them too. We looked at it, touched it, described it- then washed our hands! Then we watched a time elapsed video of an egg hatching from youtube video. Afterwards, we made an egg craft for following directions and spatial concepts. So much fun!
Courtney Brock, SLP at Shelby and Barrett Traditional Schools and St. Joseph Children’s Home
In this fictional story written by Naoki, we see the ghost of a boy named Shun struggle desperately to communicate with his mother after dying in a sudden bike accident. She is unable to see or hear him, to understand his words of comfort to her. Reluctantly, Shun separates from his mother and goes to Heaven, which is place of “perfect freedom.” However, after visiting his mother a few times on Earth, he sees how unhappy she is and realizes that she is unable to get past his death. After a year, Shun decides that he wants to comfort his mother more than anything. He makes a deal with God to return as another child, agreeing to lose his own identity and memory of his life as “Shun”.
SO….there were so many random and disconnected thoughts that I had while reading this story. Perhaps I am not “deep” enough to truly connect the dots in a meaningful way, but I will just throw out there what I gleaned from this parable of sorts. Shun’s life as a ghost seemed symbolic to me as Naoki’s life with Autism. Shun was trying to controlh is body and hug his mom and comfort her during her sadness, but he was unable to, not matter how hard he tried. He tried repeatedly to speak with his parents and was never heard. Then, he went to Heaven. I believe it was here that Naoki envisioned his life without Autism. Being able to live in “perfect freedom” and do everything that he was unable to do previously. In the end, Naoki wrote that Shun would choose to lose the memories of everything that made him the boy he was, all in order to save his mother and make her happy. I believe this shows that people on the spectrum are able to develop empathy, understand emotions, and even put other’s emotions ahead of their own.
Rachel Lacap, Wheeler Elementary