Posts Tagged ‘speech therapy’

Lighting Up the Web Blue: Apps on Sale for Autism Awareness

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
 

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In honor of Autism Awareness Month, several apps for kids are being offered at discounted prices or for FREE. Here are four sites featuring apps you should look into! Email Erin@woodallkids.org to give a shout out to your favorite apps- tell us why you like them! Also, look back at the Brent Woodall Foundation’s “Apps to Go!” blog post for information on other apps we like!

 

The I Teach Hub offers a comprehensive list of applications, organized into relevant categories, including Early Intervention and Curriculum, Social Skills, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Daily Living, and Speech and Language Development.

light it up blue bwf 2013

The iMums website features several apps that are now FREE for Autism Awareness Month. It won’t hurt to try at least some of them!

 

Smart Apps for Kids features more discounted or free applications and has included the dates for these limited time offers!

 

Let us know what you find by emailing Erin@woodallkids.org!

 

Related blog post: Apps to Go!

 
 
 
 

A Comprehensive List of Apps to Go!

Monday, March 4th, 2013
 

iPadSo a lot of you have been asking about popular iPod, iPhone, and computer applications for kids with autism and developmental disabilities. Here are several educational apps suggested by our Woodallkids parents!

lock and keyBefore you get started, here is an awesome tip from a very special Woodallkid mom on how to lock your child out of specific apps. In devices that have iOS 6 software, there is an option called Guided Access. Go to your Settings app- General- Accessibility- Turn Guided Access ON- Set a Passcode. Then you can go into each app that you want to lock and turn the passcode on! Here’s a How To manual. 

 
 
 

Learning your ABCs:

 

Alpha Tots PocketAlpha Tots Pocket ($1.99) is one of our favorite apps that provides an interactive activity for every letter of the alphabet. Whether they are *H*ammering nails, *K*icking soccer balls, or *Z*apping spaceships, kids play, problem solve, and learn to this 2012 Parent’s Choice Award game. Here’s a sneak peak of the Alpha Tot activities for H and K.

 
 
 
 

Reading & Writing:

 
 

Word WagonDuck Duck Moose Kindergarten ($1.99) provides many great apps for all subject matters; however, we particularly like their Reading and Writing programs. Your child can follow different animal characters around and earn Sticker Awards and Stars for completing activities. Most of Duck Duck Moose’s programs offer levels for pre-school through grade 1. Check out a sneak peak of Duck Duck Moose’s Word Wagon and Reading.

 

 

iWriteWords ($2.99) is another great app for learning to write. Your child can help Mr. Crab gather numbers in sequence by dragging him with your finger and drawing the letter at the same time. Once all the letters in the word are drawn, a drawing appears. You can download the iWriteWords Lite for FREE to preview iWriteWords. According to iTunes, iWriteWords Lite has all of the same features as iWriteWords, but it is limited to only 3 letters and 3 words.

 

Also see:
Spell Write Read
Starfall Learn to Read

 
 

Math & Numbers:

 
 

Tally TotsTally Tots Pocket ($1.99) is another favorite of ours. It has a lot of awesome features, including: a sing-a-long number song; 20 activities for 20 numbers; audio and visual cues that help kids associate numbers with sounds; kid friendly navigation; frequent repetition that teaches young kids how to count; positive verbal reinforcement for completed tasks; and fun surprises for motivation. Click here for a quick look.

 

Monkey Math School Sunshine ($0.99) is hosted by a monkey, who leads your child through 8 interactive games that teach sequencing, patterning, counting, adding, and subtracting. Your child can collect prizes to fill their own aquarium. Here’s  a sneak peak!

 

Also see:
Park Math
Bugs and Numbers

 

Language:

Word SlaPpsWord SLapPs ($4.99) is one the more expensive apps on this list; however, it is a really awesome app because you can customize it for your own child. This app was developed and designed by a speech pathologist to teach your child nouns, actions, sight words, “where” questions, etc. You can use your own images and pair your own voice to words, as well as teach vocabulary from a second language! There is a LOT to this app and well worth the money. Take a look here!

 
 

Also see:
Baby Bumblebee Vocabulary

Enjoy! Let us know your favorite apps by commenting on this post! Or email erin@woodallkids.org.

 

 

Oh, the Places You’ll Go… with Autism!

Monday, March 4th, 2013
 
 
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PrintTravel is filled with unpredictable moments and for a child with autism, these moments can be disastrous. So let’s talk about some ways to make it easier to travel with your 1 in 88.

Expectation:

Show your child what is expected of him/her and what is to be expected of the trip. This is a great time to get your visual schedules out that we discussed in a previous blog, Serious Schedulers. Include on your schedule the steps it takes to travel from packing to the security line to sitting on the airplane to getting to your hotel room. Have your child watch videos about your destination. If it’s Disney Land, talk about all of the characters you might see and the rides you might go on. Look at pictures of the nearby beach. Watch travel shows about Disney Land and Anaheim, California with your family before you go. Use this as an opportunity to teach and get yourself and your family excited about an adventure!

Motivation:

Choose trips that tailor to your child’s interests. You can use activities that you know your child LOVES doing as reinforcement for trying new things. Perhaps use a visual choice board to help your child understand his or her options.

Special Passes:

Keep a look out for special passes for families with disabilities. Most large theme parks provide passes that will let families with special needs easily skip through the ridiculously long ticket lines.

Awareness:

No matter how much you prepare, it is very possible there will be hiccups in your plans. Let’s expect this and plan accordingly! Just in case you get separated, have your child wear identification. Many parents also have their children wear a bright blue “I have autism” shirt to make others aware of what their children and families are working with. Use this opportunity to teach others about autism, which will in turn help others be more patient, respectful, and understanding of your situation.

Downtime:

Let’s be honest. We all need down time- you and your family. No matter who you are, traveling is stressful. Allow yourself some time to relax and be boring in your hotel room. Think of this as fuel for your next awesome activity.

Flying:

Recently there has been a big push by the autism community to make flying easier. According to this NY Times article, several airports have begun to offer “’mock boarding’ experiences” so that families can practice all of the steps it takes to successfully walk through those big glass doors of the airport with your luggage in hand, ready for your adventure. NY Times also mentioned TSA Cares, a hotline to help people with disabilities and their caretakers through security checkpoints. PEOPLE magazine said to look out for a newly developed nonprofit, AIR (Autism Inclusion Resources), recently developed by a Philadelphian physician, that “helps families soar” through the skies to their destinations.

 

Oh_the_places_you'll_go

Tell us about your travel tips and adventures!

Send us a picture of your family while on vacation and let us know if you have any travel tips! We will touch back on the topic of traveling before the next holiday! Email pics/tips to erin@woodallkids.org.

IEP Pointer of the Week: 

Make sure that all goals are written to independence in your child’s Individualized Educational Plan so that your child has a chance to reach his or her fullest potential!

Web resources:

www.autismtravel.org

www.medicaltravel.org

http://www.autismontheseas.com/

AutismontheSeas_2012_MASTER_with_ONE_Tagline_final

 

 
 

Three Amazing Programs for When Your Child Turns Six

Monday, March 4th, 2013
 

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When your child turns 6, what happens next?

At the Brent Woodall Foundation, there are multiple options to support children who are getting a little older. When your child reaches 6-years-old, he or she can either graduate from the Brent Woodall Foundation or you have the option of enrolling him or her into some great programs: PALS, TIES, or CALS.

 

old pics 845 (1)PALS stands for Practicing Advanced Language Skills and is designed for children ages 4-7. This is a great program for kids who need a little bit more practice on the social aspect of language and communication. PALS students work on reading, understanding body language, idioms, and inferences, and joining in on conversations, etc. It is one thing to be able to use language and communication and another thing to understand the function (the why and when) of these skills.

 

photo (28)TIES stands for Targeted Intervention for Elementary Students and is for kids ages 7-10. It is set up like a normal classroom setting and teaches elementary-aged children the behavioral skills needed to move into a less restrictive educational setting. Kids work on Reading, Writing, Math, Language, and group skills, etc.

 
 
 

70CALS stands for Communication and Life Skills and is great for kiddos who need a lot more support. It uses ABA methods to teach children with communication and learning challenges who have not made much progress within tradition special educational environments and who require customizable, intensive teaching. CALS focuses on teaching your child the function of communication skills and encouraging your child’s cognitive skills needed to function in an everyday environment. CALS constantly seeks to help your child reach his or her fullest potential!

 

For more information on these programs, visit the BWF’s website at www.Woodallkids.org, or email info@woodallkids.org.

When your child becomes a pre-teen, what happens next? We’re doing some research, so stay tuned in January and February!

 
 

You’ve Got Skills: Understanding ABA and Autism

Monday, March 4th, 2013
 

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ABA works for everyone. Some of the therapists at the BWF like to joke that they use ABA on their overbearing parents, some on their stubborn husbands…  :)

So why is this?

ABA therapy collage

 

Think of ABA therapy as dealing with *skills* rather than with *bad behavior.* All children have strengths and weaknesses no matter their developmental abilities. ABA builds upon each child’s strengths and teaches them more skills by breaking them down into smaller tasks that are taught in a consistent, structured manner. Regardless of your child’s abilities, ABA is always helpful because it focuses on understanding why behaviors occur, rather than merely inserting procedures. ABA is concerned with, not just modifying behavior, but really changing behavior, and can be used to teach a variety of skills to overcome developmental deficits, as well as successfully decrease behavioral excesses.

 
 
 
 
 

IEP Pointer(s) of the Day:

In almost every meeting with BWF founder Tracy Pierce Bender, the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process is brought up because it can be a very daunting challenge for a parent to deal with. Starting today, we will post an IEP Pointer of the Day on every blog post. Hope this helps!

DO NOT sign your child’s IEP before reviewing the goals the plan supports for your child BECAUSE once you have signed the IEP, it is very difficult to change it. An IEP can always be reviewed, you can always request a meeting to make changes to your child’s IEP, but it is a long process that can get in the way of your child’s progress. Why not start the year off on the right start from the beginning?

Schools base IEPS off of a 1- to 2- hour assessment of your child, which offers a tiny glimpse into your child’s abilities and potential. So it is completely okay to request another assessment and further evaluation before signing off on your child’s IEP. Don’t be afraid to ask and to ask again.

Serious Schedulers

Monday, March 4th, 2013
 
 
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In almost every Coffee Chat, Tracy Pierce Bender has stressed the importance of creating a schedule for you and your child to follow. Regardless of what you are introducing—a new word, skill, food item, etc.—schedules are important because they show your child what is expected and they help you as the parent stick to a consistent system. Having a schedule takes part of the responsibility to enforce off of you, the parent, and puts the responsibility onto the schedule. It also shows your child (and YOU) that there is a light at the end of the tunnel; once you work through steps 1-3, you get a break and positive reinforcement. Below are some examples of schedules you could create for your home.

Let’s say your child is beginning to imitate sounds. Focus on 5 words your child is most motivated to learn, decide which sound(s) you want to teach in relation to the words your child is motivated to learn, and then prioritize. Once you have this down, create daily opportunities to practice these sounds. For example, Sally loves cookies and knows that there are cookies in the pantry. Lock the pantry door and only allow Sally a cookie if she approximates a sound related to “cookie.” Or maybe Sally just learns “o” for “open” at first. Make your schedule consistent at home and at school.

Here’s another example: You’re trying to teach Bobby how to say or approximate the word “drink” and you know he loves to sip his apple juice before he goes to school. Create a schedule: Get dressed- Drink- School. This schedule shows what is expected and this routine will elicit a routine in language; it will help Bobby understand the function of language.

Have a schedule that works well for you? Send a picture of it to erin@woodallkids.org and we’ll post it on this blog!

 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

The Importance of ABA Therapy and Speech Therapy

Monday, March 4th, 2013
 
 
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Blog logoYou have a non-verbal child. If you have to choose between speech therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which one should you choose?

At an international autism research convention that Tracy attended, Dr. John McEachin, a licensed psychologist who has provided behavioral intervention to children with autism for more than 35 years, presented a soon-to-be-published study on the effectiveness of ABA therapy. ABA therapy is the only intervention empirically proven to provide results and it has been projected so far that children need 40 hours per week of ABA therapy for it to be most effective; however, Dr. McEachin’s study states that less hours of ABA therapy are JUST as effective IF the parents are really involved as well. Specific children, receiving less than 40 hours per week of ABA therapy, progressed just as fast because they had extremely involved parents.

So if you can only do one thing, do ABA. And stay involved!

This does not mean stop with speech therapy. Always continue with speech therapy, and try to find a therapist that combines speech and behavioral therapy, and preferably one that understands alternative sources of communication. You can have your speech therapist communicate with the Brent Woodall Foundation. Give the speech therapist, the BWF, and anyone else involved with your child’s therapies permission to talk with one another because this will help solidify your child’s schedule and goals.

Need a recommendation for a speech therapist? We can provide you with a few of our favorites! Just ask! info@woodallkids.org

Here’s an interesting article that also talks about the intensity and duration of ABA therapy.

Catch you at our next chat!