Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We are just like you: We have feelings

The Newtown story with its media misinformation has affected and reflected on our family negatively. PLEASE let people know that an Autism/Asperger's/ASD diagnosis isn't the makings of a manic. Harsh words hurt us too.

image by LEGGustafson

A mother's anger: Stop linking autism to violence By Sarah Darer Littman,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Taciturn Tuesday: Gitchi Gami Green

photo by LEGGustafson

Speech: Decoding Comprehension - More Apps

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  A good way to work on "wh" questions with your kids is to ask questions about the stories you read with them. There are many reading comprehension apps out there. Here are some to try. The apps are the usual .99 to 4.99 unless otherwise noted. Many of these apps are available at the higher elementary grade levels. I am using these as they fit with Sensi's levels right now.
These apps conform to the "wh" question protocol discussed in decoding-comprehension-info-and-apps or can be used to make sentences of your own. Remember to drop the reading level below decoding level to get the most out of this method.

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Reading Comprehension Grades K-1 by Basic Skills Interactive: Seven reading groups to choose from with 100 stories in all.

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Reading Comprehension Animals: Grades K-1 by Interactive Learning Success: This one is a favorite since Sensi has been all about Animal Atlas on Netflix and Qubo lately.  40 stories with 4 multiple choice questions for each story.

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Kindergarten Reading Comprehension Practice: Starting level with 5 sentences and has up to 4 questions per short story.

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Kids Reading Comprehension Level 1 Passages for iPad by Angela Reed: This app is organized so the stories are displayed on a book shelf from which your kids can choose.  Very short stories with 4 comprehension questions per story.

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Kids Learning Photo Touch Concepts: Another way to ask "wh" questions is to review simple concepts such as opposites and prepositions like the ones in this app:

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Abitalk Sentence Builder: Unlimited ability to create your own sentences to ask  "wh" questions, or use their more than 200 built in sentences. Can use built in images to help create your own sentences, and has a record function. 

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Super Duper's "Wh" Question Cards: "WHO" is free, WHAT WHERE WHEN WHY are available for 2.99 each as in app purchases. Has several games to ask questions, multiple choice, match, decoder and drag'n'match.

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Kindergarten Reading Comprehension by Aaron Levy:
More reading comprehension using "wh" questions. 

As you can see, there are plenty of "wh" question apps out there, you just have to find the reading comprehension apps and the questions are provided, or just ask your own questions. Remember you can add  any of the missing "wh" questions yourself with the apps with only 4 questions per story. Have some fun eplay with these apps. 


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Four Months Post AIT

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There has been little to report about Sensi's progress from AIT. She is still struggling a bit with her toileting issues, but she is still making progress with her speech, although not as fast as she was. She is also continuing to improve in her motor planning when she does mazes and puzzles. I have noticed that she is jumping on her trampoline less, I am not sure what that is about, just that it is new. Her therapists outside of school report that she has been better at listening and responding, they don't have to repeat things as often for her, just wait for her response. Waiting for the response can be a challenge for all of us. Those 5 or so seconds of hang time are hard sometimes.
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 She is liking playing with her brother's Legos more and more, she especially likes the mini figures. They have been playing with Legos together more often.  She is also liking Thomas the train, so Random Guy pulled out all his old trains for her and they have been playing together with that too. Her speech is more spontaneous and conversational than it was. Just the other morning when she was having trouble waking up, she said "Daddy, go away." She also has been saying no, and meaning no more often. 

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Lunch is not as much of an issue since she is taking her lunch in the classroom most of the time. There is another student who was having trouble in the lunchroom, so they decided to have them both eat their lunch in in their classroom. Sensi has pretty much been eating her lunch since that change, even when she has to eat in the lunchroom when they are short staffed. So really, what we found out is the lunchroom was causing sensory overload for her and she didn't want to eat in that environment on a regular basis. That goes back to looking at the sensory triggers for mysterious behaviors; we had to be sensory detectives. She has no trouble eating lunch in the quiet confines of her classroom, but put her in a room with a hundred or more other students and she turns her back and wants nothing to do with eating lunch.

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 In general there has been less anxiety for her at school. There have been lots of last minute changes to the regular routine since they are practicing for the winter concert coming up next week. She has taken changes in her routine in stride. The last month or so has brought less crying and screaming. Unfortunately this new found mellowness has a downside. She has needed more prompts to pay attention to follow directions due to absorbtion in her own world. So she is able to tune out the things in the environment that were bothering her, but she is also able to tune out the teacher. 
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 She is making progress in her usual Sensi way. She makes gains in some areas and she has trouble in others. She is doing better at her outside therapies, but she isn't doing as well in school. She has never taken the straight path in her progress, but there is almost always progress. As we move further from the AIT therapy sessions, it becomes more difficult to sort out what is from that therapy, what is progress from our other therapies and what is just part of her normal development. I'm just happy with any progress that she wants to make. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Taciturn Tuesday: Harbin Snow Sculpture Festival

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Monday, December 3, 2012

A Hint from a Sensory Seeker's Mom

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My daughter is a sensory seeker. She has painted the kitchen in ketchup, waxed her bedroom floor with skin cream and covered herself in various sticky and/or slimy substances
This time Sensi put Vaseline in her hair. This is a recurring problem; she has put lotion, rash cream, and other goopy things in her hair. 
I was lamenting the fact that her hair was still greasy to her occupational therapist. I had washed Sensi's hair 5 times, and used lots of dry shampoo spray; her therapist suggested using baking soda.
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Apparently this is the new/old way to clean hair, like dry shampoo, only cheaper, and more importantly, readily available in my house. The difference is the recommended way to use baking soda to clean hair is a few teaspoons diluted in water to massage in and rinse with cider vinegar. I just dumped 2 tablespoons in her hair, rubbed it into the greasy spots, and washed her hair as usual with shampoo. Lo and behold...clean hair.
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If you have a sure method to clean up the messes a sensory seeker makes, please share. We all could use a little help when faced with the unique messes our sensory seekers can create.