Did I ever mention that the Dadas (teacher assistants) don’t speak English? Two of the new teachers don’t speak much either and do not let us know when they are not understanding what we are saying. They are wonderful people and very good with the children. The teachers help translate but we definitely have had some communication breakdowns.
Wow, this week has flown by. We have been practicing, practicing, practicing all week. Thankfully the children are responding to the strategies which we hope will fuel the teachers for the hard work ahead of them. We will make work tasks tomorrow afternoon then meet with the teachers. On Friday we do a wrap-up.
I forgot to tell you about the school. The program is housed in a residential neighborhood just down the road from our hotel. Mr. Chanadu meets us at our hotel as we are finishing our breakfast (peanut butter and jelly sandwich, coffee and a banana) and escorts us as we walk to school, dodging the puddles and passing school children, vendors selling fried donut-type balls and a woodworking shop.
Last night we went to the Slipway, a shopping district along the coast. Watched the Dhows sail along in the sunset, beautiful! We had barbeque for dinner and, unfortunately, the shrimp Kari had did not agree with her. She is out of commission for the day and for the night so I am on my own. There is an internet non cafe just a block down from our hotel so that is where I am.
We arrived safe and sound after a long and tiring flight. It is the end of the rainy season so there are major puddles on the dirt road in front of our hotel. On Sunday Kari and I walked to the Mwenga Village Museum (think Murphy’s landing), a living museum demonstrating tribal village life from different areas around the country. We saw wonderful dancing, artists and crafts. Very charming.
Parents of children with autism or other special needs frequently struggle with toilet training their child. Toileting a child with special needs is more difficult because there are often additional challenges such as communication difficulties, sensory issues, behavioral concerns, resistance to change, inability to generalize a newly learned skill, and the need for routine.
During my 30 years as a pediatric occupational therapist, I have constantly searched for new ways to help make complex concepts such as sensory integration, more “user friendly”. Out of desperation a few years ago, after yet again another road trip of consultations and workshops which involved constant packing and unpacking of sensory toys and equipment, I began listening to expert advice.
Making Use of My Intelligence
Even if I was still as socially inept as I was 25 years ago, I would still want to be in situations in which I could learn about things that I am capable of learning and things that interest me, and in which I would have the opportunity to make use of my intelligence.
Motivation is a key tool for wanting to acquire new information and attending to a task. Most of us will devote more time and energy to something that interests us rather than a task that we are told to do. We are more apt to pursue or stay with something that interests us.
With a teacher for a mom and a physician’s assistant for a dad, Matthew North had two experts on the case from birth, but his problems baffled them both. “Everything was hard for Matthew,” says Theresa North, of Highland Ranch, Colo. He didn’t speak until he was 3. In school, he’d hide under a desk to escape noise and activity. He couldn’t coordinate his limbs well enough to catch a big beach ball.
Asperger’s…What Does It Mean to Me? written by TEACCH therapist Catherine Faherty is a supportive, self-awareness program for young people ages 8 – 14 with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome. The workbook format of this book, designed to be written in, creates a framework to assist the individual in thinking about themselves, who they are, and what makes them unique.
Girls Under the Umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorders Practical Solutions for Addressing Everyday Challenges
There is an abundance of literature available on a variety of topics about autism spectrum disorder (ASD); however, most of these materials are written with males in mind since they comprise most of population diagnosed with ASD. There are some excellent personal perspective stories written by women on the spectrum such as Dr. Temple Grandin, Donna Williams, and Liane Willey, but there are almost no books written about working or living with females with ASD.
Starting Points is a handy guide designed to help anyone who is new to the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. Educators, therapists, and parents will learn strategies to work effectively with that individual. Constructed in an easy-to-follow format complete with icons, charts, and other visual supports, this book will lessen the feeling of being overwhelmed when assisting someone with Asperger Syndrome.
Author: Leslie Broun and Patricia Oelwein Publishing Info: Paperback / 2007 Reviewed by Maureen Bennie: Director, Autism Awareness Centre Inc. Author Leslie Broun has been presenting Visual Strategies for Teaching Reading and Math for the Autism Awareness Centre across Canada for the past 3 years. Leslie has teamed with Patricia Oelwein, author of Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome,…
Initiations and Interactions: Early Intervention Techniques for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Parents of children with a recent diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often feel overwhelmed, scared and anxious. Early intervention is the key to aid in the development of these children and for providing support for families dealing with a child’s social, communication, and behavioral problems. Lengthy waiting lists for services or a lack of full services in rural areas can leave parents feeling helpless and unable to meet their child’s needs.