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GreatGrin GreatGrin is offline
 
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Peer Awareness
Old 08-18-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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I love going in to classrooms and teaching kids about their peers with disabilities. This year however, I am needing a new approach, because many of the kids have heard my same training now for 3-5 years.
I usually focus on autism when I go in and talk to classes, discuss the 5 senses, what we would do if those senses were challenged, and then dicuss the "6th sense"...our social sense. This then leads to talking about a brain filter and then on to Autism. We then talk about all the things the child with challenges does really well and write the ideas on a poster, which is later presented to the child for them to take home. (The child is not in the room during the training).
Does anybody have a training they would like to share??? I need one by this Thursday the 21st!
THANKS!


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Curious...
Old 08-18-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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I would love to hear more about how you currently handle that training. I teach K-3 pull-out resource and would love to know more about how my mainstream classrooms can create a more supportive environment for the students that I serve. Have you ever geared the training around students that do not have autism but lack social skills?
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ideas (long)
Old 08-18-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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I went to an excellent conference on autism earlier this summer and one of the topics was "Walk Awhile in My Autism" presented by Kate McGinnity and Nan Negri. (They are co-authors of a book by the same name) They did these incredible audience participation activities that might be useful for your presentations.

My favorite was when they had audience members stand up and hit balloons with any part of their body to try and keep them in the air. Only 2 rules: no double hitting and if it touched a chair or the floor the balloon was "dead." Once all the balloons were grounded they started the next round. The second round the participants had to use their non-dominant hand and sit on their dominant hand and remain seated while they hit the balloons again. The balloons fell a lot quicker this time because it was a little more challenging. The last round they were still asked to use their non-dominant hands, sit on their dominant hand AND close their eyes! The balloons were quickly on the ground because no one could see what they were doing! (It was very humorous to the rest of the audience as well seeing all these hands waving around trying to hit balloons!)

The main points to be emphasized here are that sometimes information comes at their senses too quickly to process and when it's on overload they can't filter out anything irrelevant. Most people can operate in " multi track" mode but for students with autism it can be like a "mono track" mode where only one sensory system is working for them. Talk about what would have been helpful when they couldn't access all their "skills" and participate.

Another activity was to write this on a board:

O T T F F S S

Explain that their job is to determine what letter comes next and why. No blurting out answers they should remain quiet until asked for their answer. You could give them the prompt of "counting" and see if that helps them see the pattern (One Two ,Three, Four Five Six, Seven)
If they give an incorrect answer ask them how they felt about not being able to "get it". Then talk about their feelings and how they were able to modulate their feelings, not have an outburst from frustration and how expressing confusion might be difficult for them. Talk about how it's hard for them to remember sequence or what comes next sometimes and that's what causes extreme expression of frustration.

I hope this helps. The book is awesome and I have quoted directly from it in places. It's sold through Special Needs Project (www.specialneeds.com) I highly recommend it!
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cool
Old 08-23-2008, 08:41 AM
 
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I will check out the book, thank you!
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:42 AM
 
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Just let me know what questions you have about the training I do now. It can easily be reworked to fit the needs of those needing stronger social skills. That is why I love the 6th sense/social sense/brain filter approach. Dont we all have issues with our brain filters at times?


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