Autism Awareness Month

April is autism awareness month.  One in eighty-eighty children are affected by autism in America.  Here is a list of resources.   
Websites:

http://www.autism-society.org/ 
http://www.autismspeaks.org/
https://www.thegraycenter.org/
http://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films

Books:

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, Revised Edition
by Carol Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller

Your Life is Not a Label: A Guide to Living Fully with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome byJerry Newport

My Friend with Autism: A Coloring Book for Peers and Siblings
by Beverly Bishop

The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone With Autism
by Ellen Sabin  

Bugs?

Link

CRICKET is a company that promotes reading materials for children.  The magazine targets different age groups incorporating a variety of topics such as science, archeology, and history.  The Kids’ Sites offers interesting reading material and fun educational activities for kids (i.e. recipes, experiments).

Below you will find two links on the CRICKET website.  The first link provides information about each magazine and the second link takes you directly to Kids’ Sites.

Link #1- http://www.cricketmag.com/ProductList.aspx?type=M

Link #2- http://www.cricketmag.com/kids_home.asp

Food for thought…….

Have you ever read a book, but stopped because the book didn’t capture your attention?  As an adult, we can choose what we want to read. Unfortunately for a child, the choice is not always his or hers to make.  For a child with language difficulties, reading can become a difficult task because of deficits in vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc.  Finding engaging materials relevant to the individual child becomes important.  As a parent, informing your child’s therapist of his or her favorite reading materials will help the therapist develop activities that better capture your child’s attention.  This can be related to classroom material, a book chosen by your child, a book the family is reading at home, a favorite magazine, etc.  We can pre-teach vocabulary, reinforce vocabulary, develop comprehension questions, and target grammar skills with the knowledge of your child’s favorite reading materials.  Share your child’s favorite reading materials with your therapist.  The more positive experiences a child has involving reading the less frustration they wll feel.  Remember, repetition is vital for expanding language skills, especially when building vocabulary.

Adjectives…adjectives…adjectives…are everywhere!

Open your eyes and you will be surprised to stumble across adjectives in unusual places.   You can find adjectives in the kitchen (i.e. mushy oatmeal), on the playground (i.e. bumpy slide), in a classroom (i.e. sharp pencil), or in the car (i.e. loud music).  An adjective is a word used to describe a noun.   Adjectives describe our five senses, such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.  Using and discussing adjectives can easily be added to everyday routines.  During mealtimes, have each person describe his or her food using an adjective (i.e.  I am eating sticky pancakes.).  Ask questions to increase awareness of adjectives (i.e. What does it taste like?  What does it look like?).  You can then ask your child to identify the adjective in the sentence.  While running errands, take turns playing I Spy in the car.  In your home, have your child pretend to be an adjective detective.  Have your child count the number of adjectives he or she uses throughout the day.  Then help sort the adjectives into different categories, such as sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.  Last, have your child use the adjectives in a sentence.  When reading a book, have your child identify adjectives that describe the main character, the setting, etc.  Mad Libs is another good activity to build awareness of adjectives.

Spring Cleaning

Spring is a time of year to declutter our homes and enjoy the upcoming longer days and warmer weather.  We can venture outside again without our oversized winter coats, mittens, hats, and chunky boots making adventures near and around our home much more enjoyable.   As you clean out your closet you may stumble upon books that are collecting dust, pass these neglected books on to a good friend or donate to a used bookstore.  Help your child participate in a book exchange this spring with a friend.  Give a book away and receive a new book.  Share the joy of reading with your child.   Make the moment memorable…by picking a special place in your home…reading in a fort made by you and your child….using a flashlight to see the pages.  Take turns reading the pages.  Ask your child to describe what the character would look like.  Try to relate the book to an experience at home .  If you want to continue your book adventure with your child, check out Open Books Ltd.  213 W Institute Pl Chicago, IL 60610.