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Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Work-ons

The last few weeks, I've been posting on the fridge a list of things for us to work on with Janey. We have a color, number, letter and emotion of the week, a command of the week (for example, this week is "be patient"), a body part of the week and a verb of the week. I'm hoping it gives everyone ideas for something to work on Janey with when they have a minute. I've noticed some good results---I've been saying "be patient!" a lot and Janey is starting to mimic it back appropriately, and she seems to like the body part---this week is "leg". I might add a few items---like an animal of the week, a opposite of the week, etc.

Something I think would be extremely helpful, and something I've searched for without success, is a list of skills and ideas to work on with Janey---something like an autism curriculum. Regular preschool curriculums don't work. They assume kids learn just by absorbing things around them---they do project based learning, books with the concepts to learn mentioned, self directed exploring of toys, etc. Janey needs to be specifically taught things. She isn't going to learn just by picking up things here and there. So I would love lists---here's the words she should understand, here's the animals a 6 year old should know, here's some verbs all kids need to learn. I try to make up my own lists, but it's not easy to do. It's something I might try to do someday, and make a web page about, just by winging it, but I am sure there are people that really know how to do that kind of thing. This is all of course to compliment what she learns at school---I'm not her primary teacher, I'm her mother. I don't want to be her primary teacher---if I did, I would homeschool her. But she needs more practice and reinforcement than typical kids, and I want to do a good job with that.

I think this is an area where all the focus on "autism recovery" and similar concepts takes away from educating the kids right here in front of us with autism. I could find a million pages on the web about how to "cure" Janey, but very few about how to work with the "uncured" Janey. What specifically does she need to learn? How can I best teach her? That is what I want to know.

1 comment:

Fab said...

I think that list is a great idea. I admire how you keep a positive tone of voice w/Janey. You are a terrific mother.