I have a kid who hates drawing but loves Angry Birds. He needs a LOT of work on drawing. Not because it’s important that he become an artist, but it’s important he know how to follow basic instructions and draw basic shapes so he can follow along with instructions in geometry, art classes, basic projects. We went shape by shape and did a guided drawing together. His angry bird is on the left. We had tried guided drawings together earlier and it was like pulling teeth. Once we switched to drawing together with angry birds, he did much better. 🙂
I have a kid who is working on cutting. He tends to not cut carefully. Each session he has to cut out several shapes very carefully (you can still see a few mistakes though, cough) and then glue them onto this one sheet of paper we keep. We have it going in “Mario style” (hence some of those question marks from the game) and then he gets to add a Mario sticker. He really likes this. I probably should have put dates on the shapes in tiny pencil too. Hindsight is 20/20 right!
But for those of you working on cutting…consider keeping a single sheet of construction paper in their folder that you just keep adding to, a few shapes at a time, to make a cool board game or Mario theme or whatever makes them happy, with stickers, etc. 🙂 That weird shape on top is a boomerang, by the way…lol.
If I were to do this again, and I plan to…I’d probably force him to go in a chronological order rather than haphazard. IE left to right so you can see the progression in time. Live and learn.
1st component: Finger sequencing and isolation:
My suggestion: instead of the program having a sequence that happens at a timed interval (it moves on regardless if anything is pressed), consider having the option to have a sequence that only moves on once a button is pressed. That way my kid could spend time figuring out the correct finger, press it, and then move onto the next one. However, I am sure for older kids and adults it is awesome just as it is. 🙂
2nd component: Fine motor manipulation and control:
You have to pinch little crabs. This one is super cute if not slightly awkward, especially depending on how long your nails are! I like this one as well and it gets fast quick! I saw Tonya of TherapyFunZone.com recently make her own version of iPad tongs. I wonder if they would work for this. http://therapyfunzone.com/blog/2012/09/ipad-chopsticks/
3rd component: Practice letter formation.
A funny little note that I mentioned in a recent post: I’ve been using Dexteria with a little girl several weeks in a row and have used the name of the app with her without thinking about it. She came in the other day and said “Can we use Dexter?” My first thought was the serial killer, not the app. She then instantly swiped my iPad to the left to the search box and start typing in “D..e…x.. to find it. I was impressed with my little 2nd grader!
Have any of you guys tried Dexteria out? With who? What do you all think?
*I received a free copy of Dexteria (it’s less than five dollars) in exchange for providing a review on my blog. The review is unbiased as the opinions are solely my own.
Okay all, I’m trying to raise money to fund my first children’s book (already written!) as well as educational ipad apps and some other branding initiatives for Miss Awesomeness! In other words, stuff you could one day use to work with your kiddos!!! My campaign ends next week and so I’m going to be as annoying as NPR only for a single week. Actually I’m exaggerating, I could never be as annoying as NPR during their drives when they ask for money every single second of the day. I’ll ask every few days for the next week and then it’s over. Seriously even a few dollars helps, not kidding, because it helps drive the “go factor” up and then it’s more likely to be seen by others… THANK YOU. Okay moving on… 🙂
Today included …….let me think….some swinging, trampoline, “verbalizations and visualizations” of a Pokemon character (and later a 50 foot baby) and starting to handwrite using hi-write paper about these ideas….some tracing, some Handwriting without Tears number writing, a lefts/rights/1-2 step direction game (ie go 3 steps to the left, two steps up….)…um….some angry birds on the ipads free choice time….some angry birds plush pencil toppers used for finger isolation….some adapted tripod grasping…some small tennis ball head man time (he was fed pennies)….a Touch & Write ipad app was used in conjunction with handwriting…cutting….guided drawings using angry birds….desk organization…..and an IEP meeting…….and a partridge in a pear tree…..etc 🙂
One more picture from the Marie Curie article in Smithsonian 🙂 Look at how heavy their clothes were. I wonder how scratchy they were. I’m guessing that perhaps, if nothing else, the heaviness was calming, even if uncomfortable texture wise! No seamless undies back then!! 🙂
I was recently reading Songs of the Gorilla Nation and she was talking about how she always wore leather and dark sunglasses, because the leather was so weighted and calming, and the sunglasses reduced input, etc. I thought that was fascinating because I know we all have seen people in um, unusual or interesting get-ups, and made assumptions. But we all know what they say, when you “assume” you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”….lol
I want to write more soon about sensory profiles….we all have them!!
Something I saw in I think Smithsonian magazine about using music to help your brain. I liked what they noted about people with attention deficits and how they may calm down in a paradoxical way – ie how taking the equivalent of speed calms them while it “speeds” the rest of us up. Very interesting neurologically.
Anyway, the thing about anxiety – that USED to be the case for me, that when I was frequently (severely) anxious, I listened to Enya while lying in a dark room and practicing diagraphagmatic breathing. But eventually when I thought of Enya it made me anxious because the two became so linked. So then I could no longer listen to Enya without that association of being panicked. So sometimes it turns on you! My new favorite is Native American Indian flutes, the Canyon Trilogy, by R. Carlos Nakai. Many of my kids in special ed also really enoy it.
This reminds me that I want to do a post soon about white noise. Some studies have come out showing that white noise or classical music can be very helpful for concentration for SOME PEOPLE – especially those with ADD. But for those with “regular” concentration, it can actually be harmful to our attention. When I was in 7th grade, we had a history teacher who was big on playing classical music during our tests. He had good intentions and I know there were/are studies showing classical music helps. But it was a novel stimulus and I know for me it actually made it much harder to concentrate. Try white noise apps for your OT kiddos with ADHD to use while working, and see if it seems to help them out. (In our district our 3rd graders and higher have individual iPads so it would be easy for us to implement but maybe not so easy in most districts). But be careful of using classical music/white noise with ALL children. Better to use as a case by case basis.
Oh. Guess I don’t need to write a new post about white noise, I just wrote it. 😉