Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Computer Time: Do 2 Learn

I was recently reminded about a website that was really beneficial in helping my daughter to comprehend vital safety rules. My daughter had a very hard time with boundaries and while she is doing a whole lot better, there are still some important safety guidelines that she has not yet grasped. Her main problem is wandering off. We had to install chain locks and/or alarms on all of our doors ever since she learned how to open them. It seemed very logical to her that if a door can open one must go through it. It has not been until recently that we have been able to leave the doors unlocked without her attempting to go outside. While this particular website does not specifically address staying in the house, it does address staying in the yard as well as street, mall and fire safety too.

The Do2Learn website is geared towards supporting special needs learners. It teaches basic life and educational skills by making them into fun, interactive learning games and songs. While there are many products you can purchase from the site, there are also several free areas which is all we have ever utilized.

The area that was the greatest benefit for us personally is "Songs and Games", but the Activities section has some great stuff too. Under Songs you will find all the safety videos. They are really great and I highly recommend them. They even give you an option to choose whether or not you live an area where they drive on the right or left side of the street so that the video corresponds to exactly what your child will face.

Once you choose the proper side of the street you are offered the choice for six different videos; Stay in the Yard, Walk on the Sidewalk, Crossing at the Driveway, Crossing at a Walk Signal, Crossing at a Traffic Light, and Crossing at a Crosswalk.

Each song has animation of what is and is not the proper thing to do and the words are on the screen so they can learn the song and sing a long.

They also have songs for Bus Safety, Fire Safety and Mall Safety. I apply the Mall Safety video to any shopping trip. One aspect of the song says to hold onto the one who brought you by holding onto to them in different ways, one of which is their finger. I have found that Gess finds this less restrictive and if she does not want to seem to hold my hand, she will hold one of my fingers. This seems to make her feel more independent.

Some of these videos also emphasize them being a "safety star" and you can even print some stars for yourself to use as awards. Those words became a good cue for Gess when we are in public. If she tried to wander off or does not want to hold on to my hand (which I now only require in the parking lot or when she is misbehaving inside) I would remind her she needed to be a "safety star" and she would usually respond to that by obeying.

There are also games that help them improve certain concepts needed for learning. One that I found especially helpful was the Time Sequence Game. Gess never seemed to be able to tell which picture happened first, second and last when I just showed her pictures of each event.

However, this game actually shows the activity in progress and then it shows each picture for them to place in order. For instance, putting on a shoe. It shoes a person sitting down and putting the shoe on, they tie the shoe and then they are done. Then you have three pictures that look exactly like what just took place.

Seeing the event prior to answering the question is a big plus for special needs learners. (Another thing my speech therapist recommended was taking picture of your kids themselves, like brushing their teeth or getting ready for bed. Seeing pictures of things they are used to doing makes it more relevant as well).

There are several other activities and games that help with all kinds of concepts. You will really want to check it out. For special needs learners whether they go to school or learn at home, Do2Learn is a great help!


Beverly said...

I like Do 2 learn a lot. Last year I printed off a lot of their grooming, and other cards to tape all over the house. I will have to take a look at the songs! Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

Lori, this is great. We've never been to this site. Hannah is always playing "safety patrol", so I'm sure she's going to eat this up! Thanks!

Jennifer said...

I have a friend who's considering HSing her special darling, and your blog is just what she needs. Thank you for posting this.


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