Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why? - Activities to tackle the concept

We had a great therapy session last week and I have many new ideas to try again this year. One of my main concerns is tackling the concept of "why." It seems to be one that is hard to grasp for many kids with Down Syndrome, at least at this age, so we are trying to come up with games and activities to help teach it. While I am sharing what we have learned, I encourage you to comment and share things that have worked for you too. I love getting new and fresh ideas!

Last year I shared the "Sorting Activity: Why is it Different?" This was a great start in learning to focus in on why something was different and to learn to speak in the negative, "it is different because it is not ______." Another activity to expand on this concept are activity sheets about what does not belong. I found some to use at Schoolexpress.com. I do not even print them out, we just discuss them together on the computer.


Share this picture and have the child tell you what does not belong. At first Gess could not answer the question because I did not ask her what was "different" or why it was not so. Now I am teaching her the same concept, but from a different angle. What does not belong? Of course once she chooses the right item we discuss "why" it does not belong. (There can be more than one right answer. The turtle is not "furniture" or found in a house or is alive, etc.) The point is to get the child thinking about what links the items that are the same so they can determine why the other one is different.

Another great activity is figuring out "What's Wrong with This Picture?" We have all played with those pictures as kids. You have a picture with silly stuff on it like a horse wearing a cowboy hat or a duck with a pig tail and you are supposed to circle what is wrong with it. Well, instead of circling or coloring we just discuss what's wrong. Gess finds something that is "silly" or "wrong" with the picture then I ask, "why is that silly?" We want them to learn to answer things like "because horses do not wear hats" or whatever is appropriate. It might take some time but doing this will surely help them see not only what is wrong, but why it is so. I thought I could find lots of pictures for this activity free online but you know, so far I have not. I do not really know how to search for these pictures and find what I am looking for so I just bought the coloring book "What's Wrong with This Picture?"


We will not actually color in it as I want to keep the pictures fresh, but there are lots of great ones in here. If you have any good links for places online to find similar pictures, please share them. I also look forward to hearing other things you have done to help teach the concept "why" to your children so don't forget to share them! I hope to be sharing other speech activities in the future. While school has been postponed a week or so for us, speech has already begun! I only pray that the surgery won't cause other speech issues, but I know she is in the best of hands!

Since posting this I have already been given a great link for this. I will share that and hopefully others I get here.

Links friends have shared:

What's Wrong Games/Activities:
http://pbskids.org/berenstainbears/games/wrong/index.html

Monday, August 2, 2010

Upcoming Surgery Delays Start of School Year


Gess had her checkup with the ENT and the Ophthalmologist last week. Gess had a really rough winter and allergy season this spring and the doctor believes she needs to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. Her adenoids are large and they do believe that does affect her sinus issues. They say that her tonsils coming out will actually help with her restlessness at night as well as other breathing issues. Gess also has a small hole in her ear they are going to try to patch while they have her asleep. She will have to stay one night in the hospital and come home the next day. She will have to take it easy for one week after-wards (no school that first week) and no sports activities for at least two weeks (so no gymnasitcs for awhile).
My original plan was to start school the third week of August, however, that is the week she will have the surgery so we will just put off school for another week or two. I don't want to start for only one or two weeks then stop for one or two weeks then start back up again so we will just wait to start until she is all better. I probably won't start until after labor day if that is the case, but we will see. I love the flexibility of homeschooling when it comes to things like this!
Gess will also be getting new glasses and have to patch her eye again for her strabismus, but the doctor also suggested to just wait until after the surgery to start that whole process again. We either have to do surgery for that one day or just keep patching periodically. We have our main doctor saying the surgery may help her be able to use her eyes as a team but the surgeon said the surgery would not help her vision at all. That's one we have to think about more!
Even though school isn't starting yet, I will begin posting more regularly here (which is usually about once a week). I will try to start catching up on reading blogs too. We just had such a busy summer I hardly had time online! I am excited to start the new year and try out some new things and I am curious to see what you all are up to too!

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