Simply Me Therapy

Motivational Mondays

Harry Potter…and the Child with Autism

3176173-1748009911-hp.jp_

  As therapists, and moms, and people, one of our goal is to expose our clients, our children, and others to fine literature. My daughter did not enjoy reading AT ALL!  That is until Harry Potter came along!  She loved …

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3176173-1748009911-hp.jp_

 

As therapists, and moms, and people, one of our goal is to expose our clients, our children, and others to fine literature. My daughter did not enjoy reading AT ALL!  That is until Harry Potter came along!  She loved the movies, and asked to read the first book.  She has been hooked ever since.  She has since read every book at least 3 times…and more importantly, has unleashed a love for books…all kinds of books. I thought that if Harry Potter can impact my daughter so greatly, perhaps it can do wonders for my client who is diagnosed with Autism.

My client is now 14 years old. I have had the great blessing of working with him since he was 2 years old.  Throughout the years, he learned to sit and attend, to speak, to take turns, to follow multiple directions, and to engage in simple discourse. He has learned to read and write as well.  I know how intelligent this boy is.  At school, they are reading simple books with him, but I believe that we need to challenge our children regardless of any labels that are put on them.  We need to help them to reach their best…and go beyond. So, I introduced him to the first of the Harry Potter series.  I am proud to announce that my amazing client recently completed the first book.  Fortunately, I am not under any time constraints as can be a potential obstacle in the school system.  I work privately with this boy, and so we slowly utilized so many opportunities during the course of this book, to engage in language therapy.

First, I not only provided the book, but I provided many other tools as resources to facilitate comprehension and expression. Harry Potter FIlm was an additional resource which provided behind the scene pictures and readings.  We utilized the fabulous complement to the books, an online experience, Pottermore.  We used the Harry Potter cookbook, where we cooked and ate treats that were mentioned in the book.  With the support of clips of the film via Youtube, my client was able to grasp a visual understanding.  We played with the Harry Potter lego app as well as the Harry Potter chess game to ensure a full capacity of learning with multiple opportunities for exposure and feedback. As we read, we created a list of all the characters and places we were introduced to, as there are so many throughout this story. We color coordinated these items, and created a flowchart to better understand the layout of the story.  We used thinking maps to facilitate extending our imagination, moving from concrete to abstract ideas.  We discussed fact vs. opinion, fiction vs. nonfiction, and comparisons vs. contrasts. We worked on writing essays based on these language schemes.  Informative essays, persuasive essays, explanatory essays, were a few to say the least. We created advertisements, where we bought and sold items. My favorite piece that we worked on was our quote essays, where we took the wise words taught by Albus Dumbledore to make sense of the world we live in and how it relates to us and those we love.  Additionally, we discussed perspectives and twists at the end of a story. We began journaling throughout this process incorporating the new vocabulary we were exposed to in this reading.

When provided with a multiple choice test I comprised to respond to main events and ideas throughout the story, my client earned an 80%.  With a little cueing and reminding, he was able to achieve 100%.  This has been an extraordinary experience, and I am looking forward to book #2, where we can soon explore role playing, public speaking, and setting up for theater productions for his family and friends.

Harry Potter has been my gift…for my daughter and my client.  It has become the bridge I needed to cross boundaries where no one else dared to go. Let go of the limitations.  Expect great things from this upcoming generation.  When we expect greatness from them, they will soon expect greatness from themselves.  And it can all begin with a boy  who uncovers his potential and his internal power. His name can be Harry Potter or simply Thomas.

 

  Posted by Simplymetherapy on March 24, 2014  /  Tags: , , , , ,

Calming and Alerting Activities for Sensory Integration and Monday Mornings

Dragon

  We as speech language pathologists, alongside occupational therapists use practical strategies for our clients with sensory dysfunction.  I would like to suggest utilizing some of these activities for anyone who requires calming or alerting activities to get through every …

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Dragon

 

We as speech language pathologists, alongside occupational therapists use practical strategies for our clients with sensory dysfunction.  I would like to suggest utilizing some of these activities for anyone who requires calming or alerting activities to get through every day life, especially Monday mornings. We are sensory based human beings who perceive and process the world through our senses. Our senses include taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing.  But, we actually have two more senses in which we perceive and process our world: proprioceptive and vestibular. Proprioception is our OWN body sense coming from receptors in the muscles, joints, and bones. For example, running up the stairs.  We are not fully conscious of it, yet we know exactly how far to lift our foot to get to the next stair by “feeling” the distance.  Vestibular is our system of movement and balance.  For example, doing cartwheels is a vestibular activity. So, wouldn’t it be useful to help ourselves to function as productively as we can throughout our day using some of the following strategies to engage our senses?

Calming Activities: Concentrate on slow, repetitive, gentle, and rhythmic activities.

  • Keep your tongue touching the roof of your mouth
  • Apply pressure beneath your nose and above your lip simultaneously
  • Listen to soft music
  • Smell eucalyptus and pine tree scents
  • Firmly touch to larger joints in the body such as your shoulders and your hips
  • Deep breathing such as in meditation and yoga.  This helps the central nervous system and autonomic nervous system
  • Wrap yourself in a light blanket
  • Accupressure points: apply pressure between thumb and index finger
  • Suck thickened liquids through a straw (milkshakes…that’s always fun!)
  • Engage in repetitive actions (such as rubbing your hands or softly rocking)
  • Engage in soft repetitive talk (stating positive affirmations to yourself)
  • Dim lights
  • Play a beat in a rhythmical manner: drums or tapping your foot

Arousing/Alerting Activities: Concentrate on activities that are quick and varied, having bright colors, noise, and include movement

  • Run, jump, and calisthenics
  • Listen to loud music
  • Dance
  • Brisk touch such as tickling
  • Change activities frequently
  • Chew strong flavored gum and eat crunchy foods
  • Look at brightly colored objects
  • Give yourself frequent reinforcement
  • Pulling and Pushing items (organizes and regulates your system)
  • Jumping Jacks

Try these activities for yourself and your children.  Feel good! Pay attention to your sensory input throughout your day and have a spectacular Monday!

 

 

  Posted by Simplymetherapy on March 17, 2014  /  Tags: , , ,

What Arnold Schwarzenegger Taught Me About Being A Great Speech Language Pathologist…

You vill learn your speech!

      Listening to this Motivational Speech helps me every time I need to refocus after long work days.  I believe that whatever you do in life, you need to do it to the best of your abilities.  I have worked …

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

 

Listening to this Motivational Speech helps me every time I need to refocus after long work days.  I believe that whatever you do in life, you need to do it to the best of your abilities.  I have worked hard to be the best Speech Language Pathologist I can be.  But, reality sets in sometimes, and exhaustion soon follows.  As with any career, we sometimes lose our understanding as to why we do what we do.  When I listen to this Motivational Speech, I remember! My purpose is to help as many children as I can. I have taken my years of experience with clients and developed a strategic program for speech and language therapy in the upcoming app Junganew: A Herd of Sounds.  This app has been in development for over 5 years.  The time and dedication involved in creating an app can be rewarding, exciting, but also frustrating.  Yet, I can listen to this speech and know I am on the right track. Hard work, dedication, and perseverance are the key elements to success.  I disregard the naysayers and focus all my attention on those who support and encourage my dreams! Indirectly, and without even knowing it, Arnold Schwarzenegger is part of my supportive circle.  So, I thank you Mr. Schwarzenegger.  Thank you for helping me be the best therapist I can be!

  Posted by Simplymetherapy on March 10, 2014  /  Tags: , , , , , ,