SPED Online Resources
1. Includes tips to help your child's speech and language development.
2. Includes parent tips for 3 different levels of language development.
3. Includes free downloadable articulation worksheets and explains the process of articulation therapy.
4. A wealth of information for parents. Includes video examples of activities you can do with your child to encourage speech/language development.
5. Free download of tips to teach kids to produce sounds correctly.
6. Video that shows how to use the "imitate and expand" strategy to play with a young child on the autism spectrum.
- Grasp/Fine Motor
- Eye-Hand Coordination
- Visual-Motor Integration & Visual Perceptual Skills
- Crossing Midline
- Sensory: Tactile/Touch/Body Awareness Skills
- SENSORY: Proprioception
- SENSORY: vESTIBULAR
- SENSORY: AUDITORY/SMELL/TASTE
- SENSORY: MOTOR PLANNING
- GENERAL TIPS
- OLDER STUDENTS / UPPER GRADES
Grasp/Fine Motor: Picking up/holding toys, manipulatives, and objects such as pencils, markers, spoons, and buttons. The more a child practices, the stronger and more developed a grasp becomes for better efficiency. The key is to find objects/toys that are of interest so they will engage in the activity. Some examples are:
· Paper clips or clothes pins onto paper or container edges
· Dot markers. using broken, short crayons, golf pencils
· Puzzles with pegs (or picking up any small play objects or food, such as cheerios)- encourage grasping with thumb, index, and middle fingers
· Removing stickers from sticker page, or removing from carpet
· Medicine droppers, basters- transfer water, try using a few bowls using food coloring to make the primary colors, then the kids can create/mix new colors
Play-Doh play- encourage pushing, pinching, rolling pins, cookie cutters in play dough, rolling into balls (using one hand in fingers AND using both hands together)
· Tweezer or tong activities- promote holding with 3 fingers (in the same position you hold a pencil)
· Fasteners such as buttons, zippers, snaps- dress up a doll/stuffed animal
· Coin bank- if you don’t have one, cut a slot in the plastic lid of an empty food container (oatmeal, bread crumb containers work well)
· Legos, tinker toys, K’NEX
· Color, write, draw on vertical or incline surface (side of a 3-ring binder or tape paper to the wall and work in standing)
Eyes and hand working together
· Catching a ball
o Grade activity down by rolling a large ball seated on the floor
o Grade activity up by tossing a smaller ball through the air
· Throwing ball at a target
· Using stencils, rulers to draw shapes/lines
· Copying shapes/designs/letters from a piece of paper beside them or taped to the wall in front of them
· Opening/closing a variety of containers (water bottles, peanut butter containers, spices)
· Scooping and pouring water or any media into containers- stabilizing with one hand and using the other to scoop
· Opening zipper pouches, fastening buttons- this is very motivating if they’re opening to retrieve a favorite treat!
VISUAL-MOTOR INTEGRATION AND VISUAL PERCEPTUAL SKILLS
· Slowly moving eyes across a line or coloring inside of the lines. Check out this awesome website with vision activities: http://eyecanlearn.com/
· Stringing beads- you can make things like this if you don’t have any at home using a string and cut out shapes
· Lacing boards/cards- encourage looking and moving to next hole, remaining in a line
· Tracing lines/shapes/letters/numbers on paper with various markers/colors/etc. or in foam soap or shave cream, in a tray of rice, gel- driving cars on lines, electrical toothbrush- they don’t have to actually draw on them, have them trace with finger or other object a few times, then trace with writing utensil
· Connecting dots
· Jigsaw puzzles
· Completing pictures or shapes (draw half of a square- have them finish it)
· Word, letter, object search
o Ex: Look-and-Find and Where’s Waldo books (in prone prop)
· Mr. Potato Head, shape sorters, nesting cups, nesting rings (If they need encouragement to participate in these activities, have them place rings on an electric toothbrush or something that will appeal to their attention. You could place electric toothbrush into container to have your child maintain grasp on it, look into it, open it, drop something into it.)
· You may notice your child pick up an object and transfer it to the other hand.
o Ex: their cup is on their left side, they pick up with that hand and transfer to right hand to drink because they’re right handed). They may also switch hands to do different tasks often- encourage using the same hand to finish that activity (not forever).
o Ex: if they’re completing a puzzle, have them pick up with whatever hand and position board where they need to reach across to put it – and not transfer to other hand.
· Drawing large shapes and figure 8s on a chalkboard, piece of paper taped to wall, or sidewalk chalk outside (great activity!) and not letting them switch hands to complete
· Waving a scarf or light blanket with one hand in a large circle/letter/shape it is another way to encourage crossing the midline
SENSORY: TACTILE / TOUCH / BODY AWARENESS SKILLS
· Tolerating play with textures that are dry (rice, beans, sand) or wet (foam soap, shave cream, lotion, water, slime)- don’t force it, allow to use an object, such as a paintbrush, spoon, or measuring cup to play in it. If they like these different textures, you can get more academic and motor skill practice while using. You can put this media in a ziplock bag for them to touch and manipulate without having to “touch” it. Glue and paste activities also allow for a different touch experience.
· Identify objects without looking/eyes closed – pick a few recognizable, but different objects such as a block, a ball, fork, toothbrush, and a paperclip. Put them into a sock or bag where they can’t see it, then have them find it. Add objects or make them have to feel more details to increase difficulty.
· Drawing letters/shapes/words on their back and see if they can guess what they are- this is fun for siblings to do together
· For different touch experience with writing/drawing/coloring, add several pieces of paper, write with foam or cardboard under their paper, use chalk
Interpret where body parts are in space and how they are moving
· Copy pictures of motions or of you (ex: one arm straight up, one out) and have them imitate you, you can change it up by having them looks at themselves in the mirror
· Simon says
· Jumping jacks with correct form (arms and legs out at the same time, do them very slow if you need to)
· Animal walks such as crab walking and wheelbarrow walking
· Crawling through tunnel or under something
· Rolling a ball up/down a wall
· Joint compressions manually, wall/chair/hand push-ups
· Joint traction- hanging on monkey bars or pulling something (load up a laundry basket and attach a jump rope for them to pull)
· Touching/tracing Velcro, pulling Velcro strips apart, pulling Velcro items
· Weighted objects- if you have a weighted ball, encourage play, let it sit in their laps while working, place in on their bellies while they’re doing animal walks. If you don’t have a weighted ball, you can put dry beans or rice into a ziplock bag or tie off a sock. Lighter pressure such as wearing a sweat/wrist band on their wrist or headband/hat may give just a little input that they like.
Movement! Responding to changes in position and movement in order to balance
· Do any activity on an uneven surface such as standing/sitting on a cushion, ball, or with a foot propped up
· Changing positions to do an activity such as laying on your stomach, on your back (with worksheet taped under a chair or table), in a tall knee position, straddling a chair to work at table, or standing (with paper taped to the wall)
· Riding on their stomach on a scooter board or rolling over a large ball to put items into container/puzzle pieces, etc.
o Ex: if completing puzzle, put board separate from pieces either on floor vs. table, board propped against wall so they’re moving back and forth
· Allow crashing into cushions and beanbags, jumping on trampoline or in place, rolling across floor, hanging upside down off of bed or couch, slides, swinging, rolling or spinning in office chair or on a circular sled, bouncing on a ball (or a bull ha!- see picture), rocking chairs- let them lead these type of movement activities! You can usually see what they like to do in everyday behavior. They help them attend and give them the information their bodies and brains need to be alert.
SENSORY: AUDITORY / SMELL / TASTE
· If your child seeks auditory input (likes loud noises, makes loud noises) providing background noise or rhythmic music/sounds (such as white noise or sounds machine) may be calming for them and help to focus.
· If they avoid noise and hold their ears or have trouble completing anything while others are talking or noises around them, keep that in mind and try to minimize or cancel out noise for them to focus on certain activities. This may be changing the environment or using headphones or earmuffs. Consider creating a “quiet corner” for breaks and/or doing work in a calm environment.
· Many kids like to smell everything. Use that to encourage use of their hands- to open containers or pouches to smell something in them. You can put different oils/spices on cotton balls and place into what you want them to open or hold to move to their face to smell. There are also scented markers and stickers that may motivate them to want to color or complete a sticker activity.
· For taste, difference textures can be alerting or calming. Typically crunchy, chewy snacks are helpful for this such as pretzels, raw carrots, fruit strips or snacks, chewing jerky or meat. This may also require a lot of work to their joints in their jaw, so they may avoid it and prefer yogurt or soft foods. Encourage sucking through a water bottle or straw if this is the case to provide this input.
SENSORY: MOTOR PLANNING
Think, plan, and carry out a multi-step skill in the correct sequence from beginning to end
· Build an obstacle course (go under, jump over, roll into, hop, animal walks)- adding more steps make it more difficult. Have them help build it and use their creativity (ex: find something to go under)
· Puling shirts/socks/clothing right side out
· Folding clothes (start with wash cloths, kitchen towels)
· Dressing themselves or dolls/stuffed animals- start with one item such as socks only, then add more once they’re successful
SENSORY: GENERAL TIPS
· For writing, give visual boundaries or highlight areas for them to remain within the lines.
· For cutting, it is sometimes helpful to give them a starting point by drawing a line to get started and the direction. Make sure they position their hand with their thumb in the small hole and cut with their “thumbs up”.
· For core strength and balance training, check out Cosmic Yoga on YouTube.com
· Encourage sitting/laying in different positions for work or play or enjoying a movie (laying on stomach propped up on elbows, lying on their side, tall kneeling at a coffee table).
OLDER STUDENTS / UPPER GRADES
· Complete writing responses to books they are reading for school on lined paper. Grade activity to your child’s level (making a list of vocab/key words from text, copying 3 sentences from a model, sentence starter/writing prompt to write a short paragraph, outline with “First, Next, Then”)
· Work on keyboarding skills on dancemattyping.com (geared for younger) or typing.com (geared for older)- both free websites that are great to practice using both hands and correct home row typing
· Make a grocery list or a list of chores to be done for the week
· Write out a list of activities in an obstacle course they create or a schedule for the day
· Help with household chores to their ability level- unloading/loading dishwasher, carry heavy laundry basket to/from laundry room, folding laundry, kitchen helper for baking/cooking, wiping off/cleaning tables and counters, cleaning windows and mirrors, making sandwiches or nut butter crackers for snacks, vacuum/sweep floors
· Crafts like making Play-Doh (see recipe below), painting rocks, making bracelets, etc.
o Homemade Play-Doh
§ 1 cup flour
§ 1 cup water
§ ½ cup salt
§ 2 T cream of tartar
§ 2 T oil (canola or vegetable, not olive)
§ Few drops of food coloring of your choice
§ Blend all ingredients together in a large pot using a metal whisk to remove all lumps and cook over medium heat. Change to wooden spoon. Mixture will begin to get very stiff and clump. Using wooden spoon, stir until clumps form together and almost dry being careful not to burn. Turn out onto counter top and knead until smooth. Careful- Mixture will be very hot. Store out of sunlight in a zip lock bag or Tupperware. I recommend doubling the recipe and making a few different colors. Enjoy!
o Making rubber band jewelry (no loom needed, just your hands!)
If you have any questions or need any further ideas or explanation please don’t hesitate to contact:
Michelle Plemons- firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Goldsborough- email@example.com