Special Adaptations We Made

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Special Adaptations We Made

Postby GrannySimplicity » Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:42 pm

We are only in our first week of using LHTH, but I wanted to share what we are doing with our son. First, let me give you a bit of background so that you may understand why we made certain adaptations. Our son, age 4, has a very low-functioning level of infantile autism disorder. He is completely nonverbal, even after 2 years of speech therapies. Unlike a typical child, he never developed the pincer movement and is unable to use his fingers to pick up or hold anything. He has to "palm" or use his fist to pick up and hold objects. Due to the lack of pincer movement and a sensory issue with objects in his hands, he is unable to feed himself or to even drink from a cup without aid. This is complicated due to a weak muscle issue that he was born with. Though he will be 5 in early April, he tests cognitively at between 18 months and 2 years of age. I do not believe this to be accurate as the testing requires him to be able to answer or perform in ways that he is physically unable to do at this time. With that in mind, I want to share how we did a few of the activities this week.

Reading to Pookie (our nickname for him) is always fun. He loves to be read to. As I read the Bible and other stories to him, I pointed out the items in the pictures. After reading a story, I go through the pictures a second time. I point to each one and name them. When I ask him to show me one of the named items, he will them point to it to indicate that he understood what each item was called.

When it was time to do the artwork of drawing on paper with a crayon, then washing it with black paint, we sat at the table together. Because he is unable to hold the crayon on his own, I lightly hold his fingers in the proper position to hold the crayon. He guides the movement of the crayon, while I simply aid him in not dropping the crayon. This worked out very well. Painting the black wash over the crayon markings was easy for him. I have a set of paint brushes with a knob styled handle that is easier for him to grip.

The fingerplay activity is done in a hand-over-hand method. I have him sitting next to me and I recite the words as I guide his hands to do the motions. This is the same method that I am using to teach him sign language. In time, he will be able to make the motions on his own, but for now, it is a way to teach them.

The circle activity for math was done in a slightly different way than the suggested activity. I wanted the activities to also serve a sensory & fine motor skill developmental function to aid in building his fine motor development. The first activity was the circles & colors. Using his paint dauber (bingo marker type) he drew his circles. For this, I have to lightly hold my hand below his forearm to make it easier for him to use the dauber. He made circles in several colors. Next, he sorted colored pom-poms by placing them inside of the circles with matching colors, red pom-poms in the red circle, etc.

The letter A activity on day 3 was right in line with his abilities and took very little assistance once I helped him understand what he was to do. He learns visually and does not take spoken instruction very well. One day 4, however, I had to change the activity to something within his ability. I put some rice into a shallow dish and guided his hand to draw the letter A in the rice with his finger. On a piece of paper, I wrote the "A" and "a" with a dashed line between on art paper so that he could do it with his paint dauber.

Day 2's caterpillar activity was done by gluing pom-poms onto a piece of cardstock to make the caterpillar. I bent a pipe clearer to make the antennae for him and he put paint on one pom-pom to make the eyes.

Day 4's number 1 activity, which involved cutting is completely out of his ability, so again, we used paints. I painted his hand and wrist brown (this is another sensory activity to aid him in his sensory issues) and helped him make a handprint on art paper. After washing his arm & hand, he used paint daubers to make colored leaves on his tree. This was the 1 tree for his number 1 paper.

Day 5's letter activity of tracing the letter will be done using a paint brush to trace the letter on a sheet of art paper.

Sorry that the post is so long. I wanted to give others a glimpse into how we are adapting the curriculum to match the skill level of our son. While HOD was not designed specifically for a special needs child, I wanted to share our way of using it to offer encouragement to another family with a special needs child who may be wondering how to adapt the activities.

I am so excited to see that LHTH is so easy to adjust for our son's needs. He is learning, but at a pace he can manage. Already, I am seeing a confidence beginning to develop in him. When he sees me take the LHTH manual off the shelf, he is smiling and becomes eager to get started. There are no words to describe the blessing that is! I have cried many grateful and humbled tears this week as I watch my son do what the public schools tell me that he would never do.

Thank you Carrie for having the vision and heart to write a curriculum that is so universal. Not only does it bless a typical child, but it is blessing our son as well. God bless you for that!
Paula
http://ourprairiehome.wordpress.com

ds - LHTH
dd - BLHFHG
GrannySimplicity
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:40 pm

Re: Special Adaptations We Made

Postby Carrie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:54 am

Paula,

Thanks for taking time to share a glimpse of how LHTH works in your home with your son. :D I am so glad that you are finding ways to enjoy it with your little one. :D

I'll move this post over to the Main Board where more moms will see it. :D

Blessings,
Carrie
Carrie
Site Admin
 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Special Adaptations We Made

Postby GrannySimplicity » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:14 pm

Thanks Carrie.

He is loving it. I have tried other preschool programs/curriculums over the past 2 years and they just didn't fit. This curriculum, while I understand that it was not designed to be a special needs curriculum, is easily adaptable. One of the aspects that I really appreciate is the lack of worksheets. That alone is a huge help! Any worksheet that he did previously had to be cut apart, turned into a file folder game, laminated, and have velcro added to them so that they were a hands-on activity he was able to do.

The way you have everything laid out, it is so easy for us. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done on the HOD materials.
Paula
http://ourprairiehome.wordpress.com

ds - LHTH
dd - BLHFHG
GrannySimplicity
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:40 pm

Re: Special Adaptations We Made

Postby netpea » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:01 pm

Wow. That is impressive! What a blessing that you have the vision to change the program to meet your sons needs! May God bless you and your son as you learn together.
Lee Ann
DD3 - LHTH
DD10 - no longer schooled at home
DS12 - no longer schooled at home

Have used LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, and BHFHG
http://netpea.blogspot.com
netpea
 
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Location: Michigan

Re: Special Adaptations We Made

Postby GrannySimplicity » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:49 pm

Thank you Lee Ann. Honestly, I believe that it is the Lord's grace and blessing that is helping me to teach our son. Going by what the "professionals" and public schools told me in regards to expectations of his ability to learn, he is already doing things they never thought he would do. I know in the deepest depths of my heart that it is the Lord's hand in Pookie's life that is allowing him to learn.
Paula
http://ourprairiehome.wordpress.com

ds - LHTH
dd - BLHFHG
GrannySimplicity
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:40 pm


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