My Poem (#2) : SEE ME, From a Child’s View With Special Needs…

As mentioned in one of the pages in the menu titled: My Poetry/Self-Expressions, I like writing poems! Here’s another poem I’d like to share with you. Enjoy!

 

SEE ME

 

SEE ME through your eyes,

I have  a face, arms, legs, and thighs,

Just like you, I have hair, a mouth and a nose,

I have hands, fingers, feet and toes,

 

SEE ME through your eyes,

Each year as I grow a different size,

Just like you, I need nutrition and food,

I have feelings, emotions and can change moods,

 

SEE ME through your eyes,

I am like the weather going through lo’s and high’s,

Just like you, I could be happy and I could be sad,

I could have a mom and I could have a dad,

 

SEE ME through your eyes,

Respect me, do not tell me lies,

Just like you, I am a person who needs love and hugs,

Who likes being outdoors in the sun and grass with the bugs.

 

SEE ME through your eyes,

I do not need sympathy, come on guys!

Just like you, I am a child, a special child,

Who just needs a little extra TLC (tender loving care), a special child.

 

I am just like you if you would just SEE ME,

Just treat me as you would any child, and let me be.

 

By: Mary Tran

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Encouraging Independence is Vital for Students/Children With Special Needs

Children with special needs must reach their best potential. Depending on their disabilities and cognitive levels, they should be encouraged to be as independent as possible. It is better for the child and for you (as a parent) to begin at a very early age. A child should be encouraged to feed himself/herself, clean after themselves and throw things away in the trash. If a child/student is unable to,  have them ask for “help.”  If the child is nonverbal, have the child sign help or  have him/her gesture or point to a picture with the sign of  “help.”  Help the child only if you know the child is unable to complete the task independently or can do the task partially independent (depending on the child’s disability).  If the student/child is acting helpless knowing that you will help him/her, encourage the child/student to complete the task.  Have patience and wait. Allow the child or student time (10 seconds to a minute) to process the information and complete the task. The more you do for the student at school or child at home, the less he/she will do things independently. For the student or child with cerebral palsy and with physical limitations on the torso and arms,  use the “hand over hand” technique.  The “hand over hand” technique involves the adult’s (teacher or parent)  hands over the child’s hand guiding him/her during the completion of the task. For example, a “hand over hand” technique is having your hands over the child’s hand as you brush his/her teeth. The child should be holding the toothbrush and feeling the brush in his/her hand go back and forth on their teeth as the adult’s hand is over theirs. The adult should allow the child/student to do as much of the brushing on his/her own as possible just using their hand on the child’s hand to guide them.

As a parent and teacher, I know it is hard to refuse help. It could be stressful to refuse help and to teach children to do things independently. We want to help them if we see and think they are struggling.  Sometimes, it is more convenient if we just do things for the children/students. We just have to keep in mind that it is beneficial for the child/student if we allow them to do as much as they could independently. It is better for the students and children if they learn earlier on in life. As parents, we want our children to lead happy and independent lives. As teachers. we want our students to be successful and reach their goals.

Praise the student/child for completing every task on their own. Clapping, giving high fives and giving hugs are examples of praise. Create games that help the child/student be independent. We all know that children are more likely to complete tasks when there are games and fun involved. So make it fun if you can!

Below are pictures of my students being independent. One student is holding the flag during our morning routine, an instrument during music and a ball during APE (Adapted Physical Education). The “help” symbol below is taken from the Boardmaker program. It is a picture showing the sign language for “help.” It would be used for students who are nonverbal. There is a also a picture of an adult helping a child to write using the “hand over hand” technique (from google images).

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Here’s a picture from google image. It is an example of the “hand over hand” technique.

Below are my children being independent. My daughter on the left is zipping up her jacket and putting her sneakers on. My son is playing independently with the train table and his tools.

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iPad Built In Apps That Tend To Be Forgotten For Educational Purposes: Camera and Video

As educators and family members of children who use the iPad, we tend to forget to utilize some iPad built-in applications like the camera and the video for educational purposes. The camera and video are such valuable educational tools that do so much more for us  than what we use them for during our daily living purposes. Sometimes, we tend to focus on the iPad apps we purchase on the iPad app store and forget about the basic camera and video that can be used educationally in a school/home setting. The camera portrays images that cannot be captured in a video and the video portrays action and movement that cannot be captured in a camera. Both the camera and video capture memorable moments for educators and families! Some moments make us proud and  make us think to ourselves, “Wow, my student has made so much progress in the last couple of months!” While other moments make us sad because we see through captured images or videos how fast the student/child has grown. I have pictures and videos of my children from birth to their current age. When people say, “Pictures speak a thousand words,” it is true! Make memories at school and at home, record data through videos of student progress and create educational lessons/activities with pictures. You can also record on the video of a student or child using the one single iPad app overtime and see results. Be creative with it!  Below are just some of the reasons why the camera and video are vital tools to use for educational purposes in the classroom and at home:

For students/children, the camera and video:

–  Captures great memories

–  Fosters creativity

–  Allows the student/child to see themselves (self image) through pictures or in action in a video

– Shows physical and personal growth

– Documents self expression and creates reflection

– Students can create projects in videos

– Builds imagination

– The camera creates a slideshow of all the pictures taken  and (depending on the phone) has flash and zoom in/out features.

– Fairly easy to use , child friendly

For teachers and parents/guardian and family members, the camera and video:

– Captures great moments and special memories

– Helps  to collect data to show student progress within a specific time frame

– Can create lessons showing sequence and feelings through facial expressions (see pics below)

– The camera creates a slideshow of all the pictures taken  and (depending on the phone) has flash and zoom in/out features.

– The video captures moments the camera does not showing progress over time recording details, and time

– Fairly easy to use

Below are some great pictures caught of some of my students and my son blowing out a candle:

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Below are pictures put into a collage (using the collage app) that can be used in educational lessons or show progress of an individual over time:
1)  The first picture is my son showing lots of progress in swimming after 2 months!
2) The picture  next to my son swimming is my silly daughter making faces showing different feelings (can be used in an educational  “feelings” lesson)
3) The picture below my son swimming is a typical day at school in the life of one my students.
4) The picture next to my student are pictures of my family showing things you can do in the season of fall which can be used in a Seasons theme lesson for fall (slide down a pile of leaves, make fall angels and go foliage sightseeing)
5) The last picture shows fireworks on the fourth of July
collage1 collage2 collage3collage5 collage6

 

Cause and Effect iPad Apps. for Children With Significant Disabilities Post 2 (see page: Benefit of iPad Usage)

The cause and effect applications on iPads allow for us to assess our students/children who have significant disabilities to see what motivates them and makes them “light” up.  It allows us to see what they like, dislike, enjoy and what apps. they are not amused with.  It helps the students/children themselves see that something happens when they touch the iPad screen and  something continues to happen when they continue to touch the screen.  Why does the iPad app. make beautiful sounds? The CAUSE would be the student  touching the piano keys and the EFFECT would be the sounds the app. makes. We as educators and family members give the students/children the power to make something happen independently.

There are some cause and effect applications on the iPad for children with significant disabilities including visual impairments and developmental disabilities. With a slight touch of the finger (s) or hands, the iPad application will generate sounds, music and light depending on the application. Cause and effect apps. are wonderful for students with multiple disabilities allowing for them to “control” the music or light on their own. The more they are exposed to these cause and effect apps., the more they understand why the slight touch of their hand/finger is creating light or music. We are giving them some autonomy.

Furthermore, cause and effect applications would be great for toddlers. My two year old son enjoys the Talking Tom app. He realizes that if he says,”You’re cute,”  the cat on the iPad screen repeats, “You’re cute” in a different voice. He is amused by this application and it also pushes him to speak and pronounce words.

Below are my students using the musical piano app. allowing them to play the keys on a piano creating their own music. The more they use this iPad app., the more they are familiar with it.

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This iPad app is a very popular app.!

Below are 10 free iPad Apps that teach cause and effect from: http://specialneedsgifts.com/10-free-ipad-apps-that-teach-cause-and-effect/

10 Free iPad Apps That Teach Cause and Effect