Way, way, back in the day when my children were little I was trained in a program called the Jumpstart program here in Arizona that basically teaches families how to do ABA therapy with their ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) children.
It was and is a great program that I would encourage all families to go through even if they have a child who is not on the spectrum. A lot of the ABA behavioral tips would work great with all children at all levels.
So every month I thought it would be nice to share with anyone else out there some old tips of mine from the past. I am not an expert. I am not a professional in anyway but I am a mom. This new monthly post of mine is never meant to mommy shame or make anyone else feel bad about their own children or styles of raising their kids. It is just me sharing some fun projects I did with my two children long ago.
When my son stopped speaking, looking at us, and basically only wanted to spin his father’s bike wheel outside over and over I never thought I would see a day where he would speak to me. There were a lot of melt downs and very sad moments for my husband and I.
Today you would not recognize that child from long ago. My son has passed me in academics. He has conversations, and he is attending college. We are talking about difficult subjects too, like biology and human anatomy. He is working very hard to keep his grades up so he can get those scholarships.
It is so hard to see ahead when you are right in the middle of something that is a really difficult experience you may be going through in your life. Please be encouraged, never discouraged. My son has passed everything I had hopped for him. He is such an amazing little man, although he is no longer little. He is almost 6ft tall now and he is only 19.
I will sometimes add the spiritual side to what I believe and that is that I believe God only gives us what he knows we can handle. I know there are some followers of mine that do not share my belief in God and I try to keep most of my post neutral because I don’t want to exclude anyone from what I want to share.I want to include everyone as much as possible. I will always believe God set up my life in a way to help me when it came time with my own child and his special needs. Now I want to share that with as many people as possible.
You see when I was a little girl there was some chaos in my life and my way of escaping that was to create. My art was my quiet place, it was my pretty place where nothing terrible ever happened. God knew someday I would need those skills in order to teach and reach a little boy I would have later in my life. People who remember my son from the early years are always amazed when they see him now. They always ask ” How did you do that?”.
A mother knows their child and what ever they accomplish in life, however small others may see it, it is huge in your child’s life. Take every day, minute by minute and those little goals will be accomplished. Just remember, that each little thing your children learns is a gift.
Anyway, these little projects of mine were just creative ways to teach my children. I would design games, make toys, sew puppets, draw out coloring pages. I used everything I had in me to make teaching fun. As all good mother’s know…we will do everything and anything for our babies.
My first project is on prepositions. This was one of the most difficult subjects to teach my son when it came to communicating. To make it less intimidating and more entertaining I used dollhouse furniture and little miniatures to teach him all about prepositions.
Small table and chair
An assortment of Miscellaneous items
I found this table and chair set at a dollar store here in the city. It was all ready to paint and decorate. Have your children paint their table and chair set. Make sure to keep the table and chair set a solid color. Don’t paint it all different colors making it very busy and distracting. Having visually loud items will distract the child and make them focus solely on that.
A Brown table and chair is fine. I did end up adding a tiny flower to mine later, which also might be distracting because I used puffy paints. Some ASD children may want to just go over the textures of puffy paint for sensory play.
Be careful of adding too many colors and textures when designing your speech toys. After the lesson let them design their own table to play with later. This will help with melt downs. Plus your child will see that they always get to end their lessons with something fun that they like doing. Always end everything on a positive. That goes for everything in life.
To make my table look more realistic I decoupaged some faux wood paper to the top.
ABA therapy was always done at a table when I was taught but I switched it up when I got home and did ABA therapy everywhere. In our pool, at the park, out to eat, and of course at our kitchen table. This was years ago, so things could have changed since then. You all know your children best, so make a program that you feel will work best for you and your child.
One of the items I am using for this project is a little clay vase I made with some left over clay.
Which I added tiny flowers to once dry.
And a pillow and table runner to set on the table. All these items can be used in your lessons.
You can use just about anything. If your child has an obsession with certain characters (careful with this one because it could lead to too many distractions) then use those obsessions to your advantage. Sometime I would bring out Thomas the tank when I was teaching my son prepositions.
A little pillow is perfect because it is an every day item we use, just adding another word to a child’s vocabulary that way. An example of this lesson would be “Put the pillow on the table” or “Put the pillow under the table” you can go on and on with one step directions then moving on to two step preposition directions the more your child learns. “Put the vase under the table and the pillow on the chair”.
Language is not the easiest skill for some and the English language can be a bit confusing at times. It is my language and I even have problems with it…like I just wrote up above, I am no professional as many of my regular followers know, I make tons of mistakes.
Anyway, I do hope this quick little craft project and speech lesson helps someone out there. There’s all kinds of information on ABA therapy online. When I first started ABA with our son, cell phones were just taking off. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if dogs didn’t start walking around with a cell phone strapped to their faces watching cats running around on screen. Probably have some sort of App that does ABA prepositions online. I still like doing things the old way.
Happy teaching everyone.
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