Adventures in Tutoring

Contact: Erin Jackson 801-376-9765
erinjackson.1234@gmail.com
Located in Spanish Fork, UT

Individual and group tutoring services for students with mild (resource)-severe disabilities.

Speech Therapy for students of all ages.

Preschool services available for children with or without disabilities. Sign up now for fall preschool sessions. Monday, Wednesday, & Friday $75 a month (2 days) $100 a month (3 days). Ages 3-5
In preschool we will work on Zoo-Phonics, beginning numbers, shapes, colors, social skills, behavioral skills, language, communication, fine and gross motor, coloring, writing, cutting, crafts, and music.

Are you worried about your child's progress or regression over the summer months sign up for tutoring to give your kiddos that extra help to put them on the right track for the next school year

Group tutoring with 2-6 students is $15 per hour
Individual tutoring is $25 per hour
Individual tutoring at the child's home starts at $45 per hour
Half Hour Individual tutoring - $15 per half hour

Services Available: Academic Tutoring, Social Skills, Motor Skills both fine and gross motor, Language Skills (speech background), Behavioral Skills (including behavior plans for home/school), Augmentative Communication (PECS-High end Technology) IEP help and support


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sandpaper

Can you tell I have been spending my time in hardware stores...Well here is one more idea. When a student is writing place the paper on top of sandpaper. This will add an extra sensory experience. Try different types of sandpaper from very fine to coarse and bumpy. When the child colors or writes they will be able to feel each mark more easily. When finished the child can run their fingers over the coloring and feel the tiny bumps. This is a fun way to engage student in more fine motor skills.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sand and Shells

Sensory Bucket ~ Reward
I love the beach. The sand and ocean. Unfortunately living in Utah the opportunity to go to the beach is few and far between. When you need a little taste of this feeling bring the beach to you. I purchased 100 lbs. of play sand that you can find at any hardware store for a few dollars. I then bought a large bucket to put the sand in. If you want to be able to cover the sand make sure you buy a container with a lid. I placed a bag a seashells into the sand. You can find your own shells along a real beach or you can go to Walmart and purchase a bag of shells to put into your sand. This then becomes a wonderful sensory activity. Children can dig in the sand and find shells. I also generally turn this into a language building activity by having the kids describe what they are feeling (ex: I feel something bumpy and round) The nice thing about sand is that you can hide all sorts of treasures in the play sand. If you want to have a fun scavenger hunt. Create a little map that will lead the kids to the bucket of sand and then follow the clues to find the sand and treasure. One final thought, students with many sensory needs generally enjoy digging in the sand. I have worked with many kids that would complete their TEACCH jobs and their reward was playing in the sand.

Hardware Stores

You know, you can find amazing things at hardware stores. The versatility of building products is huge. I have worked with many students with autism. One thing that can be challenging is when the child folds, eats, or lacks the fine motor to pick up the picture icons. I have tried placing the icons on pieces of wood, tile, and other thicker objects. This is my favorite so far. I purchased sticky-back floor linoleum squares. Each square was about $1.00. Then I printed off my pictures, laminated them and stuck them to the floor linoleum. The nice thing about floor linoleum is that you can create any size of picture icon small to huge because the linoleum can be cut easily to size. To cut the linoleum I would recommend using a razor blade because it gives a more precise cut. Scissors sometimes create cracks in the linoleum. The icons are now a little thicker, sturdier, and easier to pick up.

Floor linoleum - Laminated Boardmaker Icons
2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Language Quote

“If all my possessions were taken from me with
one exception I would choose to keep the
Power of Communication
for by it I would soon regain all the rest”

-Daniel Webster

iPad Success

For those of you out there that have worked with or have a child that is nonverbal you understand the frustration of not being able to understand what the individual wants. I have worked with many kids over the years that are nonverbal, including my sister. I am working with a teenager who is using an iPad to communicate using the program Proloquo2go. This is a text/picture menu system with voice output. She has done very well with things like requesting food, yes/no, and a few other reinforcing items. Today while I was working with her, she said, "I want to go to Walmart" I told her we can't today. She said again, "I want to go to Walmart." I told her not today. She then went into an entirely different menu area in the iPad and said "Why not!" I was blown away. I had never gotten such a thought provoking question. I was so impressed. I know these kids that are nonverbal have so much to say but just don't have a way to express themselves. In the end I still couldn't take her to Walmart but I told her that when her mom came to pick her up we would ask if she could go to Walmart with mom.

Count, Read, TEACCH

TEACCH Thanksgiving Task
I made several sets of cards like the ones pictured here. I wanted my students to be exposed to the written word as much as possible. This task was to simply see if the student could count the objects (turkeys) and then write the number in the box with a dry erase marker. Over time I noticed that my students started recognizing the words. These are simple to make. Simply find a graphic that you like it can be seasonal, theme, etc. Mine were seasonal. Such as count the pumpkins, turkeys, Christmas trees, snowflakes, hearts, shamrocks, Easter eggs, and flowers. With each set of cards I changed the word slightly. "How many turkeys do you see?" "I see ___ turkeys" to "I will count the pumpkins you will see" "I see ___ big round pumpkins" The text was always simple with a few changes.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Swinging

One of my favorite features in my basement is the swing. While we were finishing the basement we reinforced a beam and put a heavy hook which allows different types of swings to attach to the hook. Swinging is an excellent sensory activity. It can be calming or stimulating. There are so many types of swing out there that you can create a wide variety of experiences. I know that you can't always reinforce a beam to add a swing. There are several places that sell indoor stands. Usually if you search under "Hammock Chair" you will find the various stands.

Color Wheel TEACCH

TEACCH Color Wheel Task
A simple TEACCH task that involves fine motor with clothespins and matching colors. To make, simply create a color wheel out of different strips of paper, or an even simpler way is to make a pie chart on the computer and color each section a different color then print and laminate. I colored my clothespins with permanent markers. Some variations to this task would be to write the color word on the wheel and then match the colored clothespin to the written word (this would make the task a little more challenging). 

New Words

 
I was working on language skills with one of my students. We were using Winnie the Pooh figures and a picture book called "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" He was doing so great. He was answering all sorts of questions, making comments, and we even created our own little story which he acted out with his figures. As I was taking him home he asked if he could "keep" the figures. I told him he could "borrow" them. He looked at me quizzically. I explained that the word borrow meant he could have them, but he would have to give them back to me the next time I saw him. He repeated the word borrow and said, "I keep now, give back later" When he arrived home he told his mom and dad that he borrowed. I think he used that word probably 25 times by the time I left his house. New words are always fun to learn. I was so excited that I had found something he loved enough he wanted to "Borrow"  

Smelly...

I have been working with several kids that enjoy things like lotions, candles, anything smelly. I found these stuffed animals from a company called Scentsy. The stuffed animal has a zipper in the back and you place a small fragrance pack in the animal. You can choose your own smell from things like pomegranate, lavender, cinnamon, etc. The smell lasts about a year. I like this idea because some children are calmed by certain smells such as lavender. The child can also cuddle up with their favorite stuffed animal and it will smell nice.

TEACCH ABC's

Here is another task I had in my TEACCH work boxes. The alphabet letters are written on library pockets which can be found at school supply stores and also Staples. I laminated the pockets and then using scissors or a knife I sliced open the pocket. I then printed 4 pictures for each letter of the alphabet. The pictures are about the size of a 3x5 card. The ones shown here are graphics from a program called Boardmaker Plus from MayerJohnson. You can find your own graphics from programs like Word or on the Internet. The pictures are also laminated to ensure longer durability. Depending on the level of the student I gave them anywhere from just a few letters at a time to the entire alphabet. This type of task works on letter skills and fine motor skills because the student must hold the library pocket in one hand and the letter card in the other hand and then slide the card into the pocket.  

TEACCH Dominoes

Dominoes - There are many uses for dominoes in a classroom. One you can work on fine motor skills by stacking them in lines. Counting how many you stacked and then knocking them all down, plunk, plunk, plunk. You can play a game of dominoes.

One thing I created was a TEACCH task. I placed the dominoes on my color scanner. I scanned the image of a domino board all displayed. Then the student was given the laminated image of the domino board and the dominoes. Their task was to match the domino in the correct location. This skill is more challenging than a typical matching activity because there is much more detail and you have to find both correct sides of the domino. If number dominoes are too difficult you can use picture dominoes that can be found at stores like Walmart and Target.