Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What Are You Thankful For This Christmas?

High schoolers in a class for students with autism created cards during our integrated therapy session yesterday, to express how they are thankful for their families.  We incorporated actual photos of most students and used a photo from a newspaper ad to represent the student whose family does not permit photos taken at school.  When presented with several ad photos to represent her, of course our student chose the most attractive photo of the bunch!

It's a simple activity, except for using those tricky scrapbooking scissors!  Some of those are hard to use on the flimsy holiday wrapping paper I grabbed from home.  Most students chose to simply use regular scissors but our speech-language pathologist made sure she kept her hand tightly over the scissors caddy until the students specifically asked to use a scissors.  It was my job to say, "Go ahead and start cutting out your photo," once, twice, thrice...until the students realized that we really weren't going to hand them the scissors and they had to ask for them.  The SLP calls this, "sabotaging the task."  It's very hard for me to remember to do this since my focus is so much on the fine motor aspect of these sessions and not the communication piece.

 Folding the paper like a book.
 Nice, tight crease.
 Make sure the corners match up.
 No access to the scissors unless you request them!
 Adding a festive "frame" around the photo.
 Make sure the frame sticks on the paper.
 Some frames are a little wider than others.
 Writing the note inside.
 Some handwriting is teensy, but legible.
 Great sensory opportunity for deep pressure input to the hands.
This student wrote his note in a secret code.

Be sure to find out ahead of time if any students do not celebrate holidays at their homes, or if a particular decorating scheme should be avoided and you need to use more neutral colors.  The families of the students in this particular class do celebrate Christmas so we went with red and green construction paper as well as newspaper photos of wreaths, pine trees and holiday lights on buildings.

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