Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Assessment for Organizational Skills--Pretzel Drizzling

No, not really.  I thought our group would be practicing easy cooking skills, sequencing, fine motor control and turn taking.  However, it turned out to be an activity that perfectly reflected the students' styles of self organization and I'm thinking somebody should create a standardized assessment for organization, using chocolate, pretzels, wax paper, measuring spoons and cute sprinkles.  We'd just have to be sure the assessment kit comes with regular and gluten-free pretzels.

Our task--melting bars of chocolate in the microwave and drizzling thin lines of the melted chocolate over different pretzel shapes, as well as small candy canes.  I made sure we had some very tiny spoons, to make the task more challenging and extend the repetitions of scooping chocolate out of the Pyrex measuring cup.  Toward the end of the session we even dipped some candy canes in the melted chocolate.  Our speech-language pathologist facilitated turn taking and polite requests.

What do you see about organizational styles in these photos?  In our group for students with high-functioning autism we have carefree types, average Joes, very-concerned-with-rules guys and one student with diagnosed motor incoordination.  Can you match the pretzel creations to these characteristics?

If you guessed "organized" for this student, you're right!

We do have one student who can touch, but not eat, regular pretzels and he gave his creations to a fellow group member.  At the beginning of the school year we sent a questionnaire to parents of students in our group, asking about allergies/sensitivities to food, spices, etc., and were glad to see that most students were allergy free.  Many of our students are glad to work with the ingredients but decline to eat them.  There is always another student, or staff member, to step in and help.

No comments: