Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gear Up for the Holiday Marathoning!

Hi friends!
Can you believe that it is already October? I have a feeling this month is going to fly by so I thought I would get blogging my October thoughts right away. October officially begins our marathon of holidays. There are so many things to do that it can get overwhelming if you don't get organized. I don't want our kiddos to miss a beat so let's start preparing now for the upcoming holidays. 

Holiday think about items:
-Mobility! Where are activities going to be held? What's the layout of the party situation? With Halloween fast approaching, odds are that the lights will be turned way down loooowww with hidden obstacles everywhere! Think flashlights for our younger students. You can probably even get a middle schooler to buy into using a flashlight, too. Don't forget to take the extra second to add a little pizzazz to it! Add some webs or cool stickers to help the flashlight be an accessory; not just a  modification. 

Always remember, when possible allow our kids to get in there and get a preview first (no matter what age). Allow them to walk around with the lights on and get a feel for the layout (earlier that day without their peers so that they can really focus). Haunted houses can be tricky so make sure you don't have a 'fraidy cat sighted guide!

 It might also be a good idea to role play out potential embarrassing situations. For example, they didn't see that gravestone and they tripped over it in front of all their friends. If they will listen to you (ahhh teenagers!), go over some ways they can shake off embarrassing situations--what can they say? what can they look for?

Halloween isn't the only holiday this fall season. Anyone else like to play a little football on Turkey Day? Help get our kids out for that, too! Just so you know, we taught football at one of our weekend programs last year. It was so fun for our kids to be involved in such a popular sport! Some ideas: pick a field that has clear goals lined up or bring some large bright colored cones or flags. Bring a pinny or easy-to-see color hats or tees for your team. Another easy idea is to just have family member who can run close to your kiddo as a guide runner. 

-Kitchen & cooking skills
Well there are just so many opportunities that I don't even know where to begin!!! The most important thing to know is that there is always something your child can do, no matter what the age or ability! The kitchen can sometimes turn into a battle zone with everyone cooking up a storm so there might not be a place for our kids especially those with multiple impairments. You can have them set up, pull out cookie sheets, cookie cutters, ingredients, etc. You can also have them help out at the grocery store by giving them a list (refer back to one of my old posts with picture grocery lists for kiddos that are MIVI, ASD/VI or DB). 

Set up little cooking projects. I love so I tend to hit them up for great ideas. You can also have our kids participate in something a little less stressful like breakfast or appetizers. I will keep looking up recipes and ideas to share as part of my special holiday cooking extravaganza.

A few other important things to remember about cooking skills:
-Keep that defined work space. Use a tray, place mat, cutting board, etc. when working. Have your child set up their own work space.
-Keep things to about 3-4 sequential steps especially for kids with multiple impairments and preschoolers. Use calendar boxes and a finished box, too!
-Large print or Braille recipes can be whipped out in a second as long as you take a moment to prepare. Send your recipes to school to get Braille help or read them to your child the day before and have them Braille out the recipes. 
-Try to make it a complete experience--they can buy the food or get all the ingredients out, they make the dish and then they clean it up!!

I'll be back later this week with some recipes that are good ones to get started with. Until then, here's to the start of our marathon of holidays!!!

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