Wednesday, December 31, 2014

DeafBlind Resource

Hi friends,

How about we end 2014 with a blog post or two? I hope the holidays were fun for everyone. I wanted to share a resource that came to me from a lovely lady named Ramona Rice. Ramona has Usher's Syndrome. We were having a lovely chat one nice afternoon when she received a phone call in the middle of our talk. I watched her answer her cell phone with a device that I had never seen before. I immediately asked her what this hands free cell phone device was! She uses a device from Starkey Pro called Surflink. I asked her more about it because I was quite intrigued. She then showed me a little microphone that she could point in my direction to dial in on our conversation without the clutter of background noise. I have included information about this product. Ramona swears by it! She even told me about another device (from the same company) that helps her watch TV. I thought about several of my students with Usher's and thought about how they struggle with keeping up with conversations. I don't think this is a perfect fit for everyone but check it out. I watched Ramona (who has a significant dual sensory loss) do business on her cell thanks to Surflink.
Check it out!

Ramona coordinates some helpful resources for those who have Usher's Syndrome. You can find out more information about it here,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

CVI Target

Happy December friends! I bet everyone is on the go with holiday activities. I hope everyone has been buying up items for your CVI kits. I have been! I have also been doing a lot of work in our classrooms for CVI modifications. Here's one little project that I just finished up. I got the original idea from Pinterest (of course!). This idea came to me because the student I was making modifications for is in a wheelchair and has a head rest to support his head. I wanted to find a way to provide a good target that his team could present items without having the visual clutter in the background.

Here's the original idea and the site that I got the directions from:

Clearly the burlap color wasn't going to cut it but the idea was still gold! 
Here's how I modified it for this student:
My handsome husband and partner-in-crime did the building. It was all made out of PVC pipe. 
Easy to make! We didn't glue it so that I can take it apart and move it around. 

This is the back side of the target. I like the middle post because it allows me to hang stuff on it and use both sides of the target. 

Last I added the Christmas lights to attract his attention. He really responds to lights. Now his team can roll him up next to the target backdrop and work with him. Easy peasy and visually awesome to look at! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Ideas!

Can you believe that we are in December?! It's crazy! I am sure everyone is set for holiday ideas but I thought I would share some ideas that I have been doing this season. These are ECC activities that can be done at home or school, December through January and can be done with kids of all abilities with a little modification. There are so many good ideas to do so I decided to include some baking/cooking as well as other type of activities. I've pinned a lot of these on Pinterest already but I thought I would share here too.  I made sure to include link to the site.
Here goes:

Another quick and easy ECC lesson for the holidays. **You can also call this Winter S'mores, HOliday S'mores, etc. if your students do not celebrate Christmas. Perfect 3 step sequence for kids who are MIVI too!
I am doing this activity this week! I love it because it is a simple three step sequence for our MIVI kids as well as something yummy and doable for our typical kids. Did you miss Christmas? How about calling it New Years S'Mores? I also experimented with different types of marshmallows and M&Ms and let my students choose (easy peasy self-determination skill). I bought mint flavored marshmallows and a variety of different types of M&Ms. I'm having the student make their own labels or they can decorate one that I'm giving them.

How to make homemade Christmas scented paint | Great for kids Christmas crafts and Christmas sensory play.
How fun is this idea for painting? This is a great modification for a lot of our kids. You could also add in O&M skills by going to the grocery store and buying the spices/scents. This makes it a complete skill! **Remember you don't have to do it all in one day---you could go to the store and purchase on the first lesson and make the paint on lesson #2**

Cinnamon Snowflakes, my kids love making these:) I think my preschoolers would too:)
I'm really excited for these cinnamon snowflakes that I am doing this with not only my students by my kids too! Find the steps here: You can always practice cutting snowflakes on paper first. This is also another activity that you can do well into January in case you missed December. 

Emma Courtney: Cute Last Minute DIY Gifts
I loved this idea as well because it allows you to incorporate some fun kitchen skills in the discussion. This activity includes all areas of the ECC! Can you see how? A lot of times we do cooking for the actual activity but what about giving a gift (think social skills! It is fun to give not just to receive--perfect lesson for our kids!). Read more about this idea:

And what about learning about all the pots, pans and kitchen utensils for the holiday? How about this idea:
DIY Sensory Activity with easy home set up. Perfect way to make children sensory aware and become better at balancing. Laughing Kids Learn
Of course there is also this popular activity:
Snowman Soup. I gave this every year to my preschool students for a holiday gift!
You can find several variations of Snowman Soup but the one pictured is from

I did this for my kids last year and it was a hit! I am suggesting for our kids because this is another awesome idea for teaching our kids about giving to others. You can expand on this lesson by not just talking about service, but about how to be a friend and how to show gratitude. This is also a great one for teens (just make the mission more mature). Use Braille or Large Print. If Braille isn't available and you need it, think about making a auditory mission and record the details.

Project Snowman Game. Give teams of kids toilet paper and winter accessories to have a indoor snowman building contest.
How about having some fun at your next holiday party? Do you want to build a snowman? Another fun ECC activity for students of all ages and abilities!
Everygreen Gift tags---so pretty!
Original idea from:
I thought this idea was the best match up to my tactual labels idea. You can make a tactual label for everyone in the family. It may take a bit more effort so choose easy items to glue onto labels or use ribbon (like in the picture). Can you put peppermint or nutmeg on your kids' tag? This is sensory integration and it's ECC (plus these are just soooo cute).  If you are thinking this is a great idea but too much time, turn the project into a family night activity! Each person can make their own labels as you sing holiday songs! 

 This candle project is from one of our own talented teachers, Annette Loveland. This idea is perfect because it teaches core and expanded core at the same time! Can you see how? It's also great for students that use candles as part of their holiday traditions. I loved it!

Also this is the time that I remind everyone to stock up on CVI materials!!
Grab up those red and gold beads, shiny red wrapping paper, red ornaments and Christmas lights!! I just bought 5 new boxes and I think I have to head back and buy more!