24 June 2007
Take a look and get yourself a bargain - hurry though as the code expires on 30th June 2007
15 June 2007
Firstly, preparation is the key to smooth transitions. Some children will need more preparation than others so work out your own plan in conjunction with your school and other professionals working with your child (as appropriate).
One of the best ways to prepare a child for the new term is to visit the school and meet the teacher and other children, this is usually organised by the school at the end of the summer term or first thing in September as part of a gradual transition to full time schooling. If formal visits are not possible, taking the child to see the school (even just to drive past it!) will help make it a ‘real’ place.
If possible take photos the building, the classroom, the toilets, the library, the dining hall, the teachers / teaching assistants and anything else of interest. These can be made into a personalised 'starting school' / 'moving to year 1 (etc)' book. This personalised book can also include 'rules' as appropriate, for example, we have to be quiet in the library, we hang our coats on our peg, class x can play on the climbing frame on Wednesdays and we take turns on the computer.
It is important that the adults (teachers, parents, carers and other family members) connected to the child starting school are positive about the prospects of the experience, however it is also important to allow the child to express their fears and concerns. Books, for example, the Usborne First Experiences: Starting School or role playing school with favourite toys / puppets may help a child understand the process.
Another task that might help your child prepare for school is taking them ‘school shopping’, being taken to get their new school clothes, shoes and bags it can help build excitement about the experience and being able to chose items will add empowerment.
In the period before starting school, other skills that might be worth practicing include self-help skills - dressing, toileting and feeding, following routines and playing with similar toys to those used in school.
To prepare children who are already have specialist support in school, find out whether their support workers will be staying the same or changing next term. Evaluate the strategies used this year and look at how they can be implemented in the new classroom setting, for example, if the child was allowed to have quiet time out in a side room is there the space for this to occur in the new room? If the child sat for carpet time on a specific cushion / space - can this be transferred to the new class? Don't forget to ensure that angled writing boards and other specialist equipment is moved into the new class before the start of term.
12 June 2007
Scope believes that everyone should have the right to communicate. Lots of people with communication impairments have told them that they find it difficult to get the right equipment and support to speak for themselves. So they are conducting some research into the issues. The survey is for people with a communication impairment, who use, or would like to use, a communication aid. They would also like to hear from parents and family members or people that work with people with communication impairments. The survey ends on 1st July 2007.
10 June 2007
We went to Twycross Zoo yesterday and whilst following the sign language trail I remembered Michelle's site! Michelle holds a level three qualification in British Sign Language (BSL) and is a communicator for Deaf people and enjoyed signing with her own (hearing) children but struggled to find the resources to help teach them. Chelltune is the UK's first specialist signing store containing all the materials you need to get you babies and children signing. The shop contains items from the BSL - Let's Sign and WOW! ranges, products to support baby signing classes (including Tinytalk, Sing & Sign and Sign with your Baby), Makaton compatible resources as well as fun signing puppets. As well as the shop there is also a forum to discuss signing and ask any questions - it's well worth a look!
08 June 2007
- share books about birthdays / parties (including the Usborne First Experiences: Going to a Party)
- use a calendar to count down the days until the birthday / party
- practice unwrapping presents to teach both the anticipation of 'what is in the present' and the skills needed to tear the paper
- practice blowing out candles and singing happy birthday
- think about your child's needs and difficulties when planning a birthday treat, you want them to enjoy it!
- let your child 'help' with the preparations
07 June 2007
- Look for house numbers
- Complete number jigsaws
- Play with number bean bags
- Play number matching games like number lotto
- Identify numbers on car number plates
- Ask what number the hands on a clock are pointing to
- Look at books with numbers in the story
- Colour or decorate number outlines (see our resources page for FREE number colouring books)
- Get your child to press the buttons for you in the lift
- Identify the numbers on the scales when cooking
05 June 2007
03 June 2007
So bearing in mind it's Down Syndrome Awareness Week I thought I'd help raise awareness of Down Syndrome by a post about it!
Everyday in the UK, an average of one or two babies are born with Down syndrome, which means that one baby in 1000 has the condition. People with Down syndrome have a certain degree of learning disability however the degree of disability varies from person to person and it is impossible to tell at birth what that degree will be, most children with Down syndrome do learn to walk, talk, read and write just that their development is usually delayed.
- Low muscle tone (although this improves with age)
- Lower than average birth weight and a slower pace of weight gain
- Eyes that slant upward and outward, the eyelids often have an extra fold of skin (epicanthic fold) which appears to exaggerate the slant
- A flatter than average back of the head
- A single crease which runs right across the palm of the hand