Autism Acceptance Month
April is Autism Acceptance month! Our Autism team is working on creative ways to celebrate our students who have autism and their amazing families. We’re looking forward to educating our school community about the importance of accepting and celebrating neurodiversity!
How to use Picture Books: Suggestions from your Speech-Language Therapists:
Ask questions starting with “wh” question words (who, what, when, where, and why). This will help your child notice the details in the story and even create some ideas in their head that may not be pictured.
Create a story and/or retell the story. Have your child tell the story using his/her own words. If you notice grammatical errors simply repeat their sentence back to them using correct grammar. Take turns - now you make up a story and have your child retell it back to you. This helps show what they understood and if they can retell the main points of the story (beginning, middle and end).
Talk about how the characters are feeling. It may be easier for a child to talk about how someone else is feeling. This also helps them relate to the emotions of others and understand that others may feel different than themselves (point of view).
Develop critical thinking skills by asking your child to predict what will happen next. Inquire about what made them say that.
Have a conversation. Relate the story to something in his/her personal life. Ask your child questions.
Chat about the story elements: characters, setting, problem, action, and solution.
Listening and attention. Snuggle in with your child and have them listen while you create the story.
Use juicy words. Expose your child to new vocabulary. Tell your child the meaning of new words and offer a synonym or antonym to help them understand. See if he/she can figure out the meaning of new words based on what else was shared in your sentence.
While many people think wordless books don’t aid a child’s ability to read, it truly is quite the opposite. A picture can be worth a thousand words!
Adaptive Recreation Opportunities
As we wish for longer, warmer days, it’s time to start thinking about spring and summer activities! Did you know that the Fort Collins Recreation Department has a variety of ways to support students with disabilities in their recreation programs? Students can participate in any program with a therapeutic recreation specialist, or choose from a number of programs designed specifically for individuals with unique physical, emotional, and intellectual needs. Check it out at https://www.fcgov.com/aro/. Reduced fee programs are also available for families who qualify.
Are you interested in attending this year’s Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP) Virtual Conference?
Parents Encouraging Parents are conferences for parents who have children with disabilities, ages birth to 21, to give them the opportunity to obtain information relating to parents, parenting, educating, and supporting a child with a disability. For more information on this year's virtual conference, visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdesped/pep.
Ways to Celebrate Reaching Goals
Students have goals that they work towards at school and we find fun ways to celebrate them. Consider creating a goal for your child to work towards at home. You can create a list of ways to celebrate together.
Some examples of goals might be:
- Asking for help
- Helping set the table for dinner
- Feeding the family pet
- Doing a good deed for a family member
- Completing a chore
- Offering to help
- Finishing their homework
- Following directions
List of ways you can celebrate your child accomplishing their goal at home:
- Have a dance party
- Cook or bake a treat together
- Play a game
- Prize box
- Have a movie night
- Go for a walk or bike ride
- Do a craft project together
- Dinner choice