Manding, Pairing and Fun activity ideas
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Not sure what to do with all the small reinforcer toys once your child has played lots with them individually?
Put them into resource boxes that you can use as an activity. Great for practicing manding!
Make pairing fun! Vary the games you play on a daily basis.
Joint attention: very important skills to be accessed and addressed from the start of your intervention
Playing with toys by Real look Autism- Episode 5
The 3 Es- Energy, Enthusiasm and Excitement :)
This short clip explains about Non-verbal language and the 3 Es: Energy, Excitement and Enthusiasm!
Non-verbal language has been a work in progress with my son and it has taken perseverance and awareness from the team. I didn't realise how naturally intuitive neurotypical kids are until I started working with my son and learning more about autism.
A good definition of pairing by the 'Autism from the Outside' community:
Now it's time to play with play-doh and your child only picks the one activity? One idea is to have a 'play-doh' card with a general activity (plain play doh bottles) so you child chooses what he wants to do.
But you can help learners cooperate by giving them a visual prompt of what the activity will be. My son will always choose the same activity, no matter what, so we let him have his choice sometimes and we help him generalise other times. Play doh is great for fine motor and pre-writing skills work.
Structured play and activities
It is usually hard for a team to rotate activities efficiently when there are different tutors working with a child. I'm referring to teaching functional play, playground games and board game rules and activities such as colouring and craft.
In the past we tried writing it down on a sheet on a daily basis but that took time and it wasn't done consistently.
We have now successfully managed to rotate all activities by producing flash cards with them all and creating an activity board. We put four activities on the board every day and our son chooses which ones to do first.
We use two drawers to do the rotation and once an activity is done, it goes into the 'Used activities' drawer. Once all have been done, we shuffle them all and start again. This has been very successful in our program and it means our son is never satiated (bored from the repetition of activities). When something needs teaching intensively we add it as an acquisition target and use it more often.
Please note that we do pairing in addition to structured activities and the two should not be confused. In pairing we are guided by our son's motivation and place less demands. I have to say he is always very motivated to do the structured ones too.
Working consistently with activities
Writing down the main Mands on the back of activity cards and ideas/instructions on how to play games is a good way to make sure there's consistency. It also gives the team ideas on the spot.
We have split painting into several different activities to make sure we work on different skills:
- Rollers and stamps
- Letters and shapes
- Face painting
We sometimes combine them and there is a general one which we then give my son choices.
I have bought the different tools from a supermarket at a reasonable price. You can get very cheap paint at bargain stores. The face paint is from Snazaroo.
If you wish to print them off, 4 onto an A4 page works well.
Crazy soap- Moldable foam
Lots of opportunities to practice counting, body parts, facial expressions, cutting, colours, Manding for straws.
Crazy soap is available from the bath play isle of most big supermarkets.
A large black trays which offers lots of opportunities to practice counting, body parts, facial expressions, cutting, colours, Manding for straws.
Crazy soap is available from the bath play isle of most big supermarkets.
Functional play with toy houses
The Peppa pig house is great for early learners. There is a variety of good sized furniture and the peppa pig Family characters. It is sturdy too.
The playmobile house would be a choice for more advanced learners. It comes with furniture, different small items to put into the furniture in the different rooms (cutlery, fridge, bathroom and bedroom items etc).
A lot of opportunities to practice Manding, rooms and 'where' ABLLs.
Integrating our kids into mainstream after school activities- my experience
Quite a few of us go through a learning curve whilst trying to integrate our kids into activities with mainstream children.
My experience has been very interesting and a question of trial and error. There has been a few factors that I've needed to consider:
- is my son ready to follow directions in a group setting?
- is the environment and premises right to meet his needs?
- is the staff willing to give him a go and not throw in pre-conceived ideas about my son's abilities before he even tries?
- will they allow my son's one to one shadow to help him, or take on this role themselves?
- 'not ready now' doesn't mean 'never'.
- 'I've tried last year and it didn't work' doesn't mean you can't ever try again.
Our first experience was with Olympic gymnastics. We tried a gym which was huge and also worked as a nursery. As well as the usual gym equipment there were toys everywhere which at the time (2 years ago) were more motivating for him. Staff told me, after about 6 months, that I was wasting my money. His copying, modelling and receptive skills were not advanced so we took him out (not knowing it at the time). Disappointment and sadness for us.
As we moved through my son's intervention and I learnt a bit more about where my son was in development, we realised that we needed to think about all the above aspects before trying again. Last year (1.5 years after ABA, we found a different gym with less distractions, he has been attending with his Aba shadow and he's moved on to his 8th badge). Tutor input there is minimal now (off days are occasional now).
Once we got the formula right, we enrolled him in netball with success and today he started swimming with a mainstream group. We also tried swimming in the past but there were toys in the pool and he wouldn't stay with the group. We also tried one to one SEN swimming lessons that cost an arm and a leg for 30 mins and my son would run away and he wasn't able to model.
Today he started mainstream swimming, at 7 years old, with a lovely bunch of kids, in a pool that is just a pool, no toys and understanding staff. Within 10 minutes he was right there following the other kids and the swimming coordinator asked me to leave. I was told he was fantastic. 1st lesson so I'm realistic and I told them I will work on any difficulties on a one to one level in between lessons.
Without ABA and mainstream inclusion, persistence, patience and understanding by all that work with him, we wouldn't have got here. I'm a happy mum and very proud of what he has achieved on Lesson 1 today. One day at a time :D
Links to on-line resources
Play-doh smashed potatoes game
This is such a fantastic game! Make your potato character, spin the wheel and watch not to get turned into chips, crisps, in the pan or sliced!
We modified the rules a bit so the game would finish sooner as we tend to get smashed and start again a lot.
We also made sure we didn't spend too long in between turns and engaging with our little boy to keep him interested.
Make sure you set the target right. We were working on following game rules, spinning the wheel and walking spaces so we didn't focus so much on Manding or intraverbals this time round.
There are brilliant board games for children in the market that are fun for the whole family.
Chase (each other)/ with cars or helicopters
Horse on back
Making a den
Swinging and throwing him on sofa or bed
Making a snack/ toast/ drink
Washing dishes/bike/ toys
Corn flower and water
Any of the toy sets available (make a list)
Board Game play:
Any of the games available in the child's therapy room (make a list)
Let's keep motivation high!!
Sand and water tray activities
Materials: hollow shapes, sea animals, bucket, watering can, cups,
food colouring, net, fishing rod, pasta shapes of different shapes and colours
Look for pasta in the sand, sort them in shapes or colours into different cups
Colour the water with food colouring then pour into pool or sand
Dig a big hole and bury 3 or four toys, use memory skills to identify where you buried them.
Get child to close their eyes, bury toy and get them to find it by where you are looking (to promote following gaze). You can also do this by moving just your eyes.
Fish the toys from the water
My son is not great with sandcastles and it becomes 'the thing' that we do with sand but this is an option too.
Funnels with wheels that move as you put in sand or water are available from on-line shops and they're great too!
Let's go to the shop!
From Carine Spira (London)
Where does all this energy come from?
If you have a child who is always active and need to remain engaged, particularly towards the end of the day, you might want to consider setting up a little corner and teach them to play with the activities provided there at down time. It surely will help if they can't sit still and you might find your child rolling from the ball to the sofa, spinning or bouncing as they watch a bit of TV.