With the latest technology changes podcasts became a great information consumption medium as listeners can download their favorite audio programs and listen to them when they want – an hour or three years after they were published and as podcast listening primarily takes place on smartphones and tablets now people can listen wherever they are.
This is especially true for parents with children on the autistic spectrum including autism ADHA, SPD and Asperger syndrome, its difficult to find the time to chill out and learn new techniques and strategies but more often it is the feeling of community and support that the podcast brings to the listeners which makes it worthwhile listening to.
All of a sudden you feel less isolated and more “Normal” as a parents are exposed to new ways to look at the progress made and are engaged with different specialists and therapists that might help them in different ways they couldn’t imagine before.
There is good content out there and different ways listeners can tune intro podcasts where the main platforms are Itunes and Spotify but others are competing in this field.
I have listed the top podcasts in the sensory field as for their rich content, creativity and engagement of the listeners with the host.
Allison Carter– Allison who is a Pediatric Occupational Therapists discussed in her podcasts ways to help children with sensory processing disorder . In herpodcastsshe shares different strategies to help children who struggle with fine motor , gross motor and other difficulties connected to our senses such auditory and tactile .Her recommendations are very good and can help many families in their daily routines.
2. Parenting ADHD Podcast: Penny Williams empowers parents and helps parents of children with ADHD/Autism cope and thrive . Through her various podcasts one can get many valid tips and strategies on how to cope . How to end the misery of daily fights and turn the daily chaos into a fulfilling parenthood . We know the challenges are difficult with ADHD but learn how to stop the screaming and shouting and help your kid thrive . Through Penny’s podcast one can learn how to bring the best out of your child.
3.Dana Latter – The Author of Against the Odds– has weekly interviews with specialists from the field of sensory processing disorder and Autism .Through the various interviews Dana hopes to give hope to families and show there is a light at the end of the tunnel . She herself managed to transform her sons’ lives and give them an opportunity to thrive.
4. Dr Beurken– combines in her podcast nutrition, psychology and her experience as a special education teacher . In her podcasts she brings experts who speak about various behaviour related topics such as anxiety and nutrition.
5. Debbie Reber: Debbie Hosts a podcast called Tilt which aims to support parents raising differently wired kids . Debbie is passionate about the idea that being differently wired isn’t a deficit, its a difference. She hopes to change the way difference is perceived and experienced in the world so that these exceptional kids and parents raising them can thrive in their schools, their families and their lives.
Most children respond well to movement ,Between the ages of three and six children develop fundamental movement skills which are the building blocks that enable them to progress and develop a full range of skills
research confirms that we learn better by movement and this is how I taught math and had great success. When my son was in school the teachers reported that he did not understand math concepts and they suspected he had dyscalculia . Through movement he mastered the math concepts and learnt to love math !
I started a home program where we jumped and counted . Jumping up the stairs and counting to 10 , jumping on the trampoline and counting , hitting a ball and counting to 10 .
We learnt addition through jumping
We also created some fun ways to add to the learning like a 100 square with velcro where the odd/even numbers are in different colours.
We learnt coordinates in a fun way where we would jump to the points I requested.
We also liked using the Numicon and Dienes blocks.
Dienz Blocks (great resource to understand place value)
As stated by Harry Wachs in his book Visual/Spatial Portals to thinking, feeling and movement “These blocks are useful for developing numerical literacy and can help the child develop the visual infrastruction for mathematical thought”. (Visual/Spatial Portals to Thinking,Feeling and Movement page 426) .
Numicon :An apparatus which I found very useful was the Numicon . A proven approach in teaching math in the primary national curriculum . It develops fluency by using a visual, practical base to develop conceptual understanding and fluent recall.
In this post I’ve gathered different resources that I found helpful through the years, some can be made at home with a bit of effort and others can be purchased on a small budget.
Resources for hand-eye coordination :
Hitting a ball hanging from the ceiling ,bunting the ball ,catching it /hitting with a plastic tennis racket
hitting a ball
For the following resource you would need a tennis ball, tweezers and small pieces of paper:
Get a standard tennis ball, cut it in the middle and them crunch small pieces of paper at the side.
Ask your child to hold the ball with one hand .opening the ‘mouth of the ball’ and with the other hand insert the pieces of paper using the
Tennis ball eye -hand coordination
Throwing balls into a bucket- you could use a small ping-pong ball or tennis ball together with a small bucket you can find at home, I have used different types of textures sizes hardness and colors to add another layer to the sensory input.
Prickly pile up- was a hit in my household when each boy in his turn tried to “pile up” another hedgehog on top of the others making sure they keep “hanging on”
Resources for Spatial awareness :
Spinning – the feeling of spinning around and getting used to the movement is very important in the way the child develop the spatial awareness this could be done with a desk chair or with the ‘Astronaut board’ below as part of the program.
Directionality : drawing arrows ,mazes and following the direction with arrows helps understanding directionality as your child will physically add the arrows where appropriate.
Wooden blocks: Here are some examples for possible structures, the child might find it overwhelming at the beginning so I would recommend to start with an easy setup
Parquetry blocks – geometrical shapes that can be sorted in as part of a picture or pattern
“Thinkfun pathwords” – word game good for spatial orientation , directionality etc..
There are few other games from ‘Think fun’ which also contribute to directionality and spatial orientation .
Q-bitz: a visual challenge game.
Resources for writing :
Pelican pencils , tried a variety of pencil grip but found the pelican pencil the best for my kids as its stable and sturdy.
There are many resources out there which are aimed at helping children in learning to write . I have tried some which combine music and learning but I have found out that there is a set of basic skills a child has to have before he or she are ready to write.
The visual skills are focusing , tracking and teaming making sure both eyes are working together to be able to learn to write .When the child is ‘Ready to learn’ I found ‘writing without tears’ to be a good resource.
Oral resources to help in articulation and speech :
Chewy necklaces and Ark grabber both are chewy but the arc is thicker and helps in jaw movement, tongue movement, and oral exploration.
mouthing, and oral motor development.
Blowing and making bubbles using different size of straws
Blowing a variety of balloons from different sizes and shapes
Baby chewy toys
Sucking non sugar lollies (organic lollipops)helps to develop the muscles in our mouth
Using a mirror moving the tongue in circles after putting fruity lip-balm / putting one lip over the other sucking lips inwards and pulling tongue out
Using electric tooth brush on the lips for sensory input
Speech and Language :
Games for WH questions : super duper publications have got a verity of games for Speach and language
Auditory workout App: this is a wonderful application designed for children with auditory processing disorder .
Learning to sequence : 6 set scene game by ‘Carson Dellosa’ publishing
Social stories : creating social stories . I created some , one of them appears on Amazon , it was a story dealing with friendship and competition brother rivalry and relationship I offer it for FREE on this page.
Black sheep publications offer games that help in problem solving , imagination and prediction.
Tell tale – card game that encourage imagination and creativity together with communication skills.
What a performance – perform a variety of noises, actions and activities to help children express themselves in a unique way.
Metronome- clapping hands at the right rhyhem and developing awareness to sound and music.
‘Loopz Shifter’ game : An action memory game that used light and sounds to help in memorizing the steps.
Floortime therapthy – There is a lot I can say about it but if I have to say it in one sentence I would say “follow the child’s lead”
Craniosacaral therapy is a gentle way of working with the body using light-touch .
Changes in body-mind-spirit may take place during and after the session .
I was quite skeptical about this therapy when a friend told that it helped her Autistic son in many ways and especially with his vocabulary as well as with his tantrums .
I too was looking at ways to help my youngest cope with anxiety and aggression . In school my boy seemed content but as soon as he came home, he had many tantrums and a defiant attitude . We had tried a variety of calming techniques which did not seem to work . I was willing to give it a try.
He had three sessions during the first month . Slowly he started feeling more relaxed and his anxiety levels had reduced . With my older boy it too helped him with his anxiety levels but mainly eliminated ticks he had .
The disappearance of the ticks were a result of the therapy together with a change in nutrition : sugar free, wheat free .