Monthly Archives

April 2014

autism, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Five Things Children with Autism Have Taught me!

I have been working with children with autism for many years now and they are such a big part of my life. Not sure what autism is? Click on this link to learn about autism–> What is autism? This blog post is written in blue in honor of April, the National Autism Awareness Month πŸ™‚

Here are some things I have learned from working with my amazing kiddos who are on the Autism Spectrum. 

1- Patience: Although I’m still struggling with this one, I believe that this is the most important thing I have learned from working with my kiddos on the spectrum. You need to have a lot of patience to work with these children but it’s worth it. Every day I go to work with these kiddos, I’m practicing my patience   and this has helped me at home with my own son. Something that I can teach a neuro-typical child in 1 minute, may take 3 weeks for my kiddos with autism to learn, but I do not give up! 

2- Paying attention to my own social skills: I worked with many kiddos with autism who had social-pragmatic disorders this past year. As a speech-language pathologist, I got to work on social skills including body orientation, eye contact, interrupting, staying on topic, tone of voice, vocal volume, etc. Now I’m super aware of these social-pragmatic skills when I’m talking to other people. I’m also trying to teach my toddler basic rules of conversation and nonverbal cues such as making eye contact when someone is talking to him. We’ll see how that goes πŸ™‚

3- Honesty: Children with autism are the most honest people I have ever seen. Children are typically pretty honest, but children with autism take honestly to a whole new level. They’ll tell you exactly how something is! Sometimes they can be brutally honest but at least you know there is not an ounce of fake in them. In a world where people are constantly hiding their thoughts and feelings, it’s sometimes nice to be around children who don’t even think about doing that. I’ve heard very honest things such as “Ms. Sanaz, I love your eyes” or “I didn’t have any fun with you today Miss. Sanaz.” Their comments always make my day regardless. 

4- Unconditional love: After seeing so many parents love their children with autism regardless of the constant tantrums, screaming, and hitting, I believe that I have seen true unconditional love. I truly admire these parents! It is not easy being a parent to a child with autism (or multiple children with autism), but these parents know how to love their children under all circumstances and that is beautiful. Sometimes I just want to give these parents a hug and thank them for being such amazing parents. 

5- Not judging other parents/people: Prior to understanding children with autism and their meltdowns and tantrums or sensory issues, I used to get annoyed with parents whose kids had random meltdown in grocery stores or at the airport and the parents did nothing about it. Now I really try to judge less and understand more. I understand that when these meltdowns happen, they happen for a reason, and sometimes the parents can’t do much to calm their kids down. This does not mean that every child who has tantrums/meltdowns has autism, but when I see such things in public, I think to myself that there is a chance that this child may have autism or another disorder, and I do not want to be the judgmental person who gives the parents who are already traumatized a hard time. 

I have learned these and so much more from my amazing kiddos on the spectrum, but these 5 really stood out to me. Have you ever met anyone with autism? What have you learned from them? Tweet/FB/comment about your experience.

Have a good weekend all, and next time you see a child with a meltdown in public try to judge less πŸ™‚

Earth Day, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Doing Our Part to Keep Our Dear Earth Green

Today is Earth Day also known as “Earf Day” in Speech. It’s super cute when kids say Earf or Eawf for Earth. I almost don’t want to correct them πŸ™‚
With this day coming up, I have been thinking about what my family, my speech kiddos, and I have been doing this year to help keep our Earth green. I’d like to share our “green-ness” tips with you all. 

1- Use Earth-friendly products: We have been using “green” products about 90% of the time to clean around the house. I have also been using “green” cleaning products in my speech room.   No kids should be smelling chemicals from cleaning products in my home or speech room.

2- Educate children: We have been making nature crafts in speech and have had major lessons on trees, flowers, birds, bees, etc. We have also been singing and listening to “Earth” songs. This helps younger children become more interested in environmental topics.

3- Recycle: We recycle at home and we have been very careful recently about what we recycle. We checked out our city’s recycling page and have corrected our recycling ways. My speech kiddos have also been recycling their papers they use in speech.

4- Use both sides of paper: I use recycled paper to take data most of the time. When I write on paper, I make sure I use both sides of it.

5- Reuse second hand: We reuse! My friends and I have been passing down baby/toddler clothes and toys to each other so we can reuse and buy less.

6- Use less bottled water: We almost never buy bottled water. We filter our water so we don’t use plastic bottles. We take our water to go wherever we go.

7- Use cloth bags: We have been taking our own reusable cloth bags to grocery stores. 

8- Pay bills online: We have been paying our bills online to avoid extra paper usage. 

9- Plant: We bought lots of seeds last week so we can plant new veggies and flowers in  our backyard. 

10- Buy local: We have been trying our best to shop at our local farmer’s market. This is not practical all the time, but we’re trying our best. 

What are you doing to keep our Earth green? 

freebies, game boards, Prepositions, spring, Uncategorized, Uncategorized

Spring, Spring, What Do You See?

The weather in Seattle has been gorgeous these past couple of weeks. With the sun shining, flowers have been blooming everywhere. The beautiful colors you can see outside is one of my favorite things about the season.

Last fall, I make a fall themed book that was similar to the ever so popular bear (a certain bear that is brown ;)) books. They were a hit with my preschool and kindergarten students. The book also helped them to learn vocabulary that was relevant to that season. With spring in the air, I was inspired to create a spring themed book. The first few pages are the book. I’ve also included vocabulary cards, basic concepts cards, and a spring themed game board.

Head here to download the spring themed book: Spring, Spring, What Do You See?

What is your favorite thing about spring?

We’ve also linked up with Speechie Freebies yet again this week! If you’ve found us through them, thank you for visiting our site!

Uncategorized, Uncategorized

We’ve hit a milestone!

We’re celebrating an amazing milestone that we’ve just reached on our twitter and instragram accounts… over 600 followers!! We are blessed to be part of such a wonderful community and to have the most amazing supporters! We continue to do what we do because you inspire us to!

To thank you for your never-ending support and encouragement we are hosting a flash freebie of Christine’s latest Earth Day Craftivity Packet. Below is a picture of the craft that can be created with this packet. It also includes a variety of writing prompts so that you can pick the one that best suites your students! Be sure to download this packet by 9 pm PST (04/08/14). Head over to our Facebook and like us to find out how to download this packet for free: Facebook- The Speech Chicks

                                             

Thank you again for your support! It means the WORLD to us! 

freebies, Uncategorized, Uncategorized, WH questions

Out and About "WH" Questions and Conversation Starters

Many of my language delayed kiddos and kiddos with autism struggle greatly when they are asked “WH” Questions –> what? when? where? who? why?
It is important for these kiddos to learn how to answer these questions in order to get their needs met and interact with others around them. Us, SLPs, are always trying to come up with different tools, ideas and activities to help these children comprehend and answer these questions correctly. I have been working on “WH” questions mainly with my school aged kiddos every day for the past year and I thought it would be nice to come up with an activity where the kids have to interact with their families in order to answer the questions. Here is the packet I made: Out and About “WH” Questions
This packet (6 pages) gives the children the opportunity to learn a little bit more about their town/city and neighborhood. 

We are also linking up with Speechie Freebies again! Head over to their blog to check out other Friday FreeBEES.