What’s Happening ~ Update re Survey ‘Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?’
So far 14 parents and teachers have responded to the 10 questions.
Q1. 89% responded Yes they are interested in having a place like this in Muskoka
Q2. 14% are willing to travel up to one hour to get to this community space; 29% are willing to travel up to 45 minutes and 57% are willing to travel no more than 30 minutes
Q3 & Q4. 75% would prefer it to be located West of the Town of Huntsville; 12.5% East of Huntsville; 12.5% would prefer north of Rosseau village and
37 % had a variety of other suggestions based on proximity to their community.
Q5. 50% preferred it to be located on a small lake; 16.6% with streams and a pond; 16.6% wanted no waterfront of any kind. One commented “Water is nice, land is also nice, as long as there’s a healthy nature element.”
Q6. What would parents like to do after they drop off their child? 25% meet with other parents for support; 25% have a bite to eat; 12.5% receive a massage or Reiki; 25% go for a walk or a swim; 25% go into town to go shopping; 25% rest in a quiet reading room
62.5% chose all of the above
Q7. 65% are interested in volunteering in their area of passion
Q8. 50% said Classes September till June; 33% May long weekend until Thanksgiving; 16% all year long; 0% summer only
Q9. 57% preferred classes on Saturdays; 42% after school and 15% during school hours
Q10. One of the mother’s Comments was, “I really like where this is going. I think it would be really special to have something of this nature available to exceptional kids!”
We are currently conducting a survey. Would You Like a Loving Community Space in Muskoka for Your Exceptional Child?
Would you want a place available in Muskoka, Ontario, to bring your exceptional child on the autism spectrum where they feel accepted and inspired to learn?
The Purpose of this Survey is to learn:
1. If you would be interested in bringing your exceptional child or student to this community space.
2. Where exactly in Muskoka you would like this community space to be built.
We value your feedback, and would appreciate if you took a few moments to respond to 10 questions AND write down any specific concerns or questions.
Here is some great practical advice from a father of a girl with Autism, Henry Bee.
1. Set up a safe learning space or ‘Therapy Room’
2. Enter their world
3. One on one learning sessions
4. Interactive Computer based aids
5. Do things children love doing with them
How do you make learning fun for your child or student? Please share or comment below.
The Five Best Teaching Aids for Children With Autism and Special Needs by Henry Bee
We have had over ten years experience with tutoring and teaching our daughter with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Below is some of the Teaching Aids we used that we think were the most successful in her development and learning. These methods can be used with any child with or without an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pervasive Development Disorder or Special Needs.
Teaching Aid 1 – Setting up a Therapy Room
In the beginning what got us going was the SON RISE program. Liz went to America to the Option Institute and did a two week course on how to cope with a child with Autism, methods for working with and tutoring a child with Autism and how to set up a therapy room for a tutoring a child with Autism and or Special Needs.
The course is not just for Parents of children with Autism, but also for children with Learning Difficulties, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) and children with Special Needs in general. The course also focusses a great deal on how to deal on an emotional level with the fact that your child has an intellectual disability, and there is ongoing support if you so wish.
So on Liz’s arrival back home we set up a therapy room. We used a spare bedroom and painted it in bright colours. We set it up with shelves and storage drawers, play equipment, a computer and printer, a suitable child’s height table and chairs for table top work and a sturdy floor covering. The basic idea was to have a room the child can identify with as a learning and fun area only, somewhere that they will in time know that when they are in there it is time to learn. Continue reading “Making Learning Fun for Teaching Children with Autism is Key”
I just discovered Erik’s Ranch and wanted to share this video with you. Parents are sharing valuable insights here about their concerns over their children’s future. Erik’s Ranch provides a model for integrating young adults with autism into the workforce and their community with the skills and talents they have to offer.
Here is a story from Jenny Lockwood of The New Trails Center in Texas that we thought you might enjoy. This is another example of making learning fun using the game of chase in the outdoors to learn about mass, volume, force and velocity. Subsequently Rowan made up his own story incorporating these new words which showed he had understood their meaning and the basic concepts of Physics.
‘Rowan’s First Physics Lesson’ by Jenny Lockwood
Rowan has now reached the fourth grade and according to the national curriculum is ready to learn about measurement. He is already pretty confident with the idea of length, distance and speed – after all it is very important to know exactly how many miles it is to each of his favorite zoos and approximately how long it will take us to get there. However recently we decided that he was ready for us to introduce the concepts of mass, volume, force and velocity – in other words his first physics lesson.
Now, like me, many of you will recoil in horror at the word physics. How many of us sat there in class week after week bored and confused whilst our teachers droned on at us about completely abstract concepts that we considered at the time to be of no importance to our lives whatsoever? We therefore decided it was essential to begin teaching Rowan about physics in a fun and lighthearted way in order to give him the best possible chance to learn.
Rowan is an incredibly intelligent boy who will learn everything there is to know about a subject as long as he is interested in it and motivated to learn about it. The only challenge when teaching him is catching and holding his interest long enough for him to soak up the information you are trying to impart. There are a number of tried and true techniques we use to do this, the first of which is to introduce any new concept to him in a no pressure environment without, at first, expecting anything back. Of equal importance is to spend as much time as possible teaching him outdoors in a natural environment whilst he is moving and to make whatever topic we are covering as fun as possible.
We therefore spent a number of days chasing Rowan through the woods in an ‘evil godzilla style’ whilst simply talking to him about the concepts of mass, volume, force and velocity. It wasn’t long before Rowan had started incorporating these words into his vocabulary and using the concepts in a story that he made up which I have written out for you to read below. Continue reading “'Rowan's First Physics Lesson' by Jenny Lockwood/Teaching Children with Autism”
I watched the movie ‘Temple Grandin’ again over the Christmas holiday. If you have not seen it yet, you must watch it. Here is a talk Dr. Grandin gave at a TED Conference just after the release of the movie about her life, where she emphasizes the world needs all different kinds of minds: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers and verbal thinkers. She also stresses the importance of mentors as teachers in high schools and one on one tutoring for autistic children under 5. “You’ve got to show student’s interesting stuff to learn,” says Temple.
Here at the Tree of Life Centre for Creativity, in the Creative Art Adventures program, the student’s learn about all sorts of subjects: natural life cycles, weather patterns, insects, all kinds of animals, geography, the 4 elements, air, fire, water, earth, and how we humans are connected to all the elements and to all life. We teach all subjects through painting, drawing, clay modelling, music and storytelling. The children are encouraged to follow whatever interests them, in this way the learning experience is exciting and fun for everyone.
If you enjoy horses and horseback riding both you and your child will benefit from the healing power of horses. As a parent or teacher spending time with a reliable horse will help to relieve stress and recharge. Some children on the autism spectrum really connect with horses and you may want to explore this more with them. Here is a video about the Horse Boy Method designed for autistic children as well as their parents, teachers and caregivers.