Friday, June 19, 2009

Sensory Processing Disorder

Although it may not result in an IEP, Sensory Processing Disorder is a real challenge for some children, their families, and their teachers. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) can be difficult to diagnose because it can look like other challenges and there are still some doctors who refuse to believe that SPD is a real disorder.

So, what are things that I do in my classroom? First, I will take an informal assessment of a child a suspect is experiencing some sensory issues. I use this one. Keep in mind, I'm not an OT (nor do I play one on TV!). I do, however, have about ten years experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum and have learned to recognize what sensory problems can look like. Based on what my assessment reveals, I will then incorporate activities into that child's day to help give that child proper sensory input. There are some wonderful activities here. I also enjoy activities from the book, The Out of Sync Child Has Fun. This assessment and set of activities I plan out are not designed to diagnose a child, but are there to help make that child's day more enjoyable and productive in the classroom.

SPD Resources
SPD Foundation
Sensory Integration
Incredible Horizons
The Gray Center
The Out of Sync Child
Work to get SPD in the DSM-5
Ang Therapist
SPD Companion

Using Visuals in Your Classroom

My classroom is visual rich. I work with many children who are on the Autism Spectrum and have found the use of visuals so helpful. They also become a source of interest for the children who are not on the Autism Spectrum. My other students will often take interest in the schedules and as for me to make them their own (which I do). I do have a large visual schedule posted, but for some children I have smaller more detailed schedules. It really just depends on what the individual child needs. Here are some resources about visual schedules that I would like to share with you. Enjoy!

General info about why visual schedules are helpful
IRCA Articles
Autism Information Message Board
Teaching Children with Visual Supports
How and Why
Places to make picture cards (for those of you without Board Maker)
Mrs. Riley
Cindy's Support
Visual Schedule Samples
Autism Papers
Lucas Works
Child Autism Parent Cafe
Set BC

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Attachment Theory

I'm currently working on my Ph.D in Early Childhood through Walden University. We use something called a KAM Model in my program, which is essentially writing several large papers. This process really allows me to get into what I'm studying, which currently is Attachment Theory and teacher/child relatiohships. I've decided to include some resources for you regarding Attachment Theory. Enjoy!

Noteable Contributions
Melanie Klein
John Bowlby
Mary Ainsworth

Teacher/Child relationships
Harvard Graduate School
Vanderbilt University
Research Connections
Administration for Children and Families
Psychology Testing Center
Improving Teacher-Child Relationships
Relationships and Stress Levels in Children
Supportive Teacher-Child Relationships

Attachment Theory
Types of Attachment
Attachment Theory
Close Relationship Questionaire

Reactive Attachment Dissorder
Rochester Institute of Technology
DSM-IV Criteria