Posts Tagged ‘TEACCH tasks’

At Therapy Works, where Pookie goes for his OT and Speech therapies, they have a really simple style of visual schedule.  It is one of those ideas that have you asking, “Why didn’t I think of that?”  Well, here is the schedule strip.  I made one for him to use here at home.  Much easier than the yardstick idea that I had.

You only need 4 things to make the schedule strip: wooden ruler, self-adhesive loop tape (the fuzzy part of the hook and loop tape), a pair of scissors, and a length of ribbon.


I cut a piece of the loop tape that was about 11.5″ long.  I adhered it to the back of the wooden ruler so that the hole near the end of the ruler was still showing.  Next, I threaded a ribbon through the hole and tied it to form a hanging loop.


That is it!  Your child now has a very portable schedule strip to use.  I am using this now for Pookie.  I place his morning schedule on the strip.  He has a little container into which he places the PECS cards as we do each activity.  The PECS style cards that I have for his homeschooling are about 1″ square.  You can easily make them on the SEN Teacher page I linked to in my last post.   Just use your own graphics or ones found online through a Google Images search.  You can also find them already designed on Pinterest.  The website which I used to find the ones shown here are from Homeschool Creations.

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I am always on the look-out for free resources to extend activities.  One such resource are the fun pattern blocks.  Yes, there are books available but what about once your kids have tired of them?  Well, after doing some searching I have found some sites with free printable pattern block pages.  These activities are good for Pookie to teach him to match shapes, fine motor, and visual discrimination.  A worksheet/mat and the pattern blocks needed to complete it can be placed into a TEACCH task tray or a workbox.

Prekinders has a nice selection of printables in both outline and in full color.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and you find another link on their page for Christmas pattern block mats.

Confessions of a Homeschooler has pattern block printable mats for the numerals 1-20 and the letters of the alphabet.

This is a link to a Pinterest Board for patterns.  Lots of great ideas and printables here.

Making Learning Fun has not only the patterns but some printable pattern blocks for those who have not purchased the sets from a store.  Print onto colored cardstocks and laminate before cutting apart.   Optional idea is to place adhesive backed magnets onto the back of each pattern block.  Lay the pattern mat onto a cookie sheet and the magnetic paper “blocks” will stay in place once you place them.

This is another site with printable pattern blocks.  This set has a color suggestion at the bottom of each page.  It is recommended to print onto cardstock and laminate for durability.

Guided Math website has a long list of links to pattern block resources.

Learning Resources has a free 32-page pattern block workbook that you can download and print.


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I wanted to share today some of my favorite resources for ideas to use in homeschooling Pookie.  With the significant developmental delays that he is having to overcome, I try and incorporate occupational therapy styled activities wherever possible.  There are many websites for OT activities available online.  Here are some of the best “go to” resources that I use.

Therapy Street for Kids is a database of ideas that are categorized by the developmental skill that you are working on.  When putting together Pookie’s TEACCH tasks for the day, I choose activities from the areas that I want him to focus on that session.  The activities listed require minimal supplies.  To date, I have not had to purchase anything special to do the tasks.  I do love the fact that the activities that involve specific types of games give me ideas of what to purchase when I see them on sale or at a thrift store.  If you happen to be unfamiliar with the developmental skills listed, the site also provides a very thorough explanation of the skill.

OT Plan is a searchable database of OT activities that you can use.  I love the fact that I can search by skill or by materials used.  For example, if you have cotton balls, you can click on the Materials search button, scroll down to cotton balls and click.  You are then taken to a skills page. Once the skill areas are chosen, you are given suggested activities.

OT Mom Learning Activities is yet another resource that has the activities categorized by skill.  Like with the other sites, the materials used are basic ones.  Within each skill level, there are activities that you can do using what you already have at home.

The Ultimate Guide to Autism Home Therapy on the Meet Penny blog is a comprehensive listing of their favorite blogs and websites for OT activity ideas.  I love this listing and have found ideas at each resource.  Tabitha, who writes the blog, was in a situation where she had to become creative in providing therapy activities for their own child.  The result was finding these blogs.  The ideas are very effective and fun.  Best of all, you can make them on even the tightest of budgets.

Your Therapy Source is an online resource for Occupational and Physical therapists to purchase materials they often use in their sessions.  I found a page however that is a long list of activities that you can access for free.

Make, Take and Teach is a blog that has free printable activities available.  At the time I am writing this, they are offering a Mitten Match game.  The child matches pairs of mittens by doing the math problem.  For example one mitten may have the problem 2+3 and the other will have the answer 5.

Teaching Ideas is a UK based website.  This link takes you to a special education resource directory. I love this page in that it not only has activities but gives advice on how to teach a special needs child.

Childcare Land is a favorite site that I have been using for several years.  I first found it when I was doing preschool with Little Miss.  Lots of ideas for preschool level activities.

Autism and More is a website set up by occupational therapists to serve as a support for teachers and parents.

MontHome is a site with a plethora of activities that are inspired from the Montessori educational method.  The activity bin ideas are perfect fit for TEACCH style homeschooling.

On Pinterest, you can find a wide range of ideas for educational and developmental skill building activities.  DIY Montessori Activities is a collaborative board which has pins from multiple people.  The ideas that are gleaned there have been especially helpful.

I hope that these websites offer to you some ideas to build upon with your own children.  The activities are easily assembled for workboxes, trays, or activity bags.  Write onto an index card the information about the activities that you are wanting to assemble.  Place the cards into a recipe box with divider tabs categorizing the various developmental skills or school subjects for quick reference.  You can further organize these cards by using a different color marker to make a line across the top edge of the cards to color code the categories.



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My son always amazes me.  Often, he seems to be in his own little world.  He doesn’t always watch what you are doing, yet he does take note of details.

Today, Pookie was playing with some plastic eggs left over from Easter.  It was a task that I had available to help with his fine motor skills.  He picked up each egg, look it over carefully, then tap it on the couch before opening it. Once opened, he would lightly shake each half before setting them down.  Consistently, he did this with each egg.  I put the eggs back together for him and he went through the entire process again.

Until now, I hadn’t realized just how much he paid attention to me when I cook with eggs.  I always check the eggs over to be sure there are no cracks in the shell, thus causing the egg to spoil.  Once I look the egg over, I tap it to crack the shell before pulling the 2 halves apart.  Once I pour the egg yolk into the bowl, I lightly shake it to get every bit of egg white out of the shell.  In his play, Pookie mimiced my routine for cracking eggs.  This shows a great deal of attention and focus on details.  It demonstrated a deeper awareness of what goes on around him – even when he seems completely unaware.

It proves my belief that in reading to him aloud and getting him involved as I do the cooking  and other household tasks, he is learning.  He may be stimming and walking in circles, cut he does absorb what is going on around him.


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On Tuesday, we had a breakthrough with Pookie.  I have been working with him from the very beginning.  While we were awaiting the appointment to have him evaluated by the OU Child Study Center, I was researching therapy approaches.  After reading about the various methods, I began using FloorTime with him.  Sitting with him as he played and playing alongside of him.  In the early days, he ignored me completely.  He would sit there spinning his car’s wheels, seemingly oblivious to my presence.  Over the months that followed, he slowly began including me in his play.  I would imitate his behavior.  He would stop his play, look at what I was doing, and then go back to his play.  Sometimes, he would take my car and spin the wheels before giving it back to me.  Tiny steps, but progress all the same.

This interacting has gradually increased over the past 2.5 years.  Now, he will play ball with others.   Basically, he tosses it to you and you toss it towards him.  He doesn’t attempt to catch it, but loves the game anyways.  Most play is still done side by side though.  He will watch as you do something or will sit near you and do his own thing.

In recent months, I have been noticing that he is watching me a lot closer now.  He is especially observant when I am preparing a meal.  At first, I thought it was merely due to him wanting something to eat.  I have come to realize that is not always the case.  I began including him with meal preps.  Sometimes, he will hold a butter knife with my help as I guide him in making his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Another time, he may pour an ingredient into a bowl for me or play with a bit of bread dough that I had pinched off the loaf I was kneading.

On Tuesday, I was stirring a pan of ravioli on the stove.  He cuddled up next to me and gestured towards the spoon.  It has a very long handle, so I let go of the spoon and asked him if he would like to stir the ravioli.  He held tightly to me with one hand and took the spoon in the other.  As I held the pan’s handle, he stirred the ravioli.  Later, he was watching as I cleared the table.  He picked up his plate and put it in the dishpan without being asked.  That afternoon, I was reading a book.  Pookie brought a book over and sat next to me and looked at the pages in his book.  He now follows me around quite often each day, constantly watching what I am doing.  Sometimes, he will attempt to imitate me.  Other times he simply watches silently.  This has been the step forward that I have been looking for.

With Pookie playing the “monkey see – monkey do” routine, trying to imitate what I am doing, the teaching can truly begin.  Now, I can show him how to complete a TEACCH task and he will be more willing to follow the visual instruction.  This simple step forward has opened up so many doors for us.  Already, he is trying to use the Tap To Talk app on his tablet to communicate.  We started with the simplest picture of a drink cup.  When tapped, it says “I want a drink, please.”  Whenever he wants to get a drink, I have him first tap the picture.  Thankfully, there is also a picture for his favorite snack – popcorn!  We are using that one also.

Teaching Pookie how to complete new TEACCH tasks will be easier now that he is actively trying to imitate what I am doing.  It is such a blessing that we have reached this milestone.  It hasn’t been easy and it has taken a lot of time to get here.  It gives me so much hope however.  I now have one more thing to utilize in helping our son.  I thank the Lord for opening that door for us.

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