Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Autism products on the cheap part #2

In this blog I will be covering items for floor time. Products to help with circles of " communication". If you are unfamiliar with what a circle of communication is: They are exchanges of communication. Be it eye contact during play. Pushing a car back and forth. Or even just humming a tune with you.

I was fortunate to have a great speech therapist to help me with this with my son, because as a parent sometimes you can't see any other options for resolving problems because you are too invested in the day to day.

Here are some basic products that I find help.

Free printable pages: enchanted learning dictionary or Grocery items from online grocery stores or flyers. print on card stock and laminate ( or if you are me, take some clear tape and use that instead. Cheaper.) With this you can ask them to get items using the cards in a cupboard. Ask them if its food or drink using sign language. Get them to sort them into colors, food groups ( fruits, vegtables ect). Make a matching game.

bubbles from oriental trading company
This you can use as a reward later if they like it. I would start out getting them to pop them, chase them, blow them ect. Make it a game. If they can blow them, make it a they take a turn, you take a turn popping/blowing. If your child is a sensory seeking one, be sure to be very animated when you blow them. Pretend to be out of breath when you blow one bubble. Ask them to help. See if they come and try to blow with you. If you pop them wiggle and giggle and pretend they heavy as they land on you. Be creative about getting them involved. I will provide a blog later about common floor time practices and examples.


blocks from toys r us
These are different shapes, and textured. Best part: They dont hurt if they child throws them if they get upset. Foam all the way. With this you can make a fun game of building it up and knocking it down using balls, cars, horses, or pretend people. Once again be very animated and be silly. Kids respond the best to funny or silly things. Get them to identify shapes, colors or texture ( bumpy, smooth).

Cars: You can get matchbox cars at most stores for a buck a piece. Though, personally I like the chunky wooden vehicles.
wooden cars at oriental trading company
Here you can ask them to make the sounds the vehicle makes. Firetruck sirens, ice cream truck songs, car vrooms. Get them to pass the car back and forth. Or get them to play while you sing a song about the wheels on the bus. Every time they play with a car or bus, sing the song. Eventually they might start to hum along. Be creative. There also barbie cars that are nice. Like: doll car
This comes with figures. You could get them to give you items, ask for help and sing songs about family or places to go. Again. Be creative.

Balloons: You can get these at your local dollar store, or grocery store. You can blow them up and bat it around. You can also, if your child doesnt have a fear of loud noises, make a game out of letting it go after you blow it up. Get them to chase it. Tell you to blow it up again. Let the air blow out in their faces. Draw a face on it, and tell them its Mom, Dad, Grandma ect using a marker. This is cheap and easy. Make a big deal of blowing up, like it takes alot of air to blow it up. Or you cant do it. Get them involved. See if you can keep them engaged for longer and longer periods of time.

Build-a-contraption: This is a cause and effect thing.
marble contraption
This is usually a crowd pleaser. You can get them involved after you build it, before you build it and any time in between. Make it big or small. Get them to help build it, or tell you colors, directions using words or sign language. Get them to drop the marble in different areas. Be creative, and exaggerate things. I can't stress this enough.

Ipod/Ipad touch: There are many different applications you can use to help improve communication for floor time activities on here:
kindergarden dot com ipad/itouch apps
Applications are a dollar or so each.

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