Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Creating Memories and Practicing Social Experiences

As you know, a few weeks ago the SRC Primary and SRC Upper classrooms participated in "pretend pumpkin patch". This was a incredibly fun activity for the kids in our classes--we got to be outside, we took fun and silly pictures, we got to pick our own pumpkins, and we got to be together!
Throughout the month, we have talked many times about things we see at a pumpkin patch, and looked at pictures of OUR common experience.

And even though it was a very fun activity, it has been one that we are using to build skills. Looking at pictures, and talking about our experiences deepened our students' experiences of fall, harvest and Halloween. I have also had many families share with me that their children were EXCITED for family trips to the pumpkin patch that they otherwise were indifferent to...why? Because they got to practice! Sometimes for children with Autism, not knowing what to expect can take some of the fun out of an activity. Practicing walking through grass, looking for a pumpkin, carrying a pumpkin, being with new people and taking pictures gave our students something to build from, so that when they did this with their families, it was not TOO new to be fun!

Here in the SRC, we look for these opportunities for social practice whenever we can. Building academic skills, functional routines, communication skills and social skills is hard work! And it's even more challenging in new environments! Stay tuned for more fun social practice experiences throughout the holidays....

...like tomorrow where we will practice trick-o-treating using the sequence below:

1. Walk to the door with an adult
2. Knock on the door
3. Say, "Trick-or-treat!"
4. Get candy!
5. Say, "Thank you!"
6. Walk with an adult

Hope you have a safe and happy holiday!

Miss Ashlee