It’s PrAACtically Memorial Day!

May 16, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

It's PrAACtically Memorial Day
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It’s PrAACtically Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is prAACtically here.  We remember, appreciate, and honor the people who have protected our freedoms. Getting ready so EVERYONE can participate is important. We wrote about memorial day last year and had found some good  gluten-casein free Memorial Day recipes. There are even more resources today. Check out Gluten Free Memorial Day Weekend Menu and Recipe Ideas or Gluten Free Casein Free Applesauce Muffins.  Cooking and baking provide meaningful language experiences as well as just plain fun. There are symbol based recipes on Pinterest  at Picture Recipes and Visual Recipes for Children with Autism, and at Specialty Chef.
There are also prAACtical AAC ways to teach about Memorial Day’s meaning as well as the typical memorial day vacations, activities, and events.
Learning about Memorial Day 

After learning about Memorial Day, there may be trips to plan for, parades to go to, fireworks to watch, memorials to attend, it is helpful to prepare for before, during, and after the events/activities.

Before the Activity or Event
  • Create a personal participation story (modified social story) so ALL the children can SEE and hear what to expect. Here’s something that surprises the beginning clinicians with whom we work: Even good changes can produce anxiety. Although weekend plans may be the coolest, best ever, the unknown or just break in routine can be anxiety producing. Some sample social stories can be found at Easy Social Stories.
  • Use a monthly and/or weekly calendar to show when vacations and activities will begin and end. Sometimes just the day is represented while other times both the day and time is needed.
  • Create a Visual Packing List so ALL children can be active participants in getting ready. The lists will vary depending upon the ages and levels those involved. The list can be created together for more meaningful language experiences. 
It's PrAACtically Memorial Day!

During the Activity or Event

It's PrAACtically Memorial Day!

  • Create a picture-based scavenger hunt/checklist. We often do this as a word document with clip art symbols, but we have been known to use boardmaker, our own writing/drawing, or even the hotel brochure or website pictures
  • Take pictures of items found on the scavenger hunt list for later stories or discussions
  • Take cool pictures of people and events from the activity or event for later use in talking picture albums or literacy activities. We also let the kids of ALL ages be the picture takers as they become more active participants that way.
  • Use daily schedules so everyone knows what to expect (free time and change of schedule symbols are important here- just in case)
  • Use mini-schedules especially with new or less familiar activities (camping, hiking, parade, etc).
  • Try & give visual choices of activities, foods, clothes when choices are available (it is the kids vacations too)
  • Use individual communication devices/apps but also bring no-tech back ups- just in case…. you are close to water, charging does not happen, or technology fails.

After the Activity or Event

  • Re-read the Memorial Day personal participation story and reflect on some of the key concepts about Memorial Day. We might paste some pictures into a notebook titled Memorial Day 2013 (last year it was Memorial Day 2012 and their can be language and literacy modeled around comparisons and contrasts.
  • Use rating scales to decide what was liked best and least about different activities and events. ALL activities fall someplace different on the scale: Worst———-——Best
  • Create talking picture albums to ‘tell’ friends and family about the memorial day activities. Use  an app like Pictello or Tapikeo or go old school and use a regular talking picture frame
  • Review the calendars and schedules you made to talk about, vent, or reflect on the positives and negatives from memorable activities.

Have a Great Memorial Day!

It's PrAACtically Memorial Day!

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This post was written by Robin Parker

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