Because of her disability, and learning level, Sweet B doesn’t have homework. That’s not to say that she isn’t learning at home, but it wasn’t really structured. That was something I wanted to change, but I was kind of at a loss with where to start. That was until I treated it like an IEP meeting and developed some goals and how those goals would be reached.
I understand, also, that I need to be flexible with this- especially in the beginning. It’s a change in routine for her, though once we’ve found something that works, I’m sure Sweet B will flourish.
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Autism and Afterschooling: The ‘IEP’
First, I had to create a set of goals, similar to what would happen if this were Sweet B’s actual IEP. Through medicaid waivers, we hope to have a respite worker in home and a community habilitiation worker. What this means is that someone will come into the home and help her, or someone will take her out into the community for socialization opportunities. This has nothing to do with her IEP for afterschooling, but somewhat ties into the long-term goals that I developed.
As it relates to afterschooling specifically, her goals are as follows (though not quite as refined as if they were on an actual IEP):
1- Improve literacy skills through using All About Reading to increase sight words, letter recognition, and improve pre-reading skills
2- Improve handwriting skills (general penmanship) using Handwriting Without Tears
3- Improve fine motor skills using craft projects
4- Increase vocabulary using printable packs, Toobs, and board games
Autism and Afterschooling: The Set Up
Sweet B is here (afterschool wise) on Monday through Thursday. That means I have four times, in theory, to work on skills with her. Because she has four goals, I could focus on one goal per day or I could attempt to cram all four goals into each day. Or we can try a different combination method until we figure out what works best for us. As of right now, we’ve only implemented Goal 4. I plan to fully start with all four goals next month.
I’m unsure if we’ll focus on a theme for the month or if we’ll try to imitate what she’s learning at school. I don’t want it to be too school like, so I think we’ll focus on a fun theme. We’re going to do that thanks to a monthly subscription box, though we haven’t decided which one to use yet. We may use two, I’m still not sure. Different boxes do offer different objectives, so it’s definitely going to be a feeling out process as far as that goes.
Each day, we’ll use approximately one hour of time. We may go the full hour or we may not. It depends on the activity for the day and her willingness to participate. Once we have more of our set-up in place, I’ll make another post with pictures, but for now I just wanted to share what we’re doing and why for afterschooling.
Autism and Afterschooling: Our Supply List
This list will be added to as time goes on and as we expand our afterschooling, but here’s our basic supply list (not including a subscription box, All About Reading program, or Handwriting Without Tears)
1. 3″ 3 Ring Binder– we’ll be using this size because I hope to keep using the same binder throughout the duration of our afterschooling.
2. Sheet Protectors– we’ll have this because we don’t have a laminator, yet. And I want to be able to re-use worksheets/printable pack sheets as needed.
3. 3 Hole Punch– for any pages that we don’t put into the sheet protectors but still want to include in the binder
4. 4 Pack of Washable Glue Sticks– both for craft projects and for any cutting activities that we do.
5. 12 Pack of Dry Erase Markers- Assorted Colors– For writing on the pages, which is why we have the sheet protectors until we get a laminator.
6. Craft Sticks– both for crafts and for forming letters, numbers, or words.
7. Construction Paper– for craft projects and for coloring
8. Kid’s Brush Set– for craft projects and for art activities
Other items that we’ll use are: watercolor paints, fingerpaint (either purchased or homemade), assorted craft supplies (feathers, googly eyes, etc.) and we’ll list what we use with each afterschooling post.
So, there you have it! Our introduction to autism and afterschooling.