Friday, April 29, 2016


When I go walking in the toy section of the store and look at toys, I usually end up walking away in frustration. Then after searching a teacher supply catalog, or even a special needs catalog, I still feel so much dissatisfaction in the choices and the prices.  I'm at a loss, almost nothing will fit the needs of my kids.  In fact all three of them need something different educationally. I also get very frustrated when my children come home from school with worksheets like the ones below, almost daily with different content.  Don't get me wrong some day I would love for my children to be able to do these kinds of activities but for right now none of them are in a place to do so.  And then these papers are not adapted for a child with a significant visual impairment.  So I am learning to do the best I can as my child's advocate in the school, but at the same time I am learning what I can do at home to help them increase on the skill set they already have.  The entire point of my blog from this point forward will be to show you all how I adapt, and to show my children learning.  With snippets of information regarding trauma in children with multiple impairments and how to make connections with them.

Today I want to talk about adapting a product to meet the needs of kids with many disabilities.  I came across the product Hot Dots years ago when I was teaching.  I loved using them to reinforce skills.

 When I looked at the teaching that is being reinforced, in the kits Hot Dots sell, they will not work for my children, but I love the concept of reinforcing a correct answer with lights and music.  The pre made kits I find are not repetitive enough for my kids.  On one page you might be matching numbers and on the next page letters or words.  I see to many choices for my kiddos and way to many pictures of things that are confusing for my kids.  Also for my visually impaired daughter the photos are not big enough or have enough contrast.  But I really like the concept of the pen that reinforces the correct answer.  So I did some digging and ended up purchasing a different Hot Dots product.    The Hot Dots Make Your Own Kit.

I'm starting a new unit with the kids that uses buttons, and so I made my own sheets and put them in plastic protectors for durability.  For my VI kiddo, I make the image larger and separate and put a black background.   The great thing is after they master this skill I can go back to my pdf file, add another option, add words or whatever skill I want them to work on next. The entire reason for doing this is repetition.  My kids could work on this for weeks, over and over.  We repeat until it is mastered and even continue after mastery for review.   When I post my theme in a week or two, I will video how Bella does with this activity. soon.

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