Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sensory Issues and Homework

One of the things our family does is homeschool. I don't regret it at all and it has been both encouraged and discouraged. There are many people who will end up telling parents with special needs children to not homeschool because it's hard. I can't say it's easy all the time but it's definately rewarding IF you can do it. There are some cases that this just simply isn't possible and I understand that.
I just wanted to share with you about what I have done for my son school work wise as sometimes it can be hard (especially with sensory issues) to get a child to sit down and do their homework. First of all, what is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for them. You might be surprised that your child works best laying down, sitting in a bean bag chair or even standing up. You might have to take frequent breaks to allow them to swing, hang, fiddle or whatever the case may be for 5 minutes and then return to their school work with a timer to indicate the changes. This can be very distracting for parents but in the long run it could be less frustrating for everyone involved.
Another thing I have learned through homeschooling my son is that how busy the page or overwhelming can be a huge issue. Looking at 12+ problems seems like a lot of work! What I have seen with my son is that I can cut or fold the paper and give it to him throughout the day rather than making it all in one sitting. Sure they'll have a folded homework page but it'll be done without as much stress for you.
Sometimes another trick is that they give you the answers and you write them down especially if they have a hard time with writing. Sure you want them to get better at writing but you also don't want them to tire especially if their grip is different or they have a hard time controling their pencil. Maybe you could take turns.
I have also found that a white board is an awesome tool. I am talking about the little ones that are about the size of a paper. These you can do quizes and games and they can be cleaned while your child swings or bounces or hands upside down. I was able to do this yesterday with my son to help him remember his numbers. Sometimes it's just hard to collect them from his memory bank. He has a hard time going past ten and so I showed him that 14,15,16,17,18 and 19 all have something in common. They all have 'teen' at the end. He just needs to check the second number and if the first number is a '1' then he has to add teen except in the case of 11, 12, and 13. This can also be used for the twenty-ninety family. They all say twenty if its a 2 and therefore after 20 they can just add second number at the end.
If you can play it as a game such as guess this letter and you can jump on the trampoline 5 big jumps or you can turn in the swing until it stops. Then give the next letter, number, math problem or whatever you are looking on.
Anyhow, with school in session regardless if you are homeschooling or not some of these tips might help. I hope it does work for some people who have kids with sensory issues.

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