Friday, 7 March 2014

5km, visual schedules and Frozen Sing-a-long


Today I went for a practice run of a fundraising fun run I'll be doing soon.  I was armed with a printed map but still managed to get lost.  It was great to do a new course, despite gettling a little lost.  The run felt much shorter than 5km and I think it was the novelty of a new course.  My Garmin was taking ages finding a satellite so I started without using it.  After my run I drove home and realised I had locked the key to the house inside.  My lovely husband drove from his work to deliver his key (I know I did something right marrying this guy)!

I got offered a job!

The benefits of being a mature aged uni student and therefore being a complete nerd and getting high marks is that you can become an official university tutor!  I feel really happy about the offer, but the thought of revisiting some of those subjects does make me feel slightly nauseous and I think it may impact on my already overloaded study plate.  I'm going to think about it over the weekend though.


I went to a workshop on using visual schedules at an early intervention centre called Aspire.  I had never heard of them before.  It was quite interesting.  It was good to be reminded of the basics and I feel like I am already on the right track.  What I felt really happy about was the fact she was talking about teaching kids really basic skills about following schedules with the ultimate aim of following just a written schedule - and I was thinking tick!tick!tick!  My boys are all over all of that!  Sometimes its good to remember what my kids CAN do rather than always looking at what they are not doing.

Here are some key points from last night's seminar

  • Always reinforce at the end of a schedule and weigh the reinforcement.  If the tasks are demanding make sure the reinforcement is a big ticket item.  Conversely, if its an enjoyable schedule then verbal praise may be the only thing required.
  • Use minimal prompting necessary - i.e. don't nag and don't hover unnecessarily over your child while they are completing the schedule.
  • Use a timer whenever appropriate.  A timer shifts the focus off you nagging your child to remain with a task.  The schedule has the power, so you don't have to engage in a power struggle with your child.
  • The presenter said that only mastered skills should be included in a schedule. But I disagree, especially for higher functioning kids.  I'm going to check with my BCBA.
  • Change the schedule order around so that your child doesn't become rigid with always having activities in a certain order.
Some more scheduling apps to investigate
Overall the presentation was very worthwhile, but I was disappointed that she didn't talk more about scheduling apps.  She said she doesn't use them much and gave reasons why she didn't.  I had to speak up in defence of technology.  My boys loves using Choiceworks and I love the way its so easy to use and I can take photos with it and customise their schedules.  And it has an inbuilt timer.
Choiceworks-if I can use it anyone can!

Frozen Sing-a-long and other activities that were once impossible.... I have to find a Sound of Music singalong to attend

This afternoon I picked up the twins slightly early and we did three things that would have been impossible 18 months ago...

  • I took them both for a haircut. No dramas.  I know I write in wonder every time I take them to the hairdressers but if you'd known the trauma I've been through you would make allowances.
This, my friends, is a miracle!
  • Afternoon tea at donut king - T2 had one accidental spill but in the recent past he would easily have deliberately tipped a full drink everywhere - to my utmost public shame and humiliation.  But not today!
as is this untipped hot chocolate...

T1 checking out the skaters
  • We went to see Frozen (again) but this time a sing-a-long at the cinema.  Since it was a Friday arvo the cinema was pretty empty but I've always wanted go to a singalong film.  I sang but I didn't really hear anyone else singing.  I think T2 sang more the first time we saw it!!  Let it go, Let it go and I'll rise like the break of dawn.... So many fabulous songs in this movie.

Have you ever been to a sing-a-long movie?  What was it?

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