Archives for posts with tag: School

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote about this great learning tool called the Toobaloo. It’s an auditory feedback device that helps strengthen skills like fluency, comprehension and pronunciation.

Right away, I loved this educational tool. And as soon as I saw it, I knew how beneficial it would be for Elizabeth to use.

I shared in the blog how she was using it and the good things we saw.

So now, flash forward a few weeks, and we are still using it when she reads and sings.

I absolutely love how this device helps her self regulate the volume of her voice, which can be hard work for those with Dyspraxia ,as well as, for those with other special needs.

Now here comes the part we struggle with and that is having her hold the device correctly to her ear.  Usually, Elizabeth holds a phone, be it cellular or landline to her ear at the beginning of a conversation but then as the call progresses the phone sort of migrates up a bit until the part that should be near her mouth is now around her cheekbone.  So I usually motion to her to move the phone down, and she does but I am sure some of the conversation is not well heard or received when she does this.

You can probably guess that the Toobaloo migrates around as well, and it is not very easy to motion to her to move it because we are usually involved in reading or mouth work.

So I have to tell you about this  little guy called the “Hands Free Handset”  It is made to go hand in hand with the Toobaloo.   It is just like a headset that we have all seen people wear at fast food restaurants, where the mic is stable directly in front of the worker’s mouth.

The headset does the same thing except the Toobaloo is what is held in the correct position.  We tried it just the other day.

I must admit it was very easy to use and held the Toobaloo very nicely in place.

My only issue with the headset is that it says one size fits all, but I think it just fit Elizabeth’s head.  I will say that maybe this was the case because of all of her curls and people, there are a lot of them.  But whatever the reason, this is a slight consideration.

With that being said, I must say the Toobaloo Hand Free Headset made such a nice difference in the work we could do. For example, Elizabeth could work on her singing work, while using a drum to drum out syllables.  She was able to multi task with ease!

So I have to say this little guy can be really useful.  If you have a Toobaloo and love it, consider adding this Hands Free Headset.  It is really an easy thing to use and makes a big difference, so check out our site to read a bit more about it. And if you do not have the Toobaloo or the headset, check out the Toobaloo Kit that includes both tools.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti

Author of  ” I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

 

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I have a friend, Jen. She is Elizabeth’s tutor actually but we consider her a wonderful friend.

She is an amazing person, friend, educator and mom.

She has a daughter who is now in Kindergarten and throughout the time we have been getting Elizabeth her tutoring, I have watched how her daughter has grown and developed. I tend to notice many things about child development because of Elizabeth and her struggles and hard work.

So as I am watching her daughter write her letters, I notice she has an amazing mature grip on her pencil. The kind that older children develop after a long time. I told Jen this and she smiled and said that that was something they had been working on for a long time and that she was proud of how well she is doing.

So flash to a year later, and this little girl handed me a Valentine that she had written and I again, noticed how great both the penmanship was as well as her spacing of letters. I think I said “Wow!” and again, Jen said how hard they work.

This whole writing thing made me take pause as I reflected on Elizabeth’s ever evolving journey to write well. With her special needs, specifically Global Dyspraxia, writing is hard work. Keeping it neat is hard work, organizing thoughts to put down on paper is hard work.

This is par for the course for those affected by Dyspraxia. For some these hand-writing skills are affected a little bit, and for others, like my daughter, they are affected a great deal.

With so much going on in her life when she was younger, I can honestly say, I do not really remember how she learned to hold a pencil well. I want to say it was when she was being home-schooled, about age 6. I know I tried to encourage this skill of writing and also coloring which also helps promote imaginative play. Honestly, it was simply too frustrating for her. She would hold the little crayon in this claw like grasp and kind of swipe at the paper with long arm strokes.

I did not know how to teach Elizabeth proper grip. One thing I know now that I did not know then is you can use jumbo sized crayons as a fine motor tool to help strengthen grip and hand muscles.  

At the time, I was wanting her to use a typical sized crayon or pencil because that is what I though was what she use, but what I did not know was that using the super jumbo crayons, and working toward the typical sized crayon was what Elizabeth needed to grow her hand-writing skills.

The Super Jumbo Crayons, on our site, are the ones I am referencing. They are thicker in width and allow for little hands to hold and grasp with ease as they develop the fine motor skills to advance them to a smaller size. The Jumbo Crayons are good for the typically developing children, but what I know now is that they are really helpful to those with special needs.

I think using these Crayons will allow a child to have success in those activities, that most enjoy, but maybe a child with Dyspraxia or other special abilities would struggle with doing. 

I can use my oh-so-clear- hind site to see how nice it would have been to not only allow but encourage the use of these Crayons back in the early developmental days.

And something else to think about is the fact that using them at home in adjunct with guidance from your child’s occupational therapist will encourage success. Also good to know, is that in our sensory world, crayons were never offensive to Elizabeth. Unlike painting or markers.

I know that the Super Jumbo Crayons will be an easy and fun addition to any therapy bin. So if you think these might fit your child’s needs, please take a look on our site.

And also know, that all skills take time to learn for children like Elizabeth. And that each step, each growth is a success to be celebrated!

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti

Author of “ I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

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