Pick of the Week: I Can Do It! My Daily Checklist

Daily planners are an effective way to help kids stay organized as they become more responsible and self-reliant. The I Can Do It! My Daily Checklist helps children with their daily routine by providing structure and reinforcement. This week, take 15% off* your order of the I Can Do It! My Daily Checklist with promo code ICANDOIT at check-out!

My Daily Checklist includes 18 sturdy reusable plastic stars and 35 interchangeable task squares with behaviors and chores. On the back of the chart are magnetic strips for securing to any metal surface. The chart measures 15.5 inches tall and 11 inches wide.

Don’t forget! Save 15%* this week only on the I Can Do It! My Daily Checklist by using promo code ICANDOIT at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on September 22nd, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

Pick of the Week: NEW! SchKIDules Visual Schedules for Kids in the Home and Classroom

Brand-new and just added, these SchKIDules Visual Schedules for Kids are a great and easy way to create visual schedules in the home and classroom. This week only, we’re offering 15% off* the SchKIDules Home Collection and the SchKIDules School Collection! Just use promo code SCHKIDULE when you place your order online or over the phone with us!

This 70-piece Home Collection depicts home essentials, chores, and outings, and is a great tool for easily creating visual schedules in the home. It helps manage communication, expectations, predictability, independence, improving memory, and more.

The Home Collection contains one 14″ x 12″ magnet board; 19 Headings magnets for structuring your schedule including: Days of the Week, Morning/Afternoon/Evening, Numbers 1 to 5, To Do/Done, and First/Then.

Seventy 2″ x 2″ magnets display daily activities such as:

  • bike riding
  • dentist
  • playground
  • music
  • out to eat
  • party
  • shopping
  • play date
    and so many more.

The School Collection contains 30 pieces that depict typical school day activities to support the easy creation of a visual schedule for the day. The School Collection contains one 14″ x 12″ magnet board; 19 Headings magnets for structuring your schedule including: Days of the Week; Numbers 1 to 5; To Do/Done; First/Then; and Morning/Afternoon/Evening. Thirty 2″ x 2″ magnets depict school activities and objects such as:

  • assembly
  • calendar
  • centers
  • circle time
  • dismissal
  • field trip
  • line up
  • math
  • story time
  • science
  • group work
    and more!

Don’t forget to use our promo code SCHKIDULE to save 15%* on either or both of the SchKIDule Home Collection and the SchKIDule School Collection this week only!

Pick of the Week: Visual Task Completion Schedules

Keep students on track with these handy visual task completion schedules! This week, you can save 15%* on the Task Completion Schedule and the Flip When Finished Schedule. Just enter promo code SCHED15 at check-out to redeem your savings!

The Task Completion Schedule features clear “X” symbols to show a task has been completed. Simply take one of the Velcro “X” symbols and place it over the image of a task to show that it is completed. This black loop schedule also comes with a removable pocket to hold the 6 finished symbols, which have hook fasteners on their ends to attach to the schedule over the pictures. The Task Completion Schedule measures 28″ x 4″.

The Flip When Finished Schedule contains detachable clear pockets to keep students on track with their tasks. Simply flip the picture over when a task is complete or to reveal a new task. This schedule can be hung horizontally or vertically against a wall or board. Includes eight 3.5″ x 3.5″ pockets with one clear side with its reverse colored vinyl. A hook strip on top of both sides keeps it stuck to the loop schedule. The Flip When Finished Schedule measures 34″ x 4″.

Don’t forget to save 15%* this week on the Task Completion Schedule and the Flip When Finished Schedule when you enter in promo code SCHED15 at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on July 14th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at checkout!

Pick of the Week: NEW! Time Timer Watches in Bright Colors

We’re thrilled to announce that the popular Time Timer Watch PLUS (Youth Size) now comes in new, bright colors! The Time Timer Watch PLUS allows you to visually see how much time has elapsed while simultaneously displaying the actual time. It has a sporty design and uses simple icons and a large display to ensure ease of use for all age and ability levels.

This week only, take 15% off* your order of a brand new Time Timer Watch PLUS with promo code TIMER15 at checkout!

Ideal for anyone who wants a discrete and portable visual timer, the Time Timer Watch PLUS is customizable: there are two Time Timer modes (Original 60 minutes and Customized), vibrating and/or audible alerts and repeatable time segments for interval training. There is also a 12- or 24-hour clock with one alarm.

Water-resistant, the soft, silicon watch band measures from 4.75″ to 7″, making it perfect for children or adults with small wrists. The Youth Watch PLUS comes in bright, vibrant bluegreen or berry and in charcoal.

Watch the video below to see how the Time Timer Watch PLUS works!

Don’t forget to use our promo code TIMER15 at check-out to save 15%* on your order of the Time Timer Watch PLUS (Youth Size).

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on April 14th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!

Tip of the Week: Stop Behavior Early in the Behavior Chain

Recently I was working with a family to toilet train their son Jonathan, a six-year-old with autism. (Names and identifying characteristics have been changed to protect confidentiality.) When he eliminated in the toilet, part of his reinforcement was getting to watch the water go down the toilet after flushing. At some point, he developed the behavior of putting his hands into the toilet water as it was flushing.

When I went in to observe the behavior, one of my goals was to identify the steps in the behavior chain. Pretty much everything we do can be viewed as part of a behavior chain, in which one action is a cue for the following action. For Jonathan, each time he placed his hands in the toilet water, the behavior chain looked like this:

Pulled up pants
Stepped towards toilet
Pressed button to flush toilet
Stepped back
Watched water as it flushed
Stepped forward again
Leaned down
Put hands in water

Behavior chains can be even more detailed than the one above, depending on the needs of your learner. Identifying the steps in the behavior chain for an undesirable behavior can have a huge impact on your interventions. For Jonathan, we were able to stop the behavior of putting his hands in the toilet water by interrupting the behavior early in the behavior chain. It’s too late and unsafe to stop him once he’s leaning forward to put his hands in the water. Through prompting, which we faded as quickly as possible, we changed his behavior chain to this:

Pulled up pants
Stepped towards toilet
Pressed button to flush toilet
Stepped back
Watched water as it flushed for 3-5 seconds
Stepped towards sink
Leaned forward
Turned on water
Put hands in water

Instead of waiting for him to engage in the inappropriate behavior, we redirected him several steps earlier in the chain, providing a gestural prompt toward the sink and had him start washing his hands 3-5 seconds after he had started watching the water flush. This was ideal for two reasons: first, it was the expected step in an appropriate toileting behavior chain and second, it provided an appropriate and similar replacement behavior since Jonathan was still able to put his hands in water.

This behavior chain was relatively easy to change. While it may not be as easy in some interventions you may try, it’s essential to remember to stop the behavior early in the behavior chain. It’s much easier to give a child an activity that requires use of their hands as soon as you see them lift their hands out of their lap than it is to remove their hand from their mouth if they’re biting it. And it’s much easier to redirect a child to put their feet back under their desk than it is to get them to stop once they’re sprinting out of the classroom. Looking at the behavior chain and considering when to intervene as a part of your intervention plan is quite possibly the extra step that will make your plan successful.


WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Tip of the Week: Using Activity Schedules to Improve Bedtime Routine

Many of the families I work with struggle to get their child with autism through the bedtime routine. An activity schedule can help your child independently manage the routine.

You should select 3-5 tasks that your child can complete independently. The final task should be something that your child finds reinforcing, preferably something that can be done in or near the bed, such as being read to or listening to music. Based on your child’s reading skills, you can use pictures or text for the schedule.

You can arrange the activity schedule as a picture schedule or a checklist. Below are two samples. For the picture schedule sample shown below, I did an online search for the appropriate images, but when possible, I prefer to actually take a picture of the item or the learner engaged in the activity.

PICTURE SCHEDULE: I use self-adhesive laminating paper (which you can purchase at any office supply store) and laminate all pieces. Each task on the schedule has Velcro so the learner can arrange items in the order he/she wishes and can remove them once that activity is complete.

CHECKLIST SAMPLE: I use self-adhesive laminating paper for checklists as well. This way the learner can use a dry erase marker or crayon and reuse the same page each day. For many learners, I attach this to a clipboard and the clipboard hangs in an easy-to-reach spot.

What I like about the activity schedule beyond the fact that it promotes independence is that it also allows for some choice. The reinforcing activity must always come last, but the learner can choose what they want to have for that reinforcing activity. The learner can also have some flexibility for what order to place the items on the schedule. For example, your learner might prefer to pack his lunch before taking a shower. When implemented correctly, it’s a win-win for both parents and children.

For more information on implementing activity schedules, I highly recommend the book Activity Schedules for Children with Autism by McClanahan & Krantz.

Note: if you decide to use the iPad as the final item on the activity schedule, you should set the timer so the iPad turns itself off. To do this:

1) open the Clock app
2) click “Timer” on the bottom right of the screen
3) click “When Timer Ends”
4) scroll all the way to the bottom of that menu and click “Stop Playing”
5) set the timer for the appropriate amount of time,
6) hit “Start”


WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Tip of the Week: Easy Modification for Promoting Functional iPad Use

The iPad is a highly motivating item for many kids. But many parents and teachers find it frustrating to teach kids with autism to use the iPad functionally. Here are three tips that can help you promote functional use.

  1. Lock Rotation – Some learners with autism like to watch the screen rotate as they move the iPad. This prevents them from using the iPad to complete tasks, create visual or audio products, or play games. There is a small switch on the side of the iPad that is factory preset to mute the volume. You can change the function of this switch to lock rotation, preventing your learner from fixating on rotating the screen.LockRotation_Image
  2. Guided Access – When providing access to the iPad, it’s a good idea to give your learner options of particular apps to engage with instead of providing free access to everything available on the device. For example, during a teaching session, I might say, “When it’s time for a break, do you want to play Match or Simon?” When it’s time for the break, I open the app the learner chose, then activate Guided Access, which makes it impossible for the learner to switch to other apps.GuidedAccess_Image
  3. Timed Play – Sometimes I want to limit the amount of time a learner spends on the iPad. When I am providing a student a break during a teaching session, frequently I limit the time to 23 minutes. Parents may allow their child to play on the iPad for 30 minutes. You can set the iPad to immediately shut off at the specified time. I like to use this function because it prevents the end of an preferred activity from being associated with me.TimedPlay_Image

**Unfortunately, the iPad is the only tablet with which I am familiar. If you use another tablet and have tips such as those above, please share them with us!


WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Pick of the Week: “Classifying with Seasons” Fun Deck – Teach time concepts with match-up games and more

Classifying with SeasonsWinter, Spring, Summer, or Fall… What happens in each season and what do you need for it? With the changing season and cooler days, we thought it was the perfect time to share our newly added Classifying with Seasons Fun Deck as our Pick this week. The Classifying with Seasons Fun Deck contains 13 illustrated cards for each season, depicting holidays, activities, clothing, and weather that might occur. This week, take 15% off* your set of Classifying with Seasons by entering our code CLASSIFY at check out!

Use the Classifying with Seasons Fun Deck to teach time concepts, categorizing, and more. These cards come in a sturdy tin, and make great match-up games, as well as conversation and story starters.

Fall Examples

This week only, don’t forget to save 15%* on your deck of the Classifying with Seasons cards by entering promo code CLASSIFY at check out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EDT on September 30th, 2014. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!

How a Special Needs Mother Does It On a Typical Day

Link

Nicole Zeitzer Johnson and her family. (NY Times)

How do so many special needs parents do it? We were incredibly moved and inspired by the story of one special needs mother, who explained a typical day with her 7-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter who suffers from FoxG1, a rare genetic neurological condition associated with seizure attacks and impaired development.

This article reminded us of the bravery and commitment of all the parents in our community, and how positivity is really the best way to “do it all.”

How Nicole Zeitzer Johnson, Communications
Director and Special Needs Parent, Does It

Pick of the Week: Audible Time Timers – For Smooth Transitions Back to School

Transitions back to school can be difficult after a summer of changed routines. When it’s time to go back to school and reset day-to-day routines, a visual timer can make all the difference in timekeeping and easing the stress of structuring activities for your child or student. This week only, we’re taking 15%* off your order of the 3-inch, 8-inch, and 12-inch Audible Time Timers to help you help your learner with their transitions. Just enter promo code TIMETIMER at checkout to redeem your savings!

Recommended by Autism and ADHD experts, the Time Timer is entirely intuitive to use. This visual timer is great at solving time perception problems at all ages and ability levels, and is perfect for easy portability and in one-on-one and group settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A graphic clock-face gives the child visual understanding of time elapsing. This is ideal for timed activities and for getting ready. When the colored portion elapses, time is up. There is also an optional audible component that you can turn on so that the timer BEEPS when time is up. All Time Timers run on battery-operated quartz movement, and can be free standing or hung on a wall.

Don’t forget to save 15%* on your purchase of the 3-inch, 8-inch, and/or 12-inch Audible Time Timers this week only by using promo code TIMETIMER at checkout!

Read “Time Timer: Time to Build Independence,” an exclusive article by a parent about how she used the Time Timer to help her son challenge himself to get through a timed activity.

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EDT on September 9th, 2014. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!