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Autism Therapies Pretest
Welcome back from mid-winter break everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your whole week off! I found the time to be very relaxing and rejuvenating. Sometimes I think teachers need the breaks more than you all do :-)
I hope you all enjoyed having Mrs. Kleinheksel come in to share all of her great information about occupational therapy! Our two boys are very sensory driven (as you all are hopefully able to tell) so her information to you can and should be put to use often throughout the day.
I have a sensory video to share with you. This video is great in that it helps you to understand what many of our students with autism go through every day. The video is an example of someone with autism going through a grocery store. Grocery stores are very busy and loud, but in my opinion they are quite quiet compared to a junior high hallway! This makes me think that a typical day in a school would be excruciatingly painful for most of our students.
Be aware, this video is very loud. Plan accordingly when watching. I don't want you to try and watch this in the media center without headphones or at your house when everyone is sleeping!
When I was a little girl, I had 7 different ear surgeries. Because of all of those surgeries, I still struggle to hear at times. The area of hearing that I struggle with the most is being able to block out background noise. So if I am in a large and noisy room, I have a very hard time focusing on one thing. For example, in the cafeteria if someone at my table is speaking to me with a very soft voice, I struggle to understand what they are saying because I cannot block out all of the other noises around me. It forces me to try and read lips in situations like that. This is something that many kids with autism experience as well (as you can tell from the video). This is just one thing that effects me, so I have a very hard time imagining dealing with the additional heightened senses of vision, smells, touch, etc. My own struggle is so minor compared to so many people with autism! It really puts things into perspective for me.
I hope the video showed you why a sensory diet can be so important. Occupational therapy is an absolute necessity for so many of our peers. OT can be the only thing that helps them get through their day! I am so thankful for Mrs. Kleinheksel and what she does for our boys.
Occupational therapy is not the only therapy that children with autism participate in. Often people with autism take part in many different types of therapies. Some of the more well-known therapies are speech therapy, food therapy, vision therapy, behavioral therapy and music therapy. But there are so many more types of therapies that are available and may help our peer's with autism function at a higher level.
One therapy that I love is called hippotherapy, or equine therapy, or riding therapy, or horse therapy (Whew! Lots of names!). I experienced this therapy when I used to teach in an autism room in Kentwood. My class would go horseback riding every other week out on a farm that did riding therapy. It was so awesome to see the progress that the students would make throughout the year. I have a video for you to watch to explain a little bit more about what occurs during hippotherapy.
Please check the "homework" tab for your assignments this week. Enjoy your short week with the boys! I hope you missed them as much as I did!