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April 28, 2011

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The Incredible 5-Point Scale and Narrative Elements

The Incredible 5-Point Scale book

April is Autism Awareness Month, and I wanted to highlight one of my favorite tools that I employ with students with autism spectrum and related disorders: The Incredible 5-Point Scale by Kari Dunn Baron and Mitzi Curtis. The 5-Point Scale is a tool designed to help students understand the confusing, emotional and language-heavy range of human behaviors by boiling it all down to a scale of 1-5. The approach is very versatile and can be applied to many situations and target behaviors, such as emotional state, voice volume or scales to help students grade their responses to everyday occurrences such as a “Participation Scale” within the classroom...

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March 17, 2011

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The Zimmer Twins and Stepping Up Narrative Complexity!

I am going to open this post with a language sample obtained from a fifth grade student in 2006, an attempt to retell an episode of the series Full House.

And um something that happened was when this girl named Michelle and this guy Jesse, it was Michelle’s birthday. And Jesse and Michelle got stuck in a gas station and she missed her party.
And um they were there all day, but then finally it opened the next- no it opened a lot later. So um they went back to the house and they had their party and she got an elephant and she got to ride it and all her friends and she got, she felt better. And that’s it...

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March 02, 2011

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Dinosaurs, Narrative, and Flexible Thinking

Dinosaurs, Narrative, and Flexible Thinking

I always love finding resources that serve as a context for addressing many speech and language-related skills. The wonderful book Edwina — The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She was Extinct by Mo Willems is one of those resources; it can be used to target narrative and expository formulation, as well as social thinking skills in several areas.

To begin with, Edwina is a story that will engage and delight children from early to late elementary ages, beginning with its title and the name of the main character, Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie. Reginald has a problem...

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January 31, 2011

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Interactive, Visual Resources to Complement Feelings Instruction (Internal Responses)

It's All About the Story CoverAs stated so well in It’s All About The Story, Book I of MindWing’s Autism Collection, “Tuning into one’s own Feelings as well as the Feelings of Others is extremely problematic to children with autism. The book provides visual flip charts, discussion prompts and an introduction to the Six Universal Feelings (happy, sad, mad, scared, surprised and disgusted), as well as ways to move beyond those Universal categories to more advanced feelings vocabulary—all of these resources give SLPs a great place to start...

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January 12, 2011

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Kick-Off the Kick-Off

In some recent posts I have described some visual and interactive activities to complement the instruction in It’s All About the Story establishing the concepts of character and setting. In keeping with the sequence of lessons in Mindwing’s Autism Collection, I’d like to move on to a few ways technology can help you introduce the Initiating Event or “Kick-Off “ of a narrative. As the lessons describe, you can discuss how in a particular setting, something happens to characters to “change the ‘Ho-Hum’ day” and start the story! An additional language strategy is to teach the words and phrases that signal a Kick-Off: suddenly, just then, etc. Taking a step beyond the visuals in the lessons, you can teach your students to apply the concept of the Kick-off using a few fun interactive technology resources...

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December 16, 2010

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Is Maryellen Actually “Maryellen Who?”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to the world as Dr. Seuss, was born in 1904 on Howard Street in Springfield, Massachusetts – which is right around the corner from MindWing’s office. The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden is located at the Springfield Museums near our office as well. The influence of Ted’s (Dr. Seuss’) memories of Springfield can be seen throughout his work.

In keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, we wanted to share a lesson idea from MindWing’s book: East Meets West for the Holidays by Maryellen Rooney Moreau and Judy K. Montgomery. This lesson is based on one of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved holiday stories: How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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December 08, 2010

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Gingerbread Characters and Settings

Gingerbread

Using the holidays as a context for language interventions can be tough, as it’s important to be inclusive of all cultures and celebrations. From a technology perspective, there just aren’t many great interactive resources about the Festival of Lights (anyone want to make some)? Gingerbread, however, while associated loosely with Christmas, is probably fair game in the public school setting!

Now, while websites with excessive, distracting ads are often something I rule out as a potential therapy resource, sometimes sites that are actually a giant, yet somehow unobtrusive ad can be great...

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