Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
There are websites that sell resources for parents, families, therapists, teachers and other related professionals. Have you noticed the price tag associated with these educational materials? These high prices are for online seminars, educational DVDs and even workbooks that would assist those of us working with children who have special needs.
There is a resource that is within the budget of parents and teachers with no software to purchase or downloads to wait for. These are social skill stories that you customize and print from your computer. The subscription rate is good for one year to utilize as many times as need be. You create a profile for each person the book will be customized for. The same profile can then be used for another book without having to input the same data.
This website - www.sandboxlearning.com - currently offers a free customized book on waiting for anyone who registers. The book is customized according to the sex of the child, name, color of eyes and hair, hairstyle, whether they wear glasses and what method of communication they utilize. The options are words, sign language, pecs and augmentative communication device.
Depending on the story you choose there are questions for each profile you create that makes the book personal. These include what is the name of the school, teacher, siblings, classmates, favorite item, favorite activity, choices and consequences and hometown.
Some of the choices for customized books at the annual rate of $8.99 are as follows:
Getting Ready for School
Trying New Foods
Going to the Grocery Store
Using the Bathroom
Getting ready for bed
When things change
Going to the Doctor
These books range in pages from 12 to 18 with cover. You can create unlimited profiles for various children or students. This is perfectly suited for parents, support groups, teachers, non profit organizations, clinics, therapists and other related professionals working on teaching skills.
There is the choice of printing in color or line drawings for the coloring book option. Within a classroom setting a teacher can have a higher functioning student browse through a book she and the student have created by looking at the book on the site and paging through it without printing it out at that moment.
Before you purchase one of the stories you can view sample pages and read a description of what type of skills this book will assist in teaching. Going to the Doctor will include getting a shot, going places covers parking lot safety and going to bed will showcase brushing teeth.
The attention to every little detail is clear as you note a child with a cast on with cute drawings on it while waiting at the Doctor's office. Whenever you choose to bypass a question in one of the drop down boxes for a story you will see how they finish that sentence and can make changes to that story or utilize that for a future profile with that story.
One of the stories they have is on Halloween. This is a great tool to use in preparing classmates for the Holiday by printing out a story for each child and they could take it home to practice with their families. The going to the Doctor could be printed out and brought along to the appointment to discuss while in the waiting room.
A social skills group could introduce various skills and examples into the session by utilizing the social stories by Sandbox Learning. The font for the text is easy to read. The story viewer opens in another window for viewing. Each page has the image with the text below and the option to view the next or previous page. Each page is also numbered.
The second page of the "waiting" book that is free for all registered members that I customized, reads as follows:
My name is Matthew Sayers. I live in Los Angeles, CA. I learn new things everyday. An important thing I am learning is how to wait. The image is of a boy with a green backpack on and the front door open. On the next page the boy has a communication device on his shoulder with his teacher handing him a book he has requested on his device. This page has listed the items you included as their favorite. I input Bingo and french fries for Matthew and will be editing his profile to expand on that now that I have read it and see it needs some changes.
I have a dial up connection and did not have to wait any length of time to get this book customized. This is a wonderful resource more families, therapists and teachers need to be made aware of. You create the book to teach the child skills and they can be part of this process no matter their level of comprehension.
Matthew gets feeding therapy so I will be customizing the new foods book to work on with his therapist and show her this resource. There are others that the Floortime Therapist would appreciate for her other clients. There are others that would be perfect for behavior therapists as well. I plan on working on the grocery store one soon and will be reviewing other books I am presently personalizing from Sandbox Learning as well.
Remember the teacher with a gift certificate as a year-end gift and also a thank you present to a therapist. April is Autism Awareness month - prepare now by making some purchases at www.sandbox-learning.com for teaching children new skills through this interactive personalized social skills book.
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.