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Baby Steps Toward Independent Writing – Tracing Names

It’s a joy to hear Noah answer people now when they ask him his name.  It’s an opportunity for him to use his newly acquired speech skills in real-life situations, and it’s a powerful motivator for him to speak.

Reading and writing his name is something Noah has been working on as well.  Tammy’s post here:  http://www.prayingforparker.com/name-activities-for-kids-with-special-needs/ got me thinking about getting more serious about name writing for Noah (and the rest of my Littles).

See how we went from this (Mommy’s handwriting):

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To this:

name tracing 001 name tracing 002

 

Pretty impressive, eh?

Well Noah’s a talented little guy, let me tell you.

What I love most about this activity is that at the end, you have nothing but your child’s work on a sheet of paper.  Truly, I don’t mind giving Noah whatever assistance he needs, but there’s something thrilling about seeing work that is 100% his.

Here’s how to do this activity:  (Since sign language is an important part of Noah’s communication skills, whenever I prompt him for speech, I am using voice prompts and sign language.  If you use sign language with your child, you will want to do both as well.)

  1. Supplies:  One large index card
  2. Tracing paper cut the size of the index card
  3.   Double-sided tape
  4. One thick marker
  5. Several colors of crayon or thin marker (I use red, pink and blue in the script).

You’ll find I maximize the speech opportunities as much as I can in this exercise.  Not only does it kill two birds with one stone, it gives Noah a chance to use speech in real-life context, something that doesn’t happen in our daily drilling sessions.

Directions:

  1. Write your child’s name on the index card in large capital letters.  (Capital letters are easiest for children to form.)  At the beginning point of each letter, place a large dot.
  2. Use double-sided tape to tape one sheet of tracing paper over your child’s name.
  3. Script (Insert your child’s name whenever I have typed Noah):

“We have red, pink and blue.”  (Prompt child to now say each color as you point it out.)

“What color would you like?”  (Child should say a color).”

Hand your child the chosen color.  (Prompt child to say color again.)

Show your child the card and say, “Noah.  This says Noah.” Prompt child to say Noah.  

Point to the first letter.  “N.”  (Prompt child to say N). 

“Good.  Can you put your marker on the dot?”   Prompt child to say “On dot.”

“Good.  Now go down (prompt child to say “Down.”)   (You may have to break down the tracing line by line.  Use speech cues in your directions and make sure your child is forming the letter in the correct order of lines.)

Repeat letter naming starting with pointing to the letter for each letter of the name.

“Good job.”  (Remove the tracing paper.)  “Look.  What does it say?”  (Your child should answer with his name, although you may have to say, “Look.  It says Noah.  You wrote Noah.”

Start back at Step 2 for two more tracings.

This is a great way to encourage real-life speech, color recognition, name recognition and writing all in one fun exercise.  Let me know how it goes!

***If the writing portion of this exercise really taxes your child and prompted speech instruction also taxes your child, do not insist on the speech production portion of this exercise.  Your child may need to use all his available resources to do one or the other for the time being.  Work on integrating the two as he progresses in his abilities.

Eat Cookie – A New Two-Word Phrase

Our journey to help Noah find his voice has been so long.  There are days when I feel the effort has been too taxing, and we still have so far to go, maybe we should just rest, retreat and accept that where we are is where we’re going to be for a while.

After talking about two-word phrases for two years now, Noah is finally starting to say them on his own.  Today it was “eat cookie.”  I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I have fought through good days and bad, good moods and bad, days when it felt downright irresponsible to spend yet another 30 minutes on drills and two-word phrase activities that we’d done 100 times before.  I have fought hard for that two-word phrase.  And yet as hard as I’ve fought for it, there is one person who has fought even harder – Noah.  Stringing sounds together to form words and then stringing words together to make phrases is more difficult for Noah than any of us could imagine.  I don’t know if he fully understands how important it is that he learns to do this; I suspect he just understands that it is really important to Mommy that he learns to do this.  That’s why he endures daily drills and endless repetitions of functional phrases like “open door” and “milk please.”  But when he dives for a box and carefully and thoughtfully says “eat cookies,” it leads me to believe he has caught a glimpse on how important it is for HIM that he moves forward with speech.  Oh how I hope so!

In the meantime, it’s cookies and milk for everyone – on the house!

Vintage-Style Crochet Angel Dishcloth or Bath Poof

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All right.  Let’s all say “awwwww” together just to get it out of the way.  After my Dad died, I got downright compulsive about crocheting these little cuties.  I found the pattern in a little booklet I had, and I just fell in love with it.  I’ve made enough (and can always make more) to offer on my Etsy store here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/183046091/vintage-style-crochet-angel-dishcloth?ref=sr_gallery_2&ga_search_query=crochet+angel+dishcloth&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery

The angel is made of 100% cotton crochet thread and comes with a printed blessing making it a perfect gift for a wedding shower, housewarming or a just-because gift to let that special someone know they are being loved and prayed for.  Custom colors are available.

An extradorinary little boy, the ordinary people who love him, and their journey together through the world of visual learning and speech acquisition. (And in my "free time," vintage crochet, machine embroidery, digitizing and Etsy.)

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