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Practical ideas for parents who want to help their child's classmates and playmates understand more about their child and his/her special needs.


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Preschool Art Activity Tips For Children With Visual Impairments
By: Renata Bursten, Dragonfly Staff

With small adaptations, children with visual impairments can participate fully in art activities.

The key to adapting art activities for children with visual impairments is to offer mainly tactile instead of visual materials.

Here are eight ideas to get you started:

1. Use a glue gun or fabric paint to create dark tactile markings on the edges of the non gloss white paper. The same procedure can be used to outline any shapes so that children with low vision can colour within the lines and focus on their paper.

2. Provide an enclosed work area like a cafeteria tray so the child can keep their materials organized. Teach the other kids not to take materials from the tray without asking first.

3. Use three dimensional art materials such as play dough, and clay instead of flat pictures or stickers.

4. Offer textured paints. Try adding flour lumps, sawdust, or sand.

5. Make tactile paintings with Wikki Stix or string and glue. These can be felt with the fingertips when dry.

6. Make sure the materials are put away in exactly the same place every day.

7. Use coloured glue to help the child with low vision find it. Pick one colour always use it.

8. And most importantly, avoid doing the art for the child!

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Occupational Therapy: Self Dressing Skills: Snakey and the Jumbo Music Block

Children with general developmental delays can be slow to learn to dress themselves. Learning how to dress yourself makes a real difference in the personal independence of a child, but it's not all that easy to learn. A good way to learn is to start by learning how to UNDO on a toy in front of you. Then practice doing the fastenings up. When the oversized fastenings on the toy are mastered, try doing fastenings up on someone else, and only then on yourself, which is hardest. Then watch your child enjoy not needing to ask for help!


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