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A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO TEACHING THE SPECIAL NEEDS CLASS AT CHURCH


This book as been compiled by a person who is not a professional in the field. What I do have is personal and practical experience and what I have learned reading other books. This book is written for the most part from the perspective of teaching a child with severe Autism, but it can be adapted to teach other classes. Even when teaching the regular Primary Classes In this case, Nursery. (For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) 2012-09-29

DETAILS OF THE AUTHOR


I have Aspergers, which is a very mild form of Autism (So please excuse any bad spelling or grammatical errors in this book. As I also have very mild dyslexia, that mostly affects my spelling.) I have taught for a number of years in a regular playschool in the past. And at the time of writing this book, I was teaching a young boy at church with severe Autism, the Nursery lessons.

REASON FOR THE BOOK


The difficulty in finding books that give practical advice, especially for free. Most books you have to pay for and they are extremely expensive. Mostly from America and Britain. Let's face it, parents and organisations that try to help, most times too, do not have the funds to purchase them, especially around here. Even access to the internet could be a problem. Also there are none that I know of that deal with what to do at church and there are some unique circumstances that may be faced. Another reason for this book is that whoever gets called to this calling at church, will in all likelihood have little or no experience in teaching, let alone someone with special needs. But if you are lucky enough you would have done the Teaching No Greater Call course. Which you should go on, but sometimes it doesn't always get done. If you haven't done it. Ask about been able to do it or at least be able to get the manual, so you can read it. However, you will have to adapted what you learn there, for children and then adapted it again for the specific needs of your class. But it is still of great value. Another thing is what many do not do, is READ THE BEGINNING OF YOUR MANUAL! Most just start doing the lessons and skip the pages before it. There is much there that may help you! Though inclusion is the aim for all children, sometimes this is just not practical or safe. Having a 7yr old with the mentality of a 3yr old in the nursery will not work. He is physically too big and may by accident hurt the little ones. Especially if they also have ADHD, where they cannot sit still for more than a few seconds at a time and their attention span was about 30 seconds to a minute if you are lucky. So the aim, is if you are reading this book, is to prepared you as best as possible to teach this class. Though this book will have a lot of practical things in it, most of the experience will be from teaching at a normal playschool, what I have learned helped me learn and that I learned from my class of one. Remember this, always listen to what the parents and professionals may say. You may learn a thing or two that you otherwise would have missed. Making your class run more smoothly. If the child you are teaching does not have Autism. Don't panic. You can still use a lot of the advice in your class, that includes when you are with the regular Primary kids. You may just need to adapt it slightly to make it work a bit better for their needs. So been able to think out of the box would be a good thing and an invaluable tool in this class. Also I have tried to give ideas, that you can do on a shoestring budget, where ever possible or on how to make things last longer, thereby saving on the cost of having to replace it.

CONTENTS
1. You have been called. Now what? 2. How to structure your lessons 3. Layout of the classroom 4. Assisting parents at church 5. Structure in the classroom 6. Snack time and crayons 7. Age groups and assistants 8. Ideas of things to do or make for class 9. How to make simple hard cover books 10. Questionnaire for parents 11. Signs for doors 12. Signs for cupboards 13. Some recommended books

Page 1 4 8 10 12 13 14 15 23 29 33 36 40

PLEASE NOTE: If this book was not handed to you on paper, make sure that you either are given or have downloaded both files. The second file is to do with the signs for the doors and cupboards and a list of some recommended books. Due to technical difficulties they could not be made into one file, unless I bought an expensive program to do so. Not worth it if you only need this feature once in a blue moon.

1. YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED. NOW WHAT?


You have been called into the Bishop's office and are now most likely reeling from the shock of the request. They want you to teach the Special Needs Class. But you have little or no teaching experience, especially with kids. Those you are to teach need extra special care and supervision. Don't panic. This is the reason why you are reading this book. Despite the challenges you may face in this class. It is also most rewarding. Even with this book and perhaps others. A lot of things will be trial and error as each child is different. But don't give up. There is an old African saying that says it best. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! So take a deep breath, things will be ok and take that first bite. Learn all you can about the condition of the child or children you are about to teach. This is vital especially like in the case of Autism. Even I don't know all the ins and outs and I have it. One child may be affected in one way and another in a total different way. Just take me and the student I am teaching. We both have Autism, but to someone who doesn't know anything about the condition, they wouldn't believe you if you said so. He has the mental age of about 3 and is non-verbal (unable to speak), Yet I have been told I have average to above average intelligence in most areas and can talk a hind leg off a donkey, if you get me started on something I know really well or like. But we both have our problems, many we share to some degree. Some more visible than others. It is also another reason why not to put limitations on children with special needs. You do not know what their full potential is. Teach them at a level you know they can understand, but at the same time see if you can try and stretch this a little. Who knows after many long hours of repetition they may surprise you. Get books out of the library in town. Buy if you can afford it. Borrow from others if you can not (but remember to return the books and in the same condition you got them or people will refuse to let you borrow others) Look on the internet if available, there is much out there. But you have to dig and in some cases dig some more. And double check. Here are a few reputable websites to look at. Some dealing with Classical Autism all the way to Aspergers. Others specific to one of the conditions found on the Autism Spectrum. To start you off on your search. http://www.autismhangout.com/ http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/ (Here you can ask questions, there are parents and those who have Autism that may also be able to answer some of your questions. Or they can at least refer you to someone or site that most likely can. Also if there are any questions you wish to ask me, if you downloaded this, you will know my Scribd name - Dapper Muis. It is the same for here. It is best to try and contact me there if you get no response on Scribd. Their messaging system seems to work for everyone else. But not for me most times. So it is unreliable. ) Page 1

http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/ (Aspergers in woman) Talk to the parents, interview them. (At the end of this book I have included a sample of what you can ask them. Pg 29) It will make setting up the classroom much easier. As you will have to tailor make the lessons to the child's needs. This will also be the best time to ask the parent or parents how they deal with certain situations, that may happen. A child with Autism will have a few meltdowns (crying, screeching and screaming) in your class during the time they are with you, however, as long as you are called to do this class. But remember they are not been naughty, they are just unable to communicate what the problem is. Even if they do know how to talk, they may not be able to express what they are feeling or experience at that moment. Also you will get to know what things could pose a physical danger or be triggers that upset them, to the point where you need to get help. (Do not leave the classroom, send your assistant, if you need to). Visit with the family Where possible, see the child at home quite a few times, before they start coming to class or before you take over the class, that they are going to. This also includes, if you can, observe them at their school. Most schools and teachers are only too happy to let you, if it means the child is going to benefit from it. But always ask first. Some parents may not like the idea or it may upset other students in the class if you come. It is however, suggested in one of the articles in the Ensign, a while back, that you try and get their teacher to come to one of your lessons, to give you pointers. But here in this country (South Africa), it is not, in most cases, practical. Even more so if you have no idea on how to teach in the first place. Here are 2 reasons for seeing them at home and at school. 1. So you and the child can get to know each other in an environment they feel safe in 2. So you can see what is normal behaviour for them. For like those with Autism, it can be scary or overwhelming been in a new place. We get bombarded with so many new things, of sight, sound, textures, even smells. For the first few lessons you may not be able to teach them anything. They may be literally bouncing off the walls and looking at EVERY thing. Just gently guide them away from things that could be a potential problem or you or assistant, must sit or stand in front of the thing, so they cannot get to it. Such as, switches and Electrical Plug Sockets. (Make sure you have child locks on those! You don't need little fingers getting zapped.) Sometimes they may become fixated on only one thing and want nothing else. Also they will in all likelihood ignore you all together, as they begin to work though all these new experiences. But even when you are able to teach them, you may have to repeat things over and over. You may only be able to teach them one sentence at a time, but that's ok, they are learning. Remember you are to teach at their pace and not get them to try and keep up with you. It will only lead to frustration and unwanted meltdowns. Most of us in general don't like looking at peoples faces or eyes. For me it is the eyes. But have fooled people into thinking I am looking, when I am not. So do not be worried if they have no eye contact with you, as you teach. Just keep talking to them in one or two word sentences, if they have difficulty in understanding what you are saying. Page 2

Have a sense of humour Having a sense of humour will help lots. Seeing the funny side of things where ever possible, even if things are going wrong, will help you get through the tough days. Crying only makes one feel even more sad, laughing lightens the mood and lifts the spirits. Your attitude in this regard will determine how well you handle this class and life in general. Also don't forget to ask for help if you are having problems handling things.

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2. HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR LESSONS


If the child has never come before and you don't know if you could handle a full 2 hours with them, at first, request that perhaps, if it is allowed, that the parents only bring them for half the lesson time and then gradually work your way up to the full lesson time. Thus, allowing everyone to get used to the new situation. The child may also not like been away from their parents. So gradually try and lessen the time. First thing to do is have the parents play less with the child in the class, letting the teacher take over that role in the class. Then the parents must try not be there for longer periods of time. You could have a few meltdowns when you do this. But it comes with the territory. Change many times does not come easily. Eventually, if all goes well, you and your assistant will be able to have the child to yourselves for the entire lesson. Just make sure you distract the child so they do not see or hear the parent leaving. For the Nursery lessons, I have been using, I try to teach four lessons on the one lesson normally given. Breaking the information up where possible. Warning: this does not mean doing the lesson exactly the same way all the time. Keep it as much as possible the same, with a few things different, to keep their interest, as they may be very slow learners. But they do learn. For example, keep the puzzles and books the same for the lessons you are doing, but change the toys every now and then. But be warned, you may not be able to teach the next lesson or all that you wanted in that lesson. as they may become fixated on one of the new toys or even an object you gave no thought to, that they spot. If that happens don't panic, just give the lesson next time they come and leave them to the toy or object for the rest of this lesson's time. Trying to take it away from them and they are not in danger of breaking it or been harmed by it, will only upset them and it will only disrupt your class even more, including, when they see it the next time. Let them look and explore it as much as possible. (Remember they are learning) Normally, by the next lesson or a few lessons later, much of that frenzied interest may have waned. Who knows, you may even find something that can help them concentrate better, by keeping their hand or hands busy. With the boy I am teaching, this helps him concentrate better if we occupy his one hand, with something that he can squeeze, even better if it makes a noise. It keeps his hand out of his mouth and stops him from trying to pull on or try take things he shouldn't and an added benefit is, it keeps him calmer. One of the lessons, I have even tried to split into about 12 lessons. That's because there are so many elements to it. The lesson was talking about taking care of their bodies. There were 5 concepts or things they needed to learn about. Play, sleep, personal grooming, good food and hygiene. So I split it into 3 sections, trying to do 4 lessons about each. Sleep and play. Personal grooming and hygiene. The last one, on good food. One of your best friends, in getting a lot of what you will need to teach your lessons is The Friend magazine. Get them for the class. If they can handle such a book without tearing it, let them look at it, but the main reason for getting it, is for you. Though, it will not remain in one piece for very long, as you will be chopping it up to make hard cover books (See Pg 23), pictures to tell stories or make the things that they show you, like puzzles. If you have more than one child in your class, you can also get and print off extra pages from the Church's website, www.lds.org. Though, if you are looking for lots of pictures and activities, anything from before 2001, will have almost none of that. It is mostly only the print they preserved but from 2001 they are just like you would find, if you got the magazine. (This was the case at the time of typing this book 2012) Page 4

NB: Another thing you cannot do without. Have a shelf put up in the classroom that you can put the CD player on, if there is no cupboard to do so. So that the child cannot get to it too easily, for some it is an irresistible thing and they could break it by accident. Music will be your best friend. For children that can hear and do not have sound sensitivity problems, it calms them and also the songs teach them, as well. The difference in the classroom was like night and day for me. There were more meltdowns without it. Now that I can play the music, he doesn't seem to have too many any more, excepting, if he is really tired. Do not panic if they do have meltdowns, firstly, there is not much you can do. Secondly, you need to stay calm, if you get agitated, it will only make things worse for the child. Especially like in my case, he cannot talk. Since you will most likely not know how to handle such meltdowns in the beginning, I'll repeat this advice again, ask the parents to tell and show you what they do when it happens. You will also, as time goes on, figure out ways to understand them better and this will also lessen the meltdowns, as many will occur because of communication problems. Others, because something they are seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling, is upsetting them and they cannot tell you. You may need to put off the fluorescent light or have it changed to a different make, as the bulb maybe flashing at an intensity you cannot see, but to the child it is like been in a disco all the time and the light is bright and sharp for them. Just think of the pain it causes you to suddenly go from a dark room into the bright light, without letting your eyes adjust. Also another advantage of having the Primary Songs playing, is they learn language and gospel concepts and principals. The boy in my class tries to sing along. It is mostly humming and garbled words, but he is trying to speak. Hum along with them or sing the words, you will get a reaction out of them. He likes his music so much, that when the one song stops and it takes a few seconds for the next one to start. He will actually stop what he is doing and look at the CD player, almost like he is fearful, that it will not start again. But once the next song comes on, he carries on with what has his interest, at the moment, till the music stops and this happen all over again. When it comes to teaching them, you may not be able to get them to sit or if you are lucky for only a few moments. Don't force the child. Just work with them where they are or when they get to that part of the classroom and for however long, you have their attention. The easiest way to describe why the cannot sit still is this. If you are told you may not move, you do as you are told, but suddenly you get an itch, you try to ignore it, but it is getting worse and worse. Especially, the more you try to ignore it. Eventually you have got to scratch, even though you have been told you must not move. For many children their whole body feels twitchy and they just got to move, the energy has to be gotten rid of. Find out what the child likes, and where ever possible, introduce at least one of those items into the classroom, at all times. The boy I teach, loves things that make sounds. So a Tambourine or Xylophone will keep him happy. Even a set of keys, does the trick. I tried a kiddie's Electronic Keyboard, they had in the Nursery, someone donated. He loved it and helped to calm him down, when he got really agitated. But I have sound issues and the electronic sounds were driving me mad, leaving me drained and agitated at the end of my lesson with him. So I have looked for alternatives to put in, of other sounds we both can handle. Use lots and lots of pictures, especially, as like with my student, where he is very visual. This means, he learns by seeing. I can tell you that any child, unless they have a severe visual impairment, loves pictures. But even if they only look at them fleetingly, it is not a failure. You have gained their attention, even if it was just for a few seconds. They are still learning. Just remember, if you are putting pictures on the windows, put a thick cardboard or card from a cereal Page 5

box on the back of it, so they can see the picture clearly. For the light will shine through the picture without it. The problem then is, you will be seeing the other picture on the back at the same time. This can be very confusing, when trying to make out what the picture you are looking at, is. Also, make sure all pictures are at their eye level, this means, they do not need to look up to see them. Which for many, means, they are not even there or to look down, which will have the same results. Having them at eye level, means, they are more likely to be seen and looked at, giving you a teaching opportunity, when their attention is on it. Language is important. How you say it also. Some children may not understand long and complicated sentences. So saying, Come here please, may confuse them. So instead just say, Come, and indicate with your hand, will be better understood, than you just standing there waffling on. Your student may not speak English. So if you can speak the language they understand, do so. The child will be struggling as it is, especially, if the only time they get to hear English, is in your class. But if you can't, it may be recommended, that you ask them to get a teacher that can to do the class, in the language needed, and you become the assistant. (Or at least, get an assistant that can speak the language). Thereby, learning the language, as the other teacher, teaches. Also, ask other members of the Ward or the child's family to help you learn the language they speak, if you are able. Even if it is a few words, that are normally used when teaching. Make full use of the black or whiteboard. I found putting magnets on the back of pictures, games and puzzles, I have made, works best for my class. He likes it, so I use that to teach him as much as possible, instead of trying to make hims sit at a the table. The best advice for the pictures, is to have them laminated. For a child that keeps putting their fingers in their mouths and then touch the pictures, it will protect them from moisture and also will not be damaged too easily, like been torn if pulled on. Ask the Church Librarian, if you can have a Primary 1 Picture Pack, that you can laminate. The Primary 1 Manual, was originally designed for the Nursery, as well, before the Nursery Manual became available. The pictures are invaluable. The Picture Packs can be ordered separate from the manuals. I have my own collection, of all the Primary Manual pictures and of those old ones no longer available. (All laminated, did it before I was called to do this class. Remember it makes them last longer). They are of great help and I am still collecting. Start your own collect or increase the Class's one. I have used these pictures, not only in Primary, but even in the adult classes I have taught. A picture says a thousand words. They will never go to waste. When it comes to doing things, you may have to show them first what you want from them, either with pictures or by doing it. Others, you may have to physically do it with them. For example, if you want them to clap their hands, you will have to take their hands and clap them together for them. When the child comes to class, let them try and do as much as they can, on their own, but help where needed. What I mean by this is that, I let him put the switch on by the plug, for the CD Player, but I will not let him touch the CD player, knowing things could get broken. Another thing you can do, is show them how to pack things away. By doing so, you are allowing them to grow in confidence and skill, becoming more independent. Remember your role as a teacher, is to be a guide in helping them learn, in a safe and caring environment, not to decided what they can and cannot learn. Another person you may also need to teach, if they already haven't been taught by the previous teacher, if the class was started before you came to it, is your assistant. If they have, get them to show you how to do things. The main reason for them been there, is to help you when things get out of hand and to man the door, as there are no locks on the doors. Most times, all they will be required of them is to sit in front of the door, if the child you teach is a runner. But while they do so, Page 6

they too can learn. Also, if it looks like your assistant can handle things, start getting them to do part of or the occasional lesson. At times, when the child can't come to class, instead of having no class, use this time to talk one-on-one with your assistant and teach them the finer points of how to teach the class, or go over ideas, to improve the lessons or what you could do or make for the next batch of lessons. Who knows, they may be called to teach in place of you, when you leave. Also, don't be afraid to ask for advice from the previous teacher, of the class, if there was one. Every little bit of information helps. Another big help, plan your lessons in detail, at least a few lessons ahead. This will enable you to get, do or make things needed for your lessons and to work out any potential problems that you may find. Also, try and have everything in the class, as much as possible, to do with the lesson you are teaching, from the puzzles, pictures, books and other toys. This will help them learn what you are trying to teach them better, as there will be more opportunities to teach the lesson, even if they don't realise it. This class is not a read from the book kind of class, that some people do with their lessons. Your book in many cases will not be opened. It is a hands on class. You will not be sitting down, but doing things with them. This also means, you have to plan you lessons a lot more carefully and it will take up more of your time, as you need to make things for them to use and to memorise what you can. All toys must be age appropriate for those you are teaching. The boy I am teaching may be about 3yrs of age mentally, but his skills range anywhere from a 1 yr old, to that age. So the toys need to be robust (strong) and have no choking hazards, where possible. (Remember he has a bigger mouth than a toddler!). If you want him to play with toys that do pose a risk, but it is needed, they must be supervised at all times. Only take them out of the container when needed and put back in when done. (Clear plastic jars are a good idea, so the child can see them and choose them if they want to play with them.) Injury can happen in a split second that you turn your back, so don't take your eyes off of them for a second. Be warned, they may not play with the toys as you would expect. Let them play with it the 'wrong way', if it does no harm to them, others or the toys. Then later, show them the way most people would use it. In some cases, there will be specialised toys or other equipment that you will have to get for your class. When asking for such expensive objects, explain the reason why you need it, otherwise, you will just be turned down, because of the cost. Also, look for alternatives where ever possible. Some take a bit of time to find or make, but in many cases it can be done. When they get things right, give them lots of praise. In most cases, going over top will be required, so they will understand you are pleased with them. What I mean by over the top is this. Don't just say, Well done, with very little enthusiasm, but do it with more enthusiasm than necessary, and by saying, Wow. You did that all by yourself? What a big boy (or Girl) you are. Give them a hug, if they will let you and give them a big smile, if they look at you. Some kids may not take to hugs. Like the boy I teach. So I say, High five, and hold my hand up. To give him time to bring his up and we do it together and after I say, Well done.

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3. LAYOUT OF CLASS ROOM


If you can secure a classroom that is set aside only for the child you are teaching, all the better but if like me, you have to share it with another Ward this can be a bit tricky. And like next year I will require it at all times, as we will be the second Ward to use the building for the day and not the first and our times overlap. . At the moment I come an hour before church even starts to set up the classroom. I have to take out all the chairs and the table they have in there already and find places to put them. You have to child-proof the room as best as possible, getting rid of things that may distract or be a physical danger to them. The table that was there was about chest height for him and had very sharp edges. Not a good thing to have in the class if they like to spin or jump in circles and loose their balance. Also, another reason for cleaning out the classroom, is so that there is more space for them to move. Let's face it some of the classrooms are not exactly very big. Mine is about the size of 3 parking spaces put together, maybe a little bigger but that can be a good thing. Though he has now got room to move and the room is not cluttered, grating on his senses and mine. It is small enough to get him to pay attention longer on something you show him (less distractions). Also there is no divider between us and the other classroom, but a solid brick wall. This will minimise the distractions even more. Not only is the noise coming from the other class, almost, if not totally eliminated, but also the noise your class will be making, will be less of a problem for the other class or classes nearby, as well. Then I go to the Nursery, get one of their tables and 2 of their chairs for my class. Also take a few of the toys from there too. Do not put all of the toys out all at the same time. I keep some back till later in the class. I normally hide some of them under the table, under a black bag with other soft toys in, just in case he starts getting bored or is tired and needs something else to keep his attention, so he doesn't fall asleep in class. Do your best not to let the child fall asleep in your class. If you don't try, the parents will have even less precious time at home, to get a break from needing to continually been on their toes and constantly having to watch the child at all times. If you think spending 2 hours with the child is hard, try doing it 24/7 for the rest of your life. They need all the breaks they they can get! If your classroom doesn't have a shelf or a cupboard, request that a shelf be put in. This will ensure your CD Player stays in one piece and the class stays calm. When it comes to the cupboard, you may not want it in the classroom, if the classroom is not big enough to take one (mine is not). Rather have it elsewhere, as it may be a major distraction to those you are teaching, even if you can lock it. All they may want to do, is get into it, to play with what is in there. Just make sure the cupboard is not in another classroom, where your comings and goings before or after your lesson will disturb other classes. If you share a cupboard with others, clearly mark your shelves, telling others not to take your stuff, as it is only for your class, otherwise, you will find less of it there as others take it to use in their classes. (see Page 36 or the second file, if downloaded for examples). The others can do without it, but not you, as it may have been a hard and long process (and expensive) to find those things that could be used in your class. Like me, I have used one or two of my personal toys, at times, so I cannot afford losing them. This is partly due to the fact that they are specialised toys that you would find in Playschools and Educares, but not necessarily found in the Nursery. Even all these many months later, we are still trying to put together what is needed. Cupboard space been one of the big issues and having to share the classroom with others. Every Sunday it is like moving 1/4 to 1/3 of the nursery around, from one room to another. Then to do it again at the end the lesson. Time-wise this is a major problem but there is just not enough Page 8

classrooms at the moment. There are a few thing that you may not be able to take from your classroom. One such thing is the heater on the wall. I have also learned through trial and error where the best place to put the table in the room. I first had it against the heater so that it was partly out of sight, but then it was right next to him and all he wanted to do was play with the buttons and dials he could get to. So I moved the table to the other corner. It worked for a while and got him to concentrate a bit better but then one of the next lessons he tried to climb on it, to get at the fan that was high up on the wall. (He loves fans, because of the spinning motion). In the end, I moved it to another part of the classroom near the door. The reason I had avoided putting it there in the first place was that been near the door, was that it meant less floor space because of the shape of the classroom (the room is not square, one of the corners had been cut.) and I feared he may get upset seeing the door too much and would want out, besides, at times, I had people try and just open it without thinking or they were looking for someone. To solve the latter problem, I made signs to put on the door. They worked very well. 2 have been included in this book. (see Page 33 or the first pages of the second file). Been a very small Primary, I didn't need to put a picture sign up, as the kids quickly learned not to touch the door but if you find that it is still be a problem for you or the Primary is much bigger, get a picture or symbol that they understand that means they mustn't come in. Go to one of the Sharing Time lessons, if you can, or get the Primary Presidency to explain to the children why they must not not open the door and what the signs mean that have been put up. It will also be a time to tell the children about the child you are teaching and the condition he has (If you can get one of the parents to do this part, all the better). Let the children ask questions, so that they too, can better learn to understand the child you are teaching. So that if the child is able to take part in other primary activities with the other children, the other children will know how to treat them or help them and understand why they do the things they do that are strange or that would normally get others into trouble if they did them. Remember ignorance will only bring pain and hurt for everyone. Also by having the Primary children help with them, where possible, will let the the child you teach feel more a part of Primary, as well and it teaches the other children to be kind and caring to others that are different to them.

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4. ASSISTING PARENTS AT CHUCH


Your responsibility (and that of your assistant) as a Special Needs Teacher, goes beyond just teaching your class. You must SMS the parents if you are unable to be at church, so they either don't bring them or they can make other arrangements. Also, have them SMS you if the child is not coming. The reason for this is so you don't waste time setting up the class, especially if you have to do it like I do. When you receive an SMS from them saying the child is not coming, send them one back, so they know you got it. Explain to the parents they must do the same if you sent one telling them you are not coming. Otherwise they may rock up with the child, as you didn't know they had not gotten the SMS, causing problems for everyone, including their child. The boy I teach, cannot sit still for very long. His parents, most times, they can keep him stillish till Sacrament has been passed before they have to take him out. Other times, they don't even try and get him into the Chapel. Because of this, they need a safe environment to let him move around in, before I teach him in his class. Request to have a key for the Nursery. One of the few doors that will have a lock on the outside. If they will allow you, make copies of any keys that they give you, do it. For what normally happens to me is that I get given keys, someone else looses theirs and then you are forced to share yours with them. It doesn't work. Especially when you need it at all times and early, before most are at Church. It has paid out in spades for me, now and in the past, especially when you need to set the class up before time and the person who has the key to the Nursery only rocks up at Church when it is time to go in or if you are lucky 5 minutes before. That's a problem when it takes you at least 30 min to 45 min, if not longer, depending on the lesson and other factors. Especially if the classroom, has to be used if the Nursery is unavailable during Sacrament time for any reason. So because you paid for the keys out of your own pocket, they cannot take them from you to give to another, who misplaced theirs. You can always donate them, once you no longer need them. Also another safe place we have is a small court yard in the middle of the building. (Request that the classroom you get is as close as possible to such a place.) It has access from two doors, that both have security gates on them. This is a perfect place to let a child that needs constant supervision run 'free'. There will be less having to pull them off things. Don't let them climb the security gates, or windows. They could fall and be injured, even if the parents let the child do it at home. The child may have special needs, but they still need to learn as much as possible, that there are certain things they cannot do in certain places. This is even more so the case in Autism, where we don't always realise there are unwritten rules that everyone follows. You have to tell or show us but do it in a kind way. Don't shout at them and not explain why they can't or shouldn't. Also, the more severe their condition, the more you may have to keep repeating yourself. If you are able take some of the Nursery toys that can be played with outside and put them in the courtyard. So there will be things they can play with if you take them there. It will also mean less having to pull them off of things they shouldn't be doing. When you sit in the chapel, sit as close as possible to the door leading to the classrooms, if this is possible. This is so that you can keep and ear out. If you can hear the child is causing a ruckus more than usual, it will allow you to get up without disturbing those around you, so you can go help the parent. Then when it is class time, assist in getting them to their classroom. In my case this means firmly holding his one arm by the wrist (doesn't like it if you hold his hand and will try to pull away even more) while his mother holds the other and guiding him to the classroom. This is to stop him breaking loose and making a dash for it. This also needs to be done when taking them to the courtyard, if they need to be let loose and the classroom is getting too much for them. (Also, if Page 10

the parent needs help in getting them to the Nursery in the first place). Just make sure the gate to the courtyard is unlocked and if possible open before you start class, this could be a huge problem if you don't. You cannot hold onto the child and try and unlock the gate at the same time. Once class is done and only one of the parents is there or the other is unable to help at that moment, help them get the child to the car safely. Also, inform the parents that they are allowed to used the disabled parking at church. Their child may be able to walk, but the danger of the child breaking loose amongst those coming and going in their cars is not good or safe. Therefore, they need to use the disabled parking. If this parking is needed by someone who cannot walk and there are not enough disabled parking zones, request that one of parking spaces closest to the entrance of the building, be turned into one just for them. Make sure they have it clearly marked, so that others do not park in it by accident. If you find that the child fights you when you want them to walk to their classroom or any other place, it will happen from time to time. Try jumping together to the classroom, while still firmly holding them. It has worked more than once for me. Even try moving in slow large circles. Sometimes going in a strait line doesn't always work. Also, if they don't want to let go of the toy or book from Nursery, when you come to collect them. Let them take it with them. It can make things easier in getting them to their classroom. They may be more interested in that, than fighting you going there. Besides, you can return it at the end of the lesson, when you take the rest of the stuff back to Nursery, that you took for your classroom.

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5. STRUCTURE IN THE CLASSROOM


Despite just teaching when you have the child's attention. Your class will need structure, certain things done at the same time, where possible or at least in the same way. If you are going to do something drastic, you may need to tell or show them with pictures ahead of time, what is going to happen. Remember, what you consider as normal or exciting, may be drastic for them. Such as a new classmate. So you would have to tell and show them before they come in and sometimes more than once that a visitor is coming. If you don't, the child may become upset and may even lash out at the other child if they get too close. Thankfully I haven't faced that problem yet. However, I have the opposite danger, he takes to anyone. A danger you say? Yes, but not for me, but the child. They could be taken by a stranger, as they don't know or understand the dangers. So if you have a child like that, even if they are not severely handicapped, like some, in other ways. They will need constant supervision by you, or by an older youth or another member of the Church. Try as much as possible to minimise the need of the parents doing this. Firstly, because the child needs to interact with others. Secondly, such parents need a break from the daily grind of them having to constantly be on their toes, everywhere they may go with their child. If you say you are going to do something, do it and when you said you would. Be consistent in your discipline. In other words, don't let him climb the security gates today and tomorrow say he can't. You will confuse the child. This will also lead to them not listening or obeying you. Making life in the classroom that much harder.

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6. SNACK TIMES AND CRAYONS


When it comes to snack times, have the parents bring the food for the child. The reason for this is that, many have allergies or cannot eat certain foods, because of taste or the way it feels in their mouth. Also the parents will know what is safe to pack in for their child. For some will just keep stuffing the food in their mouths, not realising that they must put one in at a time, chew and then take another. This means that they will have to be watched like a hawk when eating, even taking some of the food away from them till done or only handing them another piece, when they are ready to have more or they may choke on the food. For their cooldrink or water they in most cases either still use a sippy cup or a bottle with a poptop. (These should also be used in a normal Nursery, especially if you have a lot of little ones who are still barely able to hold their cups.) This is good as it lessens the danger of messing of liquids, especially when there is carpeting on the floor. Just make sure that if you do bring a food or foods for a lesson you are teaching about, that they are able to have it or that they will eat it. If the parents do not have a sippy cup or a poptop bottle ask them to get one. Poptops are easy to get. Most energy sports drinks like Powerade or Energade, have them. They are a must, as even if they can drink out of a normal cup, you have too much stuff in one small space and if they spill the cooldrink or water, it will damage something. Teach the child, they have to sit at the table if they want to eat or drink. Do this by taking the food and drink away from them if they get up. If they sit back down, you can return it to them if they still want it. This will minimise the mess they make or damage to other things because of food and liquids. The advice of taking away things if they get up from the table, also goes for the crayons (make sure they are the big thick ones). Do not leave the child unsupervised at the table with them. Firstly, they are still a choking hazard, especially if they bite a piece off. The other danger is they will start drawing on the walls (and other things). That becomes an even bigger problem if it is bash face brick. Here is a bit of advice if you have painted walls. Use toothpaste (not the Gel kind) and a cloth or a toothbrush if the texture is a bit ruff. Just add a bit of elbow grease. It takes it off reasonably well. Much better than sugar soap. If somehow they manage to get a hold of nonpermanent markers (kokies) for kids, use hairspray (aerosol kind), put it on liberally (a lot), then wipe with a cloth. Remember this works on painted walls, face brick...... I'm not too sure. I haven't had the need to try that yet. Also do your best to keep things out of their mouths, including their fingers! If they use their fingers in their mouths to feel safe and calm. Find other things they can hold, touch or squeeze that could replace this need, as much as possible.

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7. AGE GROUPS AND ASSISTANTS


When it comes to teaching those with special needs, you may find that if there may be more than one child in need of a classroom, away from normal Primary. But this is also where you may encounter problems and is something you will have to make those wanting to put them all in one class aware of, that it may not work in your case. For when the one's mentality is, say that of a 3yr old and the other of a 7yr old. That's a problem. The 7yr old will get board if you teach at the 3yr old level and the 3yr old will get board or frustrated as everything will not be understood if you try and teach at the 7yr old level. In such cases, if possible, have two different classrooms. Even if a teacher is assigned to each student, but in one class, it will still be a problem. Talking over each other causes confusion and distraction. You try listening on a phone and someone is talking very loudly in your other ear at the same time! The Class you teach should have, ideally, no more than 2 or at the most 4 children in the classroom, depending on the size of the room and the severity of their disabilities. Some times even having more than one in a class will be too much. Those assigning you to do this class need to understand, that you are not a professional and you could quite easily be overwhelmed if things go wrong. Another thing you have to have, is an a assistant AT ALL TIMES! But remember, in this class there is no time to chitchat with you fellow teacher. You must give your full attention to the child. Opening and closing of doors must be avoided where ever possible. It is a distraction and will upset most children, as the door represents going outside. Been stopped once you have got their attention on the door, may cause them to become extremely upset at times. This has happened to me because of others. I have also had this happen when saying a word when they go outside or talk about a certain activity, can also set them off. So be careful what you say or plan for them. For some days they will not be able to go outside as it may be raining, too cold or they have a runny nose. The lesson comes to a permanent halt and caused him to screech, scream, cry and wail till it was time to go home. Meltdowns are not fun. If you find this situation upsetting, when it happens, just think of how the child is feeling. It is much worse for them. You will need someone young or at least energetic to be your assistant. It is no good having a grandmother who can barely get off her chair, in there. When at times you may be jumping up and down with the child on one spot or turning in a circle with them, making sure they don't fall against anything that could hurt them, physically moving them from one spot to another or pulling them off of things for a good few minutes at a time. Believe me, some of them can be very strong. In some cases, it may actually be better if the teacher and assistant is male, for some children listen better to them and also at times they may need the strength to deal with the child. Whatever your needs for your class is, inform those who need to make that changes, so that you can set the classroom up that will be best for everyone. Also, ask them way ahead of time for things you need, if able, to avoid problems as much as possible. Sometimes it takes time to source things but nag them if you have to. People tend to forget you have asked. Also many a times they do not understand the urgency of needing it now and not 2 to 3 months later. A class can be exhausting enough, without the worry of having no child-proof plug covers. Especially, if there is more than one needed in the classroom. For all you may be doing, for all of the lesson, is stopping them trying to get at the plugs, let alone, the danger of electrocution, especially for a child that likes their fingers in their mouths. Luckily this was not a problem for me. I didn't have a shelf to safely put the CD player on, for a while, so no music. This meant the danger of having more meltdowns in class than necessary. Now that I do have it, things are going much better. Page 14

8. IDEAS FOR LESSONS


Here are a few other ideas for things to do or make things in general for your lesson time. These are general ideas and will not be for the lessons from the Nursery manual, but other things you can do in your class to keep their attention or help increase other skills that they need to learn. For other Nursery lesson ideas, you will have to look in the Friend or other activity books for children (not only Church ones), that could be used in your lessons. I myself have ruffly put together things for my lesson plans for the lessons, including the pictures I will use and I cannot fit it all on one DVD! This is only for the first few lessons and a few extra's here and there. For quite a few ideas you can look at 'Pinterest' on the Internet. Just open up Google and type in Pinterest and one of the following words with it, Mormon, primary, LDS, conference, primary activity books, LDS coloring books ,etc. (you get the idea) and hit enter. You will have more than enough free things to make or use in your classes. (As of the time of writing of this book, have now also have my own site on Pinterest Dapper Muis) Here are a few practical things you can do in your classroom, that may not be mentioned there or easily found: You will notice that they are not messy activities (for the most part). The reason is obvious. You and most likely the child, will be in your Sunday best and the classroom is most likely carpeted. Both are expensive and difficult to replace if damaged. Blackboard / Whiteboard These are wonderful inventions. They can be used for things other than for what most teachers will use them for. As I have mentioned before, I use my blackboard to put pictures or puzzles on. Using magnets. Trying to get him to sit down for a lesson doesn't really work. So instead of the table, most times I use the blackboard (while typing this book they changed it to a whiteboard). Most of what I put on it, he knows he can play with unless, it is one of the big pictures (normally from one of the primary manuals). The smaller ones are normally put on 2 or more layers of card from cereal boxes to strengthen them. Just add more magnets or try and get stronger ones so they don't fall down, especially, if you have another laminated sheet between them and the board. The secret to keep your laminated pictures on the card, can be found on Pg 27, Step 7 - on how to attach the pictures. In the instructions on how to make a simple hard cover book. The board may also be used to draw on. A very good exercise for those who have problems with their fine-motor-skills (the small movements many take for granted. I myself still struggle with buttons. I normally avoid them and just open the shirt till I can get my head out and pull it over my head or get things with pres-studs, zips or no unbuttoning of any kind is needed). There are chunky chalks available for chalkboards if you want to use it for drawing, the small chalks would be in tiny pieces before you could say 'boo', if you use them. Making them even more of a choking hazard. With the whiteboard makers, you will have to watch them even more closely and they may mash the tips to pieces. Best rather to give them crayons and paper. If you must use the markers, take them from the child the moment they move from the board. This goes for any of the drawing materials. Also, with whiteboard markers you must store them lying flat on their sides or they will turn into permanent markers! Page 15

Cereal boxes and re-sealable packets. Cereal boxes are a must. You will use it to make books, stiffen pictures, make other items for them to use, such as puzzles and so forth, but you will encounter two problems. One is that you will never have enough boxes, if you tried to do it on your own. That's even if your cereal comes in boxes. That's the second problem. Many cereals now come in packets only. So do what I did, ask the ladies in the Relief Society, to collect the boxes for me. They don't strictly have to be cereal boxes, but of the same type of card they are made of, like the boxes for dog biscuits, or other foods that would use those kind of boxes. Keep collecting even if you have enough for now. You will need them later. Show them what you are making with it. They will be more willing, if you explain and show why you need the boxes. Warning: Corrugated boxes do not work. They bend easily and once bent are useless. You will also need the cereal packets that are self-sealing. The reason is that they are like the Zip-lock bags. You can use them to store loose lesson items in or even small toys, like the puzzles you may make for them or have purchased. Because, at least one part of the bag is clear you can see what is in there. Also, they are made of thicker materials than a real Zip-lock bag and are made to be opened, more than just a few times. So they will last longer Bubbles I keep a small bottle of bubble solution in my bag. This I keep as a last resort for him to play with, when he gets really tired and ratty, as they keep his attention, as he tries to blow them . He is slowly getting better at it. He also likes to try and catch them, if he can. (remember you must not let them sleep if you can help it). To start off you may have to show them what to do or take their hands and touch the bubbles but most will take to them. Most children seem fascinated by them. Just make sure they don't get a hold of the bottle or you will have one big soapy mess on your hands. 'Duplo' (large Lego blocks) Good for helping with those small Motor-skills and with concentration. Depending on their abilities, you could have them sort them into colour groups, teach counting with them or try and get them to copy the shape you are building. Others will just like pushing them all over the floor or table for the noise they make when doing so. Jumping and moving This may get overlooked but is important, especially if they are hyperactive. It will help get rid of some of that excess energy they don't know what to do with. Some will like spinning in a circle, jumping up and down in one place or in a circle. If you are able, get them to try hopping on one foot, walking backwards or sideways or even follow the actions you do. This can be done with or without music, even if the child is limited in their ability to move, help them to move to what they can. Also, there are action games, like pretend stories. You can request the Primary 1 CD for this. It was designed for the Nursery. Depending on their abilities some may have no interest in such things, others you may have to move with them, to help them do the required moves. Page 16

Action Songs are also another great way to get them to move. If the songs don't have actions, make up some, sometimes it is possible, depending on the song you use. If you don't know the songs or if they have action,s ask the other Primary teachers and if you are lucky to know someone who works at a Playschool or Educare, ask them, for the common songs all people use, like 'The wheels on the bus' or 'This old man'. If the child doesn't want to do the actions as they have no interest in such things, or is unable to, you can make flip files. These are pages with pictures, with the words to the songs underneath. Some you may get off the net, others you will have to make by cutting up the Friend or other magazines. Point to each picture (or you can take their hand and put it on it) or the words as you sing. These are also good to be turned into 'story' books for the children to look at for what you are teaching the lesson on. Dressing the doll This helps with co-ordination, small motor skills and how to dress themselves (even better if you can get some old clothes that they can play dress-up with). While handling the doll, teach them not to touch it's eyes. One of the best things you can do is everytime they want to touch the dolls eyes with their fingers, stop them and say, No. Explain to them it will hurt the baby. I used to do this with kids at the playschool, I worked at. This is good to teach them, as most little kids think babies are just big dolls and will try to touch their eyes, causing injury. This is especially problematic with those fascinated with shiny things, as the light bouncing off the baby's eyes, may make them sparkle like two big gems. Don't be like some people who say boys don't play with dolls. Let them play with them. It will teach them how to be good parents one day or at least how to be more gentle around babies. Use the doll for such teaching games. Syrup tin, money box and shoelaces Get a Syrup tin with a soft plastic top. Cut a slit in the middle of the lid, big enough for coins or discs to be put into the tin, one at a time. If it is too noisy, just put toilet paper or tissues at the bottom, to minimise the noise. If you use plastic disks instead of coins, you can buy some from the Toy Shops, already with holes drilled in their centers or you can do it yourself. This means they can do double duty. By taking a thick shoelace and tying a knot at the one end of it, they can now thread the discs onto it. The tin and the shoelace help with small Motor-skills. Just remember, strict supervision is advised, due to the choking hazard it may pose, if swallowed or like I have had happen, he tried to stick them through the slats in the heater. Threading Boards These are easy to make. You can used wood with holes drilled in, at even spacings, large enough for a thick shoelace to be pushed through (just make sure it is sanded and varnished properly, as you or the child you teach, does not need to get splinters) or you can use very thick card, paste or paint a picture on it, in the middle, allowing them to thread around it. (To make the holes in the card, use a nail, the size of the hole you want and hit it through with a hammer). These can also be bought from many Educational Toy Shops and are normally made of plastic. Page 17

Lick and stick There are some coloured papers available, that have the same sticky background when licked, like stamps have. Cut out shapes to match the shapes drawn on the paper or tear in to all different sizes, letting them lick and stick as they please. This cuts out the hassle of trying to use glue, especially if they are more interested in getting a hold of the glue stick or putting their fingers in the glue on the paper, rather than putting the paper on the glue. Just make sure the child is not allergic to the stamp glue. It is also, what is normally used on envelopes, as well, to seal them. If you can't find the paper, ask people for the edges of the stamp papers, if they buy their stamps in bulk and they are the kind you still need to lick. Ask your local Post Office if you can have those edgings, they would normally throw away. The child's licking skills may still need to be worked on, so get them. But even if you can only get a hold of the excess from self-sticking stamps in their booklets, you can still use them. It will still help with small Motor-skills. You can get them to try and peal it off to stick it onto their paper in front of them. If they struggle with this, lift it just enough off at one corner, that they can grip it and let them do the rest. Scissors WARNING: make sure they can handle them safely and must be done under strict supervision. The scissors needs to be a blunt-nose scissors. In some cases, they may need what are known as 'training' scissors. This is where there is more than one hole for the fingers and a 'help' is also added, to make it easier to open and close them when cutting. For those not so skilled in cutting, just let them try to cut the paper. For others, try and get them to cut on the straight lines. For the more advanced, make easy and clear shapes, like circles, triangles and squares, etc. Just increase the difficulty level, as they get better at cutting. Newspaper works well for just cutting, but if you want them to follow lines, best to used blank paper, so they can see the lines clearly, for the print of the newspaper may confuse them. Ask the Library at Church for their scraps of paper, from the errors made when photostatting. These are also good for drawing on. If there is not enough scrap paper to go around, for sometimes Nursery may request it also. Go to a local business in the area. Many will be willing to give you the scraps you need. The reason for not using new paper, is that you could go through it like water, depending on what activities you do. Besides cutting, you may want them to learn how to tear paper. It is one of the skills many will lack, but they need to know. It teaches them how to control their muscles and improve their hand-eye co-ordination. Paper is expensive. Besides, we are told to recycle, so you can do your bit for the environment and save money. You then could perhaps use the money saved, to get other things you most desperately need for your class. Puzzles For those who struggle with normal puzzles, use shaped wooden puzzles, normally used for very young children. Then try and get them on to 2-piece jigsaw puzzles, increasing their size as they master them. Make sure you have a few of the same size, so they don't just memorise the picture and not learn the skill. Then try introducing them to others, when it looks like they can handle it. Page 18

If they are finding it difficult going from one-piece wooden shaped puzzles to a 2-piece jigsaw puzzle, multiple-shaped wooden puzzles are available. For example, of one such puzzle, is of a bear. The head, body and legs are loose from each other and can only go one way into the wooden shape. Another good idea someone suggested is to build most of the puzzle yourself, leaving the last piece for them to do. Once they have mastered this, then the next time you do the puzzle with them, leave 2 pieces out and as they master that, repeat the process of reducing how many pieces you do, till they can do it all on their own. What I have done with some children, who struggle to distinguish between the pieces for the edge of the puzzle and the center pieces, is to have them separating them. I do this by having them feel each one the edges of the puzzle and ask if it was strait or not (ask them for each side of the puzzle piece they feel, if necessary) and then help them put it into the correct pile. Once done, they can now build the outside first, then it makes it easier for them to build in the middle. To make things even easier for them, help them separate the colours or shapes or patterns that are easy to distinguish. Let them try and build those pieces in the one pile first, then do the other piles, it is sometimes easier then to join the larger bits of puzzle together as they can now see the bigger picture much better. As an adult I still use this method when doing 1500 piece puzzles (I can't go bigger than this due to the size of the surface I work on.) Excepting I don't need to feel the edge of the puzzles to tell which is which. If the table you have is not a plain table and has a pattern on it. You will need a mat, that is of one, preferably light plain colour, so the child can clearly see the puzzle without getting confused by the pattern of the table underneath the puzzle. Turn taking games These can be done with blocks or even the Syrup tin and discs. When teaching them turn taking, say, My turn, or if your name is Mary, Say, Mary's turn, you put a disc into the Syrup tin. Then let them let them put in a disc, saying their name and that it is their turn, when they do it. When it is your turn again, repeat the words that it is your turn and if they try and put another in before you have. Stop them and and repeat that it is your turn. Don't let them put in till you have and then say their name and that it is their turn. Keep doing this while their interest in there. It does work but as I have said before, it could be a while before you may see results. Sensory Toys These can be anything. To you they may not even look like or actually be a toy but to them it is. Sensory toys are any thing that stimulates the senses. Rattles Popcorn kernels in a sealed plastic bottle make an excellent rattle. Mirrors Mirrors hold fascination for many children. Just make sure they are the unbreakable kind or that you hold it, so it doesn't get broken. You need not only just let them look at themselves in it. Try and get them to do things like touch their noses while looking in the mirror. You can also show them how to bounce the sunlight off of it on the walls or floor. Even letting them chase it around the room. Just moving before they get to it. But allowing them from time to time to catch the sunlight. Page 19

Sponges Sponges for washing dishes have two different textures, some kids will just like squeezing them others will drag them across surfaces and themselves, discovering what it feels like when doing so. They are also excellent to throw around without the danger of someone getting hurt. I have seen where a Company made what looks like wooden blocks, but they were in fact high density sponge. Which is wonderful. A child could build with them like normal wooden blocks, but without the danger of them becoming dangerous missiles in their hands. Some children will want to throw everything they get their hands on. Though, you will be doing your best to teach the child that this is not acceptable, you would still like to minimise the danger of injuries to you and others or damage to the other toys. I was lucky enough to use someone's for one lesson. He loved them and actually played with them, like most kids would (with a bit of help). Also, he rolled on top of them and pushed them all over the floor, for most of the lesson. Keys Some like the sound of keys jingling or when they bang on things with it. You can also supply them with old locks and some different keys and let them figure out which key fits the lock. (To make this easier, have only one or two other keys but in different sizes to help distinguish between the keys.) Just make sure whatever keys they are, that they can be gotten back if necessary, or at least use ones where this will not be a problem. If he doesn't want to give up you car keys or drops them down the grating by the drain, you may be in trouble. Drums This is easy to make. Just get a old metal tin, some milk drinks or powders still come in them. Or if you have a friend who is not a member of the church, ask them for their old coffee tins. Turn the tin upside down and let the children bang with the sticks you have provided. If you want to you can decorate the tin and sticks. but remember the danger of choking hazards. Warning: You must wash the tin out properly. The smell of the coffee, however, slight may be too much for the child to handle. I myself feel like I want to be physically sick when I smell coffee. This also means you must not wear things like perfumes, as this can also set us off. For me it irritates the nose and can be quite painful in that regard. Even at times you even land up with a runny nose and sneeze for sometime after you have come in contact with someone wearing perfume. We can be VERY sensitive to smells. Shiny things These include metallic paint of cars, marbles, water on a leaf or the mother of pearl handles (man made) on some of the old fancy cake sets. Even 3D pictures on a View Master of water splashing will keep them happy. If you are lucky enough to find a Kaleidoscope with crystals (or coloured glass) instead of coloured plastic, all the better. The one with plastic shapes will work, but just not as well. Just make sure that the background is a plastic of one colour. I have seen some with a mesh pattern in the background. This will cause confusion with some children. Texture puzzles and boxes Make texture puzzles. These are where the child has to place the texture of the square they are holding on, on the right place on the board with the same texture. To make it more difficult for those a bit more advanced, make sure they are all the same colour, so they have to feel the textures to know which one goes where, otherwise, they may just be matching the colours. Page 20

There are also texture books you can purchase from some books stores. There are even books that make sounds when pressed and ones that you pull on tags and things open and close. Have a box or a bag with different objects or pieces of objects of different textures. Then have others of the same that you can hand one at a time to the child. Ask them to find the one that feels like that in the box or bag without looking. You can do this with shapes as well. Where they have to find the shape like the one you handed them. This can also be done with different kinds of objects, like a toy car, small ball, small doll, etc., so long as it has a matching mate, they can see and touch. For those who struggle with this, put only 2 objects at a time into the bag or box. You can increase the number as they get better at it. For the more advanced, you can show them before hand, the objects, put them into the bag and ask them to find the required objects, one at a time. Spinning objects Some kids will like anything that spins in a circle. That's if they are not spinning themselves. As I have mentioned before, the boy I teach, loves the fan high on the wall. I also have used it as a calming tool, if he starts getting agitated and I can see the signs of a meltdown coming on. Though, sometimes it doesn't always work. Just remember such things must be kept out of their reach or they will get their fingers injured when they try and touch the blades of the fan. A toy that works is some pencil toppers. These ones have discs on them and when you blow on them they spin. Try spinning tops, the ones that you spin with your fingers (normally found in lucky packets), not the ones with the string. The string ones will do damage to any surface they spin on. Let the Child try and spin it them themselves. You may have to demonstrate it quite a few times before they may get it. Spin them anywhere you can, tabletops, on paper, even their hands. Many like the hands, including me. Not for spinning motion, but for the way it feels. There used to be big tin tops one could get when I was small , that you pushed the handle on top and they would spin. I haven't seen them in years, but if you can get one, they too would be a big hit and are ideal for those that don't have the fine motor skills to spin the smaller tops with their fingers and no, I am not ancient, I am only in my 30's. I have also made homemade tops. Where you have a disc of thick card (1 to 2 layers of cereal boxes will do) with a short pencil through it. (You could used a small shaped dowel instead, so they don't draw on things they shouldn't.) Make the hole slightly smaller than it should be, causing it to hug the pencil snugly. Just make sure that the hole is in the center or you top will be a bit wobbly. What is nice about this one, is you can make them quite large and easier for beginners to use and you can make different coloured or multi-coloured discs, seeing what happens when they spin and the colours mix. The beauty is also, that you can make as many as you may need. Depending how ruff they are with them, they may only last a lesson or so, but are easy to replace and less of a choking hazard. To make the circles for the card, you can use a glass for the shape and just measure the halfway point from 2 or more directions to get the center. Or just use a compass, found in any maths kit, that kids use at school. Making the hole in the center where the needle was stuck in, when drawing the circle. Make a template. It will save time when making more. Page 21

Sound bingo You can get games that have a CD of sound and pictures that match them. Each time the child hears a sound, they must find the picture that matches the sound, from the cards in front of them. If the sound is of a dog barking, ask them if they can find the picture of the dog. Those that struggle, have them choose between 2 pictures at a time and then increase the number as they get better. A bit more advanced, you can put a board with pictures of all the sounds on and when the children hear the sounds, they find the lose picture and then place it on the board. You can get these from some Educational Toy Shops. You can make your own, by using photos, pictures of magazines, drawn, even painted. Using your cellphone, or a recorder (a feature most MP3s and MP4s have) to record the sounds that will match the pictures. You can even get sound bits off the Internet. If you make your own, try as much as possible to use sounds associated with Church. It will help them become familiar with the sounds around them and it will be another way of teaching them something to do with the Gospel, in some way. Depending how old your CD player is, it may not be able to play MP3 discs. Just play it on your Cellphone if it is able to play MP3s. No, I am not kidding about this. If you are like me, I don't go for the latest gadgets, just because they are there. In some cases, I am unable to afford them. So I use what I have but they do have their limitations. Also, if you are using the CD player from Church, it may have surprisingly, stood the test of time and may be a bit older than you thought so check before you try and use them in the class. Class time is not the time to try and fix a problem.

These are just a few things of what you can do, but hopefully, it will give ideas to do others on your own, that meets the needs of the child you are teaching. If you can afford to and have the time, do a short course on 'Child Care'. It is well worth it for anyone who works with children or has kids (or will have) of their own. If you can, help out at a Playschool or Educare Centre for a couple of days. Even better, if it is at the School the child goes to. It will give you invaluable ideas and ways of doing things. But if none of these options can be done, ask as many questions from others, who have done such things, including those who have done Primary or who are professionals in their fields. Remember the more information you can get the better things will be.

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9. How to make simple hard cover books


Materials needed: Non-toxic wood glue (not quick dry as it doesn't seem to work too well) Spreader, to spread the glue (or you can use you finger, but it is much more messy that way) Cereal boxes Thick paper (Thin card) Royal Blue or Azure acrylic paint Paint brush Old paper to work on, so as not to have glue or paint where you don't want it Pencil Ruler Scissors or Guillotine Prestik Laminated Pictures you have painted or cut out pictures that are of the same or almost the same size STEP 1 Measuring for the pages Measure the pictures, use the largest of them if they are of uneven sizes for this. Also, choose which side you are to have your binding. What I mean by this is, that if the pictures you are using are long and thin, it may be better that the book opens like a note pad rather than like most books open, or the book may not last very long. Please note: The biggest I have made the books is A5, which is half the size of an A4. You may need to make adjustments to the width and thickness of the bindings on the books, if you go bigger. Top and bottom You need at least half a centimeter (0.5 mm) to the top and bottom of the size of the picture, from where the lamination ends. Which means you will need to add 1 cm to the total length of your picture.

Left and right sides Add 3 cm to the left side of the book and at least half a centimeter to the right. A total of 3,5 cm to be added the width of you picture size. If it seems to be too big for picture, don't worry, we can always make the width smaller later but be warned, if you get the height wrong, it could be a problem.

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STEP 2 Cutting out the pages Measure out on the Cereal Box card you have. The number of pages will be determined by the number of pictures. 2 pictures need only one page. 3 or 4 pictures, two pages, 5 or 6 pictures, 3 pages. The maximum I recommend you make a book with, is 12 pictures or 6 card pages, any bigger and things may not work so well. Problems in keeping your books squared? Solved that problem from happening too often. Did this by only cutting the cereal box open and used the fold lines, when manufactured, as my guide, by putting the ruler against it when measuring. Whether I used pencil and a ruler to mark it out or just cut it with the Guillotine. Also, mark on the middle of your card pages which way is up. Or you will put the binding on the wrong side, when you glue it and your pictures will not fit. It already has happened to me. Write on the first page, where you want the binding to go.

If you know you are going to make books of the same size again, cut an extra page out of card and keep it as a template. Write on it, your dimensions (size of the card), also, those for your binding. STEP 3 - Cutting out the binding Your are now ready to cut the bindings from the thick paper (thin card). This will be what holds your card pages together once glued. The inside binding is 4cm wide The length will be the same as the length of your book If the length of your thick paper (thin card) is not long enough, you will have to join them. Page 24

The width on the outside binding that finishes your book, how ever will be different, depending on the amount of card pages you are putting into it. I have found this works best: 2 page - 4cm 3 to 4 page - 4,5cm 5 to 6 pages - 5 cm STEP 4 Gluing together Take all the binding and fold in half, length wise.

Gluing of the binding to the book can be done in 2 ways. First way (not illustrated) Take each individual page and glue the inner bindings, one to each page and then place between 2 scraps of paper and place a heavy book on it, to help set it better, once dry. Then glue the other side of the binding to one of the other pages. Repeat the process for drying. Once all the inner bindings are in place and dry, the outer binding now may be glued on. Spread the glue on the first half, place on the book, line-up as best with the inner bindings once set, put glue on the other half of the binding and pull tight. Keep holding till set. Then repeat the process for drying. Second way Take a card page. Put glue on half the binding and and attach to the card page. Once it is no longer Page 25

slipping sliding and will not move, put glue on the other half of the binding and put the next card page on top. Repeat the process till done.

Once all the inner bindings are in place, the outer binding now may be glued on. Spread the glue on the first half, place on the book, line up as best with the inner bindings, once no longer slipping and sliding, put glue on the other half of the binding and pull tight. The more pages there are, you may want to not do it as tight, to give it some more flexibility, when opened. Keep holding till set. Then place between 2 scraps of paper with a very heavy book or books on it. Give it at least 12 hours to dry, before painting. Though, this way is faster to make the book, you may encounter problems, that it may not last as long as if it was done the other way mentioned. Taking 15 - 20 minutes to glue a book together is bearable, compared to taking all day, if not longer, the other way. Also, do not be worried if they don't lie completely flat. To make them open a bit easier and a bit flatter, score the outer binding down the middle with our fingernail. If the binding for some reason over time comes unstuck, they are easy to glue back. STEP 5 Checking the if sizing is correct Now that you have glued your book together, place the largest picture on the front page. You should have a about a half a centimeter (0,5mm) boarder around the edge of the book and between the binding and the picture. If it is too long width wise, measure your boarder and mark where there is too much. Then cut that excess off. Best to do this one page at a time. STEP 6 Painting the pages Now you can paint with the Royal blue or Azure acrylic paint. The reason for a dark colour is, so you can hide the fact, you are using Cereal Boxes for the pages. So why not Black paint, as it will hide it better? The reason for not using black is this, it is very harsh on the eyes. Blue is also a colour, almost any colour, will work with. Warning: Do not use poster or powdered paint, it must be acrylic, as the others either just rubs off or stains clothes when wet. If you use fabric paint, it can work, but it is a mission to get waterproof. You have to use a hairdryer on it's hottest setting for five minutes a page (for one side only). This is kind of tedious, not to mention painful on your fingers as you try and hold the pages open or stop the book from flying away, due to the speed of the hairdryer. Page 26

When painting your card pages, unless, you are not going to put a picture there, only do the edges that will show around the edges of your picture. It saves time and paint. I find it best to paint each side of the card page twice quite thickly with the paint. Just wait for it to dry first before putting the second layer on.

STEP 7 Fixing your pictures into your books This is where most people encounter a problem. Especially with laminated pictures. The glue either doesn't work at all or it eventually peals loose quite quickly and if by some miracle you find one that does glue, what happens when the Child breaks the book or get gets damaged some how? The pictures will not be re-usable in many cases. Remember the list of items you were told, you needed to included Prestik? Yes, that stuff you use to keep pictures on you walls with.

No, I am not kidding this works like a charm. But there is a secret on how to do it. The beauty of this is that the pictures can be re-used if the book is damaged. You just need to teach those using them not to pull on the pictures. But if they do, you can easily put them back into the book later, if necessary. Take a small piece of prestik and roll it on a flat surface or your hand, till it is as long and as thin as you can make it, then place on the edges at the back of the pictures before the clear laminated edge. Page 27

Do this all the way round. If the picture is quite large, a few strips of prestik staggered in the center will help secure it better. Then press down on a hard surface, pushing first one direction, then the other, as you slide your thumb on the surface, adding pressure as you do this. Works better this way than just pressing strait down.

STEP 8

Let the children enjoy the books

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QUSESTIONAIRE
PHONE NUMBER: NAME: NAME OF CHILD: AGE: ABILITIES: 1. Please state their condition and what it entails:

(if the spaces left to fill in,

are too small, write on another piece of paper and attach it on to the rest of the questionaire.) DEAR PARENTS, PLEASE NOTE, THAT THESE QUESTIONS ASKED ARE SO THAT I AS THEIR TEACHER MAY GETTER BETTER UNDERSTANDING AND BE MORE PREPARED TO GIVE YOUR CHILD THE BEST, THAT I CAN WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR LESSONS AND YOUR CHILD'S ABLITY TO ENJOY THEM.

2. What is their approximate age of understanding? (mental age) 3. Do they require assistance in going to the toilet? 4. Are they able to play with other children? (to what extent) 5. Do they know how to share? 6. Do they know how to use a scissors? If not, due to safety reasons, what are they likely they do?

7. How long can they sit for? (Attention Span) 8. Are they hyperactive? 9. How verbal are they?

10. Can they follow instructions and how many steps? 11. Do we need to show them with pictures, what you want done or can instructions be verbal?

12. Do they listen or can they get very stubborn?

13. Are they able to pack their toys away? Do you have a special song or routine to get them to do it?

REACATION TO THINGS: 1. What things do they like to do, to feel safe? (rock, hum, hold onto something, like a faviourite toy)

2. What things upset them? (Triggers [eg. bright light that may hurt their eyes] or things that scare them)

3. What things distract them, making it hard to concentrate? (noise, light, sparkly things, things moving, etc)

4. Do they have any episodes where calming is required? (eg tantrums, scared) If so, how do you do it?

5. Do they get anxious about change in their routine or do they like change?

6. What is the routine like at their school? (would like to try and incorporate some of it into how the class is run, so it is more familiar to them)

7. What is their reaction if they cannot get their way? (eg. Taking things away from them, saying NO or stopping them from doing things)

8. How do they react in a new environment? (Scared, happy, hyper, etc)

9. How do they react to new toys or objects been introduced to them?

10. What is their reaction to someone raising their voice at them, when speaking sternly to them? OR When they think someone is angry with them? Do they get upset? How do you calm them

11. Does they like hugs and tickles? 12. What are they like with strangers?

ACTIVITIES: 1. Do they like music? (instruments as well?) 2. Do they like to dance about? 3. Do they like to do actions when singing? 4. Do they know the primary songs? What are their favourites?

5. How ruff are they with toys and books?

6. Books do they still look at the hard cardboard baby books or normal books? 7. What kind of books do they like? 8. What kind of toys do they like to play with? (hard, soft, squishy, different textures, noisy, etc)

9. Do they like puzzles? 10. What size puzzles can they build? 11. Do they have a favourite colour/s? 12. Do they like to?: Colour-in or Draw Building blocks Cars Dolls Shapes Stringing things together Play dough Is there danger for them consuming the Play dough? (Salt content can cause those who are hyper to become more so) 13. What other things do they like doing that has not been mentioned?

Is there anything you think I should know, that I have not asked a question about? (Including any concerns you wish to raise)