Saturday, 26 April 2014

W is for Wobble Boards, Widgit, Wheelchairs & Walkers and the World Wide Web

For those of you who don’t know, a wobble board is a special type of cushion that can be placed on the seat of a child that helps maintain their concentration.  Well that’s the theory!  It is also useful for helping develop core stability.  They have been found to be particularly useful for children with ADHD due to their unpredictable surface the child has to concentrate on sitting and is therefore less prone to fidgeting.  I am about to introduce them as such a tool around our school so I will tell you what I found the reality was in a few weeks time!

Widgit is a communication program that allows symbols to be produced along with text.  There are many downloads available and they can be very useful in supporting children’s reading and understanding of text across a whole range of needs and ages.  It offers the potential to increase independence for many children in understanding instructions and knowing what steps to progress through in a class situation if the child is given support in learning the meaning of the symbols.  See the website for further details:
Wheelchairs and Walkers in school provide additional help to children who need this due to their medical condition.  However, children should be part of the process about as and when they would like to use them - often it might be at playtime for extra support or mobility, at other times it might be of the extra support when seated (wheelchair) for better fine motor control (writing at a table) or if the child is tired and feeling floppy.  The OT (occupational therapist) will assist parents and schools in getting the correct equipment and as the child grows the walkers and chairs change.  Other children should also be told not to fiddle, sit in or push the chair or walkers to prevent damage either to the child or the equipment.

And finally for the letter W...I can honestly say I do not know how I would have been able to support children with special needs if it wasn’t for the World Wide Web and the information that I can access from the comfort of my own home.  Research papers, other school’s polices and paperwork, the views and practices of teachers from around the world have allowed me to provide educational resources and teaching that would not have been possible twenty years ago.  The wealth of information out there is amazing but it still needs finding and refining to suit the individual children I help to support.  The reason for my blog is to help connect to others and bring information to my door as well as hopefully offer some support to others out there also seeking answers.  Long may it continue!

TpT resource is W is for winter birds upper and lower case alphabet match

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