Tools to help support your child to learn at home

There are many benefits that come with homeschooling but when you have a child with learning difficulties the simple things can quickly become more difficult. That’s why Speech and Occupational Therapists play a vital part in plan management. It is important that constant and clear liaison with health professionals and educational staff occurs and that ideas, suggestions and activities they provide are incorporated into an education plan.

Our experienced therapists provide you with fun based activities and games using visual supports such as signs, pictures and gestures to aid your child’s comprehension.  We also advise on the best types of activities to help your child along in their learning journey. Common strategies our therapists include into an educational program include:

  1. Adaptive Tools

Using adaptive tools such as special pencils, adapted scissors, pencil grips, writing paper or slant boards may be beneficial to support posture, fine manipulations to facilitate cutting and handwriting skills. An occupational therapist can assess your child’s need for these adaptions and assist you locate the best resources to support your child’s need.  Skillbuilders will have a great range of adapted tools. https://www.skillbuilders.com.au/

  1. Use of Timers

Using timers can assist by providing a visual cue for a set task duration. Your child can see how much longer they have to work on a task represented visually. There are many different styles of timers to select from and your therapist can guide your choice. Embedding rewarding activities into the routine after hard work is completed can increase motivation. We love the time timer range. https://www.timetimer.com/

  1. Use of motor breaks

After a period of desk top work has been completed a motor break may be necessary to prepare your child for the next period of work. The best motor breaks involve matching your child’s sensory needs with targeted sensory activities. Engaging your child in fun, deep heavy work (push and pull actions) for a few minutes can act as a reset button and will be recommended by any therapist.  

  1. Weaving special interests into tasks.

Finding ways to engage your child into less preferred tasks can be enhanced if you can find ways to embed their special interests. No matter what your child loves there will be a way to incorporate their interest into a learning activity. For example, a child’s special interests happen to be cogs and engines. You can find cog bordered paper, write about engine topics, research engine topics and experiment with engine manipulatives, use engine components to solve maths challenges.

  1. Finding the “just right” challenge

Finding the “just right challenge” for your child is exactly what your therapist is trying to achieve in every session, all session long! It is important to meet your child where they are, then push them just enough but keep it fun while stretching them as they can tolerate the new challenge. Your child should feel confident with the tasks they participate in and be able to build new learnings from where there are at.

How do you discover the “just right challenge”? Start with a task, then modify (add more or take away some part of the challenge) to reach that happy medium between too easy, which can lead to “I’m bored”, or “I’m so good at this I don’t need to try,” or too difficult, which can lead to defeat- “I can’t do this” or “this is too hard for me, I give up”.  You make little changes over the course of several attempts at a target activity. Your therapist can coach you on strategies to adapt tasks to increase or decrease the challenge.

Here at Therapy Connect we are dedicated to providing online therapy services using videoconferencing technology perfect for homeschooling situations. We provide families and children access to therapy at a location and time that suits. Our services are perfect for families who live remotely or find it difficult to travel. Check out our website and see how we can help you and your family today → https://therapyconnect.com.au/

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