|Playing soccer with Mom, Dad, and Izaiah|
Breaks are a top priority at our house. In fact, they are just as important as each class. Both breaks and classes are strategically scheduled by Mom. We follow a routine, not a clock which helps me pay attention to my kids' needs instead of punching a time clock. Here are some different types of breaks we take and the types of tools we use.
|Action photo of crashing!|
|Self-stimming at Discovery Center|
Self-stimming is a great way to break. Ashi uses little foamie cards that she raps on the table during class. She puts a lecture to music and can really retain information this way! The picture to the right is Ashi self-stimming at our local Discovery Center. She loves running things like beads, gravel, buttons, marbles, etc., through her fingers. You may have a youngster who enjoys sensory bins. Ashi is 9 and instead of growing out of it, she's just made the 'bins' bigger!
Sometimes we 'go places' for a break. These aren't the same as scheduled field trips. This is when we've just got to get out of the house. We don't have to go anywhere in particular, the backyard, a walk or scooter ride down the street, maybe an errand needs to be run, or maybe a trip to the park, zoo, or museum.
|Oops, we waited to long for a Mental Break for Mommy!|
We stay at home and have a 'mental' break. We play together with toys, games, or we pop in a movie like the Liberties Kids Series or Little House on the Prairie or even watching Wild Kratts or Electric Company is a great break too. Sometimes we cook a meal, bake a snack, or do some art. Anything we can do together for an hour or longer if needed. It's refreshing and our work will be there later or even tomorrow if need be.
A change in environment, is a great way to take a break. Ashi's turned the tub into a soft, quiet, cozy, fun, study area. If she seems to be unfocused during class, we clip her work to a clipboard and send her to the tub!
Here are some other tools we use at home. Ashi likes to wear her weighted vest when she feels like it's hard to focus. She will also eat something crunchy or use a chew noodle too. We also have a weighted lap blanket that she puts over her legs as well.
Here are some tools we've used as aids for writing. This is a Writing Claw from Beyond Play. This does help to make the tripod grip if your child has enough coordination to use it. It is rather flimsy, so if your child has a poor grip, she'll just make the same poor grip with the claw. If your child lacks strength but is coordinated, this might be the grip for you!
|collection of fidgets|
We also use fidgets. They are little toys usually made out of cloth. Ashi holds them, twists them, turns them, grabs them, shakes them during class. We always have these at her disposal. Sometimes we even pick a fidget of the day! Keeps those hands busy and works off sensory stress.
|Stable place to bounce|
|It's uses are endless!|
Thanks for visiting our homeschool and I hope you feel welcome to come by anytime!
Annie Eskeldson writes for parents of young autistic children. She has two fabulous autists to whom she provides therapy for and homeschools. She has 3 published children's books about autism that can be found at various links around this blog or at Ashi's Gift Website.