Friday, April 08, 2011

Awesome Special Needs Training

  I have spent the last day and a half training to do Vision Therapy with Special Needs kids. I had worked with some at my old job, but most of the kids were normal except for a vision issue. This training was in-depth and expansive. It was also EXHAUSTING!

  These two sessions were all about kids on the autism spectrum. How to test them, how to connect, how much to demand of them, what realistic goals to set, and much much more. We tested a 4 year old non-verbal autistic boy who also has sensory integration disorder. By the end of the testing I had him smiling at me and making some eye contact. Then we worked with a 7 year old who was a little higher on the spectrum, moderately verbal and a little more mature. I had him high-fiveing and laughing at my make-believe handling of a huge trophy to give him. (The mother was absolutely amazed at how well he did)

  We worked in teams of 2-3 adults per child. We did HOH (hand over hand) to teach therapies. We adapted therapies to work standing up or sitting down or whatever made the child most comfortable. We did NOT ask questions, but instead made observations that would lead a child to the right choices. I learned that we are building new neurological pathways for these kids where none existed before, so we intervene a l ot at first and then slowly withdraw our cues until their own brains make the connections.

  Next week I return to work with kids with CP and those in wheelchairs. A totally new area for me. I will also learn how to work with several other major issues. I am so excited! My brain needed this stimulation and I needed some new tools in my arsenal. Once I am done with all this training i will share it all with you. The case studies we went over were mind-blowing! The progress is slow and takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but I think we all understand those concepts.

  Now I am going to find my jammies, eat a bite of dinner, and do a face plant in my pillow.

1 comment:

Mamita J said...

That sounds very cool, Wendy!