Thursday, August 27, 2009

Emma's doing better in school

I understand she's still rocking some and still wanting to throw her glasses, BUT...

She is not nearly as frustrated when she gets home! She's met me with big smiles and something that I will take for a hug (she doesn't really give 'hugs', but... she'll at least hold on a little :) ). Her teacher says she is doing well. The PT got a gait trainer for her and will begin using it with her as soon as I can get a dr's clearance that says that she's allowed to bear weight without her knee braces (remember, she's not needing them now... but I didn't get a dr's note and it is in her IEP that she requires them..).

We did buy a glasses strap because we simply can't have her throwing them and then them either getting lost or broken. They also set up a 'strap' that goes across Emma's chest (under her arms) so she doesn't lay down on her own lap constantly in the Rifton-type chair she uses in the classroom. I hate the idea of restraints, but I know how difficult it is to get her to participate when she is completely folded over. This is why we have the type of harness that we have on her wheelchair.

Emma now has photos for transitioning from one thing to the next. I am trying to get a book of some sort to put them in. The teacher wants her to be able to pull them on and off the page with velcro so she can hold and touch the pictures. I think that's a great idea. Originally we were thinking a 4x6 photo album, but the pages aren't strong enough to support her rough-tearing of the velcro. So... I'm on the lookout! Any suggestions? Something that holds 4x6 photos and isn't much larger than that (so it can be out more and more portable in the classroom) but is sturdy enough to be used with velcro on the pages.

My thought is to find a 'binder' that's about that size-- maybe even one intended to be a photo album-- and to buy some flimsy plastic 2-pocket folders and cut them to the size of the binder and punch holes. It wouldn't tear, but wouldn't be super thick (we thought about using a regular cardboard book covered in white contact paper, but it would only hold a few photos...). Any other ideas??


  1. I like your idea of the plastic folder cut to size. Does she have a tray across her lap? Could you have a velcro strip in one corner and put the picture on the tray, so she could see it as she's traveling? I don't know. Just throwing out more ideas.

    Good luck. I'll keep thinking on it.


  2. I have done a similar project and used laminated pieces of cardstock paper. It's thicker than "regular" paper and with laminating it, it shouldn't tear all year! I used a binder to hold the pages and cards, but there should be smaller sized binders too.

  3. The scarpbooking albums sometimes come in these sizes and are pretty sturdy and cheap. I have one that is the size of a 4x6 album but made out of cardboard. I got it for $1 at the dollar tree

  4. I have some ideas but can't quite remember where to buy the tools. I'll inquire on my favorite crafting website. Crafters will know! I'm thinking of a hard plastic "page" that unmounted rubber stamps cling to.

  5. I remember now where I saw the hard plastic pages. They were in my old Franklin Planner - front and back pages were hard plastic. I searched their website and I think this may be the item:

    The pages are expensive, but you probably don't need many. I have two I can send you - they're not quite the same. They are Black hard plastic 5x8.

    I converted to an electronic planner about nine years ago so I can give you the binder if you have any need for it. It's "classic" size, probably too big for your needs. sigh.

  6. Replies are starting to come in from the rubber stampers crafting bulletin board:

    A small board book? Paint it bright colors and attach the "hook" to the pages of the book and the "loop" to the photos that are mounted on stiff cardboard or perhaps thin acrylic pieces?

  7. What about using a 4x6 photo album and putting a piece of cardboard inside the pockets and putting a piece of velcro on the outside that a picture could attach to. That way the pages are sturdier but the book is still small.

  8. Lots of suggestions came in when I asked. One from a teacher, one from a grandparent:

    I work as an OT in the public schools and we use these all the time. If the little girl is staying in the classroom alot of the time they will hang a piece of poster board (6x12 or 24) on the wall and attach a piece of velcro down the middle of it. Then put up the sequence of events down the strip. They usually have an envelope attached at the bottom too. Then they have a card that is the cue to go check the schedule, then the child walks over to the board, [I wasn't specific that she is in a wheelchair] and takes down the things that are done. Then put them in the envelope. This only works if they stay in the classroom most of the time (preschool age).

    The small board book was going to be my suggestion. You could use piece of chipboard, paint or cover with paper, and then bind them together. Most schools have a binding machine. Just make sure that the paint or paper is monotone and not too bright since that could distract the child.

    good luck

    Just finished several more pages of my grandson's 'schedule.'

    The sheets are heavy-weight plastic dividers used in binders. Pictures of the activities are printed on cardstock (Georgia Pacific from Walmart) and cut into 2" squares that are laminated on both sides. The Velcro that works the best is heavy weight, 1/2" wide with a sticky back, although 1" circles also can be used, I was unable to find any with a sticky back. We bought the Velcro at Walmart in the sewing department, and I think the box was around $17.00

    Cut both sides of the Velcro in 1" lengths. The 'spiney' side is placed on the plastic sheet, 3 across and 4 down (12 pieces to a page) The 'soft' side is placed on the back of the pictured activity.

    My 7 year old grandson likes to keep his 'schedules' in a 12 x 12" plastic box (it's around 3" deep) at home; some strips of the 'spiney' side are on the wall next to the fridge for home chores.

    In school he uses a 8 1/2 x 11 binder with a zipper to hold the sheets.

    The small photo albums with plastic sleeves didn't hold up well at all, even when a piece of cardstock was placed in the insert, and the pictures were placed on the outside of the sleeve. Because of the thickness of the sheets, Velcro and pictures, I don't think a board book would work too well...the pages will not lay flat.

    The Velcro pieces (both sides of the Velcro) are cut into 1" lengths.

  9. I have a couple things like that for Anah, I use card stock with the printed picture on it, then use clear contact paper front and back. This way it's stiffer and water/moisture resistant. I punched a hole in the corner of the pics and put a ring in it. If you wanted it more book like you could put two/three rings to make it sturdier. That's for the traveling part.

    For the staying in room, I am going to use a poster board divided in half with velcro down the middle of each side. I will put the pics on the left in the order I want them done, when the task is complete she will move the pic. of the task to the other side, then she will do the next thing that is in line.

    Make sense?

  10. How about using fabric pages instead of paper? Here's a link to something similar. Actually, scroll down this whole page and there are lots of different ideas. I'm surprised school doesn't have anything like this already. They're very common!

  11. Another good idea from a Gingerwoodie!

    If your school has a laminating machine, it covers any picture with plastic and bonds it shut with heat. these are next to impossible to tear, so that might work good. Laminating machines from Sam's club are reasonably priced nowdays, or maybe an Office depot or Staples store could heat-laminate things for you.

  12. My thoughts were buy a board book from a yard sale or sth, and paint the pages, then stick the velcro on.
    Or, get some sturdy canvas-type fabric, or fleece or sth, sew it into the shape of a book, and sew the velcro on the pages.

  13. if you get a sturdy binder they make plastic dividers for the bidners. Just use a bunch of the plastic dividers to velcro the pictures to...

  14. I'm glad she's doing better!! We have small binders for Darah....I strongly suggest laminating everything. I can't tell you how many times snot, coughs, slobber, etc... has ended up on her binder pages. The pages are laminated manilla folders cut to size. We put a strap on hers so she can carry it like a purse. I keep one for music...inside is pictures of all kinds of songs. She gets to choose what song she wants to sing. As far as schedule, we used the posterboard on the wall for her in the past. I think we're going to do something similar this year again and I am going to discuss with her teachers their ideas at our IEP meeting next week. I'm BIG into visual cues for Darah. She is very responsive to visual cueing, whether it be through gesture/signing, or pictures. I really think this year, I'd like to do more PECS activities with D since she's still not on language understanding/total communication while we work on and wait for speech!

  15. What about sewing a sort of padded book together, with the pictures that come out so it can be washed? No hard edges that way either?

    I love visiting your blog. Its amazing how much they've grown! Tons of fun and congrats on the new little one.