Saturday, June 29, 2013

3-D Word Cards

I love homeschooling and providing therapy for my kids. We work on speech and occupational therapy and incorporate sensory integration into daily life.

Recently, Izaiah was evaluated by a real OT, since I just play one at home. She helped define his sensory issues. He is hypo-sensitive in regards to tactile, oral, and proprioceptive senses and hyper-sensitive regarding hearing and vision. Not a surprise, but it is nice to have my observations both validated and medically documented.

Because of Izaiah's heightened need for oral comfort, he is still nursing at nearly 4 years old. I'm hoping the OT can help Izaiah make a new association, other than me, for his oral comfort. She brought out some cards with pictures Velcro-ed on them to help him get new ideas. There were two pictures so that he could have control by choosing. Izaiah's utter disinterest was not a surprise. Her cards were similar to flashcards and I get the same result at home.

But, it got me to thinking about using actual items instead of just a picture of them on the cards. My clever husband titled them 3D flashcards

File folder, cut, labeled, laminated, Velcro-ed, unassembled.
Here's how:
  • 1. Open up a file folder and cut into thirds with the bend in the center.  
  • 2. Trim to desired size.
  • 3. Label with a sharpie. 
  • 4. Laminate.
  • 5. Last, using velcro, fasten the items onto the appropriate cards.  
TIP:  If you don't label the cards, you only have to make one.  Just have a stash of velcroed items that you can switch out as needed. Labeling requires more work, but helps the hyperlexics.
Assembled 3D flash card.

Now, instead of Izaiah whining for what he wants, he must make a decision by detaching the item from the card. I made cards for food items and comfort items only, but the possibilities are endless!
You could do play items, people, pets, etc. I just started small.

This card lets Izaiah decide if he wants to nurse or just be comforted orally. I associated nursing with a swatch of a receiving blanket because he nurses underneath it.  He understood.

The first day, he thought it was kind of fun to bat at the swatch to tell me "nurse!" The second day, he was frustrated by it, but I was firm that he must inform me this way. He reluctantly continued the third day.  Hopefully he will resign himself to the idea.

Later, I plan to change his choices for his oral comfort. I'll replace the blankie swatch with a pacifier. It will be painful in the beginning; all the neighbors will probably hear how upset he is, but my hope is that he will comprehend that I am no longer an option for an oral comfort. I know he'll be hurt, he won't agree at all; if you are a faithful reader, please be praying for us!

This card is a simple food card which Izaiah actually used the first night I made it. He tore off the hamburger and handed it to me. I promptly cooked him one!

Annie Eskeldson writes for parents of young, autistic, children.  You can check out her books at Ashi's Gift Website.  Better yet, you can check them out for free at your library when you ask them to purchase a set!

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