Occupational and Speech-Language initiatives at the Lower School
The Speech-Language Therapy Department at Aaron School (45th Street lower school campus) recently provided an introductory in-service to all teaching staff (K- 7th grade) on MindWing’s Story Grammar Marker. The objective of the presentation was to provide teachers with additional tools to help facilitate their student’s narrative skills, as well as to assist with conflict resolution/problem solving skills. The staff was introduced to the visual and kinesthetic tools, Braidy and the StoryBraid. These tools are comprised of a series of icons that represent the main elements of a narrative: character, setting, initiating event (kick-off), internal response (feelings/emotions), plan, attempts, direct consequences, and resolution.
Teachers were shown how their students can see, touch, and move these icons to cue or prompt them to answer basic “wh” questions regarding the story, as well as help them to think more critically about what they read. Additionally, staff learned how this tool can assist their students in determining the cause/effect, identify the problem/solution, and take others’ perspectives while reading fictional books, expository texts, or simply during real life events.
These hands-on tools are manipulatives that educators and parents can use to shape the language and literacy skills that are required for today’s students to understand, and communicate in writing as well as verbally.
Sensory Processing Challenges Defined and Strategies Used at Aaron School to Improve Self-Regulation
The Aaron School Occupational Therapy department presented an informational session to parents based upon concepts related to sensory integration and self-regulation. The discussion focused on defining the basics of sensory processing disorder (SPD), including descriptions of the seven senses (vestibular, proprioception, visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory, and olfactory) as well as the challenges which arise when a child has difficulty processing and perceiving information that comes in through these senses.
A strong emphasis was placed on providing an empathetic approach to the child when determining their sensory needs, and formulating pro-active strategies to promote greater maturity and independence in self-regulation. Parents were encouraged to explore a variety of sensory tools which may be used within the classroom, and a question/answer period was provided to problem solve specific questions related to the sensory needs of their children.
If you have any questions regarding our Occupational Therapy or our Speech-Language Therapy programs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our Ask The Expert page. Thanks for reading!