Friday, December 14, 2012

Social Skills

Wow!  It sure has been a LONG time since I have blogged.  I apologize for my absence, but I must say this move has been more difficult than I anticipated it being.  I thought it would be a walk in the park since I spoke the language.  Boy was I wrong!  It has taken me months to just figure out the grocery stores!  Anyway, now that I feel more comfortable, I am going to get better about blogging.


I know that I posted this fall about my new job, but I haven't posted anything about what I have actually been doing. I am working with 3 students who have been identified as Aspergers and are all in a mainstreamed classroom.  One of the students I am working with is in middle school & has been working on effectively working in cooperative groups.  Another student & I are working on social interaction.  He has the skills to interact with his peers, but as he says, "I just don't see why I have to play with other kids.  I like myself."  My third student is working on task completion and classroom participation.

I have been doing a wide variety of things with the kids I have been working with because they are all at different points in their AU lives.  I am working in much more of a therapist role, although if I am being honest, I still don't really feel as comfortable in this role as in my previous role.  I am hoping that blogging about my new job will help me sort myself out and help me become just as comfortable in this role.

First things first...

I have been using fewer picture cues and more lists & flow charts than ever before.  For my one child who likes himself, we had to develop a plan for how to approach people on the playground.  Recess at my school is very different than in the States.  Everyone, K-8, has recess at the same time two times a day.  It is wonderful, in that there are so many opportunities to interact with a variety of kids and to engage in a wider range of activities.  On the downside, it is a bit overwhelming when you don't know what to do.  This particular student didn't know how to join into a group or even how to approach someone to play. We were able to create a flow-chart to help him know what to do.  He was so funny when we were creating it, because he was very particular about how he wanted it to be color coded because the colors all had a significant meaning for him.  When he first began using the script, he was very rigid and couldn't vary the script at all; but eventually, he was able to deal with the fluctuations in responses and adapt his questions and statements. (The statements on this chart are in his own words.)

When we started to work on other ways to approach someone, he suggested that we make another flow-chart.  At one point, I think we had 5 different flow-charts on approaching people and asking to join and/or play a game!  I was so flow-charted out it was crazy, but he was so gung-ho for them I had to giggle.  Gotta love AU kiddos!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Collecting data digitally

So in my goal to go digital, I have been struggling with making things work. One of the things I have done to try to help my digital data collection, is to buy Notebinder. It is an app for my iPad. So far, I am liking this app because I can have virtual binders with tabs that resemble the binders I used previously. I like the virtual binder over the bound binder, because it takes up significantly less space and I can still separate things with tabs. I am able to write using my different color pens & everything. If there are notes that I take, I can directly email to anyone from the app itself. So I am more punctual about sending stuff to parents and peers.

My one problem has been actual data collection. I have found 2 apps to help me, one of which I threw out immediately. It was more of a way to track antecedents (which is not something I need right now). The other being BehaviorTrackerPro.

I used Behavior Tracker some last year on my phone and was able to get fabulous customer service switching the app from my Android phone to my iPad. So I am really keen on using it since they were so helpful. However, as I am not yet fluent with it, my data collection has been all over the board.
With my paper/pen data sheets, I was able to easily see how I collected data differently for each task. The electronic app only collects data in reserved ways. Has anyone else found an electronic way to track data that works for them. At this point, I am seriously considering downloading excell for my iPad so I can use my old sheets!