Saturday, June 6, 2009

Matching & Motivation

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Let's talk

I discovered a couple of books that have helped
Matthew learn to match a picture on the page to
the matching picture on the sound button to the
right of the page that speaks the word.

These books are simple with ONE picture on each
page and no clutter.

The second book is:

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Let's Say Our Numbers

Because each child who has Agenesis of the
Corpus Callosum is different both in terms of
how they are affected and how they learn it is
vital that the exploration of various teaching
methods be utilized. The motivation factor of
the particular child and their strengths coupled
with the appropriate teaching method makes for
a child being successful in terms of their
learning and progress.

A child needs to have the ability to be able to
express what they know and if one way is not
working or showing success that doesn't necessarily
mean that they don't know or understand what is
being asked of them.

Often times kids who have ACC comprehend much
more than they are able to express. Their
comprehension level is often higher than their
expression level.

If you can find the way for that child to be able
to express themselves and what they know you will
be surprised at how it all comes together for them.
It's like there is a lock and you have to find the
key that unlocks the potential within that child
and allows them the ability to shine brightly.

For example, my child, Matthew, who has complete
Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum does not do well
with any type of matching items if they are on
worksheets or workbooks or on paper.

BUT, if you bring into play his strength of pushing
a button and hearing a sound or word, or using the
computer you are much more likely to help him be
able to make sense of matching and be interested
in matching something because he is highly motivated.

This cause and effect type of teaching method, for
Matthew, is exactly what HE needs to learn a new
skill such as matching items and to be able to
express himself and his knowledge.

These books helped me realize that there are other
ways to help Matthew match and express his
knowledge, ways that make sense to Matthew and
ways that he is highly motivated by.

Two more Priddy books in this "simple first words"
series will be available in July of 2009.

Let's say our colors is a new book that will be
released July 7, 2009.

Let's say our animals is a new book that will be
released July 7, 2009.

While I was writing this post I discovered that we
have several other books by Roger Priddy for Matthew.

Many of the Priddy books are simple, with vibrant
colors and are easy teaching tools for new words and

Another example of finding the right teaching method
for Matthew was when he had a sorting goal in school
on his Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This
sorting goal was on his IEP for over a year with no
progress and he had switched to a new school with a
new teacher who did not yet know him very well.

During an IEP meeting I asked what method was
being used for teaching Matthew how to sort. I
found out that he was at first being given way too
many items to sort. Matthew needs things simplified
with only a few choices (2 or 3). Then I discovered
that the items he was being given to sort made
absolutely no sense to him and he didn't even know
what many of the items were.

I explained to the IEP team that I felt that in order
for Matthew to be able to learn how to sort he would
first need to be able to make sense of the items that
were given to him to sort in the first place and then
he would need to only be given 2 or 3 of those items
that he is familiar with.

I explained to the IEP team that because Matthew is
highly motivated with using the computer and it has
been his greatest strength in showing his knowledge
and being able to express himself that I felt it
would be beneficial for Matthew to be able to use
the computer to work on his sorting goal. I had
the idea of starting his sorting goal very simple-
giving him only two pictures of two things that
he is familiar with, knows and understands and
letting him learn to sort using this method. I
chose those two pictures of me "Mom" and his "Cat".

His Occupational Therapist then recalled a program
that she had on the computer that would allow her
to create a sorting game for Matthew using the two
pictures of "Mom" and his "Cat" and Matthew began
to understand what was being asked of him with
sorting and he began to actually sort them into
the appropriate places using the computer program
sorting game.

I believe, for a child who has Agenesis of the
Corpus Callosum, it is imperative to take the time to
examine that child's strengths and what motivates
them to aid in finding the teaching method that
will unlock their abilities and help them learn and
be able to effectively express their knowledge.
Definitely not always easy but ALWAYS worth it!

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