Saturday, November 5, 2011

Transitions from one activity to another

I asked some of my Down syndrome posse on Facebook for some ideas with Violette.  In about an hour I had all of these!  I know this is a pretty common issue for kids with Ds, so I thought I'd post this for future reference!  I have highlighted the ones I thought would work best for Violette, and I've removed the names of the kids and posted Miss or Mr. next to their names...
Any ideas about helping Violette do better with the transition from the playground to lining up? Apparently she is displaying some stubborn behaviors when her teacher asks her do come and do one on one activities (that are academic in nature). Hmmm...anyone have any ideas? Her teacher is open to ideas!
Miss M. earns "Miss M. money". Money I made with her picture on it when she transitions in the expected time. She gets to earn a reward when she collects so much. They try to have a reward each day to help her connect the behavior with the reward. She usually earns free reading time or going out to recess a few minutes early. They've also had her go out a few minutes late to recess when she didn't go in from the previous recess without fighting. She has trouble with all transitions (lunch, restroom, recess, etc). And this has really helped her. She has more positive notes than negative ones now.
Does she read yet? A schedule helps many of our kids. If she doesn't read then a picture schedule. A count down reminder, "Violet, in 5 mins. it will be time to come in from playground, "3 mins and it is time to come in." " 2 mins......" "Violet, one more min. and it is time to come in". Also, "it is time to....... do you want me to pick you up or do you want to do it yourself? "
Do you know if they are using “Precision Commands”? I just learned about this method of communication for behavior issues this year. It would be something like this, (1st request) “Violette, it’s time to come to my desk for one on one activities, now please.” If she doesn’t respond. (2nd request) “Violette, I NEED you to come to my desk for one on one activities now.” If she still doesn’t respond, “Violette, I need you to come to my desk now. You can come by yourself or I can help you come to my desk.” Still doesn’t respond. Teacher takes her by the hand and helps her to the desk. “Violette, I get to help you walk to my desk because you didn’t come on your own.” All said with a kind, nice tone. You wait 5-10 seconds before each request. We count to ourselves because 5 seconds is a lot longer than it seems. The person sending the requests should get down to eye level with the child and remain looking at them so they know you aren’t going to “forget” that you asked her to do something. 
 ‎^^These are all great suggestions :)! We ask Miss. B to help a friend do (whatever it is we want her to do)...which works most of the time. We also ask, "Miss B., how old are you? You're a big girl now/You're in pre-k. Big girls/kids in pre-k do (whatever it is we want her to do)." But I am going to suggest to her teachers that they offer her the chance to do (whatever it is she is resisting) herself first, and then say they will help her do it if she won't do it herself. She wants to be independent! What about Violette...does she seem proud of being "big" or doing things herself?
Melissa, Miss M. had this problem start this year in K. Believe it or not..earning stickers on a chart worked! Can you believe something that simple!!??? If she needs any personal reminders or someone to personally come get her off the slide, no stickers. Simple as that.
If they are using a positive reward chart, have them tell her it is time to go inside and put a sticker on the chart for being such a GREAT listener. make it positive. THEN, go to the dollar store and get some teacher notes, and fill them out with "I DID IT MOM!" written on them. When she listens, and gets a sticker on her chart, she ALSO gets a note to bring home to mommy, who will make a HUGE fuss about it and celebrate with some fun mom and V thing. Thus, the positive reward extends throughout her day. Positive behavior plans work wonders, if done right.  The reason for the mommy note, by the way, is because you may not hear from the school on any given day, it may be every few weeks etc, and our kids need immediate acknowledgement of the good behaviors. The note will be something she is excited to bring to you every day, and a great barometer of how she did.
We do something similar to what was described above: 1st we are lining up, then we are going inside to do ____ activity. If he does not follow we give him the 1, 2, 3 count. It just seems that he needs to know what's coming next and the 1st/then approach works for him, gives a road map of what to expect.
 There is an Ipad app called First Then also, GREAT program you can really individualize!
 My 1st grader had issues at the beginning of the year, they resolved it by asking him to be the big helper for the kindergarteners in the resource room. He is paired with one younger child and has to help him line up. Worked like a charm!
 Maybe they could have Violette be the one who calls everyone to line up :) blow the whistle - ring the bell - whatever your class does?
We tried the sticker reward system and that worked for a few months. Her current reward is that she gets to watch 5 minutes of her favorite movie (Jungle Book 2) on a laptop. She loves her movies so this has been the best reward so far. Just have to be careful that no one abuses the reward and lets her watch more than her 5 minutes. So far so good.
 Along the lines of an idea above, could have her be the door holder or give her some other responsibility (bring in the jump ropes, balls, etc.). Be sure they include lots of praise for following directions. One school in our area takes laminated photos of all the different areas of school. They have the child bring in the photo of the next location and put it in a jar. Success is rewarded with a few minutes with a favorite toy or book. Could also have her choose a peer buddy to walk in with from recess. Great for social reinforcement.  Or provide choices..."Do you want to hold the door or choose a friend to walk in with?"
Miss P. teacher always grabs her before she blows her whistle on the playground, so it doesn't even give her a chance to run away or not listen. i'm good with that. :)