O&M and Play: Having Fun, While Facilitating Development

Report
O&M and Play: Having Fun, While
Facilitating Development in Multiple
Areas of the ECC
Expanded Core Curriculum
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compensatory skills
orientation and mobility
social interaction skills
independent living skills
recreation and leisure skills
career education
use of assistive technology
sensory efficiency skills
self-determination
Play provides the medium through which
young people can explore and, through
trial and error, learn the necessary skills
that will aid them throughout their
childhood and adult lives. Children
develop confidence and competence when
interacting with their environment
(Glover, 2001).
Through their interactions with the
environment during play, children gain
control and ultimately mastery over their
bodies with the development of a range of
manipulative and motor skills. They learn
new skills and concepts, discover the
world, and learn about themselves and
others through their interactions in a
variety of social situations
(Dempsey & Frost, 1993; Wyver & Spence, 1999; Zeece & Graul, 1993)
Through exposure to carefully managed
risks, children learn sound judgment in
assessing risks themselves, hence building
confidence, resilience and self-belief;
qualities that are important for their eventual
independence
(Children's Play Council, 2004).
If adults deny children opportunities for
worthwhile, positive risks, they also prevent
children from developing the decisionmaking skills necessary to make accurate
risk judgments. Children need to learn to
take calculated risks.
(Stephenson, 1998)
The play skills of children with visual
impairments have been repeatedly shown to
be well behind those of their peers with
typical sight. The delay in play abilities can
have significant impact on their lives as they
grow older and move into adulthood.
(Tröster & Brambring, 1994)
Children with visual impairments frequently
engage in sensory-motor activities. They
often do not engage in pretend play, play
with siblings, or play with peers, and spend
a significant amount of time attempting to
talk and engage adult care takers.
Perseverating in this style of play can
prevent children from playing in a more
mature way.
(Skellenger, Rosenblum, & Jager, 1997; Tröster & Brambring,
1994)
The Role of O&M
Perfect for this job!
• Unstructured time with student
• Rapport cultivated over time that
fosters trust and confidence
• Little academic pressure is placed
on O&M, so far…
The four students
• Two students with light perception
• Two students 20/200 or less
visual acuity
• All four students are at the same
elementary school ranging from
kindergarten to third grade.
Similarities Amongst Acuities
• Two students with light perception are very
different students.
• Both students show a reckless and
fearless behavior on structures
• Both students prefer to play independently
• Both students prefer swings over other
play.
20/200 or less
• These two students are also quite
different, though have similar qualities of
play
• Prefer swings
• Fearful of structures and taking their feet
off the ground
• Often “on the outside looking in” during
play groups.
The Interventions
• Orienting the student to the play space by
creating spaces within spaces
• Structured teaching of games that same
aged peers are playing.
• Exposing students to potentially
“dangerous” situations.
Structured introduction to play
spaces
• Each area of the larger playground is
broken down into smaller areas.
• These areas are then linked together by
way of similar landmarks.
• Student makes the choice of what to
explore after a survey has been taken
• “Do you want to play on the monkey bars,
balance beam, or slides?”
Games
• Tag
• Hide and Seek
• Pretend Play
• Find me in the trees
• Run!!
Taking Risks
• Allowing the students to feel fear, and then
overcome it.
• Allow and encourage students to push the
envelope of their comfort zone
• Tell them how its “scary”, build them up to
it, so that when successful, they feel like a
rock star.
Your goal should be an eventual
culture of natural play
development
• You want your students to start developing
on their own
– Initiating play with peers
– Participating in group activities
– Playing with objects/environment in creative
ways
How to deal with “Muggles”
• Have informal talks with staff and
paraprofessionals.
• If those don’t work, make them formal with
administration
• Gently encourage school staff to allow the
student more independence
• Add it to the IEP
• Be nice and have fun, your spirit is
infectious
Expanded Core Curriculum
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
compensatory skills
orientation and mobility
social interaction skills
independent living skills
recreation and leisure skills
career education
use of assistive technology
sensory efficiency skills
self-determination

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