Homeschool Curriculum & Supplements: Hints, Tips, Tricks…

Category: Therapy ideas

Krissy’s Perfect Day, Her Social Story Movie – A Special Edition Vodcast

Let’s Make A Movie
Krissy loved videos of any sort, but was particularly fascinated with ones of herself. She could easily repeat phrases and replay scenes from movies, which we initially saw as a huge negative because we were spending hours trying to get her to quit obsessing with the movies long enough to focus on the tasks at hand. Eventually though, we decided to attempt to use this power for good – and that is where My Perfect Day comes in. (The video you see here is roughly a third of the original movie, which also included multiplication facts, etc.) We had seen a little bit on video social stories for children with autism, but not a lot. After this I would not hesitate to use this approach again!

Ground Rules
We only wanted to capture the very best of Krissy’s day, and to play it back as a standard for her to hold herself to. For instance at the time we were working on eating like a lady, so whenever we caught her doing a good job, we emphasized that. If Krissy was not doing as told, was engaging in a stim or was otherwise not at her best, we would simply turn of the camera and she would be instantly motivated to do better. We would often turn the LCD viewfinder towards her so she could see what we were filming, and getting that shut off was disappointing for her.

A Side Benefit
I determined to work with Krissy as much as possible on the production of the “movie” so that she could get an inside glimpse of how movies are made. I hoped that would demystify some of her favorite movies and their visual tricks. In fact, she selected her opening scene by trying to position the blankets as curtains. Once we understood what she was trying to do, we helped her implement it, and it turned out to be a very nice intro. She also looked at different effects with me before adamantly choosing the heart transition for the logo at the beginning!

Sound Effects
Krissy did her own music for the beginning and end of the movie, and we had her read a script to be overdubbed with the video. She did really well with this and it was very nice to see how far her reading had come!

Like many children with autism, Krissy benefited greatly from a morning exercise program, and had a chart she could check off as she ran laps. We were working with her on not loitering or whining, so emphasized that here. 🙂

Family Devotions
We really wanted Krissy to be a part of our family devotions in the morning, and she learned to sit quietly. (This was also an additional opportunity to work on a much-needed church skill!) After devotions, which often included watching a portion of a sermon on video, we would then each draw a name from our family prayer bucket and pray for that individual. Krissy was just learning the routine of passing out tags to each person when we filmed this portion of the movie, and she did an awesome job – totally showing off for the camera!

Lists and Timers
As soon as Krissy began to read, we found that the written word was often the best way to communicate effectively. Her auditory processing was just not as good as her visual processing, so it made sense to do what we could to play off her strengths. Hope developed a great morning list for her that allowed her to know what the expectations were, how much time she had to do each, and what her reward was at the end. In this case her reward was a break with her toys, and if she failed to get things done in time, she lost a minute of break. This worked very well for her, and we hoped would be instrumental in helping her gain a level of independence in these things.

Krissy was very messy, and we thought that one way to make her aware of the mess she was making was to have her be responsible to clean it up. Of course, she was not doing a spotless job, but it was a good start, and we used the movie to emphasis thoroughness and speed!

On the one hand there was nothing special about putting her clothes away. However, every minute she spent doing something productive was a minute not spent stimming or getting into trouble. We worked at keeping her busy, and jobs like this helped her be a productive member of the family.

Making Lunch
Krissy (obviously!) was not on the GFCF diet any more, and making her own meals was another step towards independence and being a helper. You may wonder at the odd menu – we wanted Krissy to eat a balanced meal, but didn’t want every meal to be a battle either. Our solution was to make up a chart with cards that showed all her options for protein, all her options for dairy, for grains… She was instructed to pick one item from each category at each meal. Once she had a particular item (bacon, for instance) that card was flipped over until the next day, leaving her to choose from the other options. That really worked well for us.

This portion of the movie was completely staged. Krissy was interested in other people and wanted to know their names, but had no idea how to ask. We thought introducing the script in video form (in the longer version we went through more of her favorite animals) would help her cement the concepts.

Bible Story Book
I read The Big Picture Story Bible with Krissy and loved it. The Big Picture Bible is so God-centered I felt I was learning too! Since Krissy was also into voice recordings, she and I would record it as we went. I would read much of it leaving words or phrases for her to read as we went. That was a neat project.

One of Krissy’s rewards for work well done was the possibility of earning money. She had lots of things she wanted and at this point was just starting to get the idea of purchasing items. Going to the bakery was a huge treat, and we were very happy with how well she did!

Watering The Plants
A necessary chore in the summer, and a great way to use up some excess energy! She was learning to water thoroughly and not miss plants.

Krissy was initially terrified of water, but grew to love it. Her swimming skills were great and she really could swim across the lake with us, not just along the shore as seen here.

Dinner Time
Another opportunity to emphasise table etiquette!

Krissy often had a hard time falling asleep, though melatonin really helped most nights. It was pretty awesome when she graduated from nights locked into her room for her own safety to being able to sleep on her mattress in the girls’ bedroom.

As with most children I’ve met with autism, Krissy was captivated with credits and if this was to be a real movie, it needed to have specific credits in it!

Mighty Mighty Savior – Special Edition Vodcast

Krissy has a beautiful voice, excellent creative rhythm, and severe autism. While she was with us we loved teaching her songs because it was so much fun to hear her sing with her perfect pitch, and creative percussion and instrumental medleys. For Krissy’s story visit the DoodleBlog, or drop by Timberdoodle’s Autism Center to see some of the resources Krissy helped us find.

How to Play BrainBox Games – Timberdoodle’s Homeschool Vodcast #0025

BrainBox games are popular with everyone from little ones to adults, and now you can see why. Not only are the games fast-paced and easy to learn, but they are also very challenging to anyone’s memory, making BrainBox games a series a wide range of ages can easily play together without anyone having the advantage.

Read More At or go directly to the version you are interested in here:

BrainBox Animals My First ABC BrainBox

BrainBox USA BrainBox USA Presidents

BrainBox World BrainBox Nature

My First BrainBox

#0016 – Pop-Arty Beads

Are you looking for something that will enhance all four of your child’s fine-motor skills – grasping, reaching, releasing an object, and turning the wrist? Are you searching for a craft project that can be used multiple times to make countless creations? Do you need something quiet and mess-free for the children to do while visiting Grandma? Pop-arty Beads can do all of that and more…


Behind The Scenes

  • It is exciting to get this episode out, it has been in the cue for way too long!
  • These girls spent a lot of time playing with the beads, and I think they would have been happy to do it all over again.
  • The girls were taped during a family reunion. The beads were one of the best activities for allowing the adults to visit while the kids played quietly.

Pop-Arty Beads

More From Our Store:

“Each Pop-arty Beads collection comes with over 475 of the most eye-catching beads in a wild assortment of shapes, textures, and forms. Luscious solid colors like purple, lime green, pink, blue, orange, and salmon red or marble-like swirls of color give a sophisticated elegance to Battat’s B. Pop-Arty Beads and add to the educational value…” Buy Pop-Arty Beads Now!

#0002 – Thinking Putty: Handwarmer, Therapy Project, Office Tool…

By far our most popular gift for Christmas 2009 was Thinking Putty, we sold literally thousands of tins and even had a custom color made for us. As we’ve used it over the years we’ve accumulated a few ideas that you may not have thought of yet. If you haven’t yet tried burying coins in your Thinking Putty, microwaving it or using it as a rubber thumb, give it a try and then let us know what you think!

Behind The Scenes

  • This edition was filmed in the warehouse, the office and the office kitchenette.
  • Nehemiah graciously agreed to come in on a Friday he was to have off, bringing one of his delightful daughters with him. We were thrilled to get her in a shot!
  • We tried showing each color of Thinking Putty to the camera but with the cheery day we were having and the back-lit approach the colors were too hard to see in most of the shots.
  • Yes, that is a red Cling-Thing on the fridge, and it held the Thinking Putty cans securely throughout the filming!
  • Scarab Thinking Putty

    From Our Store
    Thinking Putty is Silly Putty but enhanced with knock-your-socks-off colors that shift or morph completely as you squeeze. There are even eye-popping glow-in-the-dark versions that will inspire all sorts of electrifying experiments. All versions of the non-toxic, non-gooey Thinking Putty will bounce, stretch, tear, drip, snap, even shatter. Silicone-based, they will never dry out. But the heat sensitive versions will change colors with the warmth of your hands while the swirled colors will maintain their individual colors no matter how many times they are kneaded… Read More About Thinking Putty and Buy A Different Color For Each Family Member.

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