Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lunch is Universal

'Lunch is Universal'
The School Cafeteria is not always a Students 'preferred' place to eat lunch. Why?
Our son enjoys eating his 'preferred foods' at his 'schedule' times in his 'preferred' environments. 
He concentrates better.
He eats more.
He likes low lights.
He likes a quiet atmospere.
He does not like to 'talk' when he eats.
He likes to focus on whatever he wants to think about.
He likes to select other ambiences.
So the busy, crowded, chattering, clinking trays and rustling of utensils IS NOT THE AMBIENCE THAT BEST SUITS HIS LUNCH TIME STYLE.
Our son was so stressed out during lunch time!
He showed 'visible' facial and body language signs of his discomfort.
Sometimes, he would cry.
He often closed his eyes, really tight.
Most of the time he just sat and stared in a daydreaming trance!

"What to do Mommy?"  pleads Joshua
These techniques are what we decided would improve our son's lunch time enjoyment.
Collaborate with your child's Teachers, Speech LanguageTherapist, Occupational Therapist and Cafeteria Managers:
1) Teach him to relax by discreetly 'block out 'annoying sounds' and other irritants.
2) Use Social Stories to train  him for the lunch time experience.
3) Teach him to periodically 'engage' with his peers by rotating informed 'peer buddies'.
4) Use 'Prompting' to keep him eating.
5) Alternate strategies to help him 'multi-task' during lunch time.

"Being able to maintain behaviour and/or participate in lunchtime routines creates opportunities for students to enjoy positive interactions with peers." Learn Alberta Canada

Here is a Lunch time pyramid.
Reference on your child's IEP, too.
Includes info on Social Stories, Universal Supports, Behavior Management tools and much more.

Review the Learn Alberta Canada site for 'strategies that make a difference' and more 'uniquely different' educational resources that benefit our Students, help our Teachers and improve our school systems.
Enjoy this sneek peak! [download a printable version]

'Lunch - Supporting School Participation of all Students'
Choose the statement below that best describes how this student participates at lunchtime.
This will help you identify a starting point for selecting strategies (e.g., 1=specialized, 2=targeted, 3=universal).

1. Requires physical assistance to eat lunch and/or individual support to facilitate eating lunch and interacting with peers and/or to ensure student safety during lunchtime routines and activities

2. Requires frequent (e.g., more than three times per week) adult supervision to maintain appropriate behaviour during lunchtime routines and activities

3. May require occasional (e.g., less than twice per week) reminders but generally demonstrates appropriate behaviour during lunchtime routines and activities

via Monday, November 28, 2011 at 12:00pm

 "All Children can learn. Sharing about education, school, Students, academic systems, Parents, Teachers, Administrators, Policy-makers, Stakeholders and Supporters of world-class education for All Students."
Ways to Support Social Participation of Special Needs kids during lunch @ Write this into IEP! #tck #LD #spedchat #tck

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