Getting Started in EI – Therapy Materials!
Last week's blog highlighted all the non-therapy related
items that are necessities when working in EI Home Care. Today's post addresses the therapy related
tools that I use frequently in EI and I feel are an absolute MUST
with the age group and population!
- Bubbles! Kids love bubbles! There is only one child I have ever worked with who didn't love bubbles; otherwise it's a foolproof way to inspire focus and eye contact, as well as an independent request for "MORE!"
- Whistles/pinwheels/feathers/etc. All great ways to help children motor plan their ability to "blow", especially when bubbles are still too difficult for them.
- Picture Communication. This comes in all sorts of forms for me! I use pictures for songs, which I found on the internet. Pictures for communication requests, pictures for vocabulary development which can be found in programs such as Boardmaker, and the list goes on and on....!
- Sign language handouts/book. When I introduce a family to signing with their child, especially if we predict it may be more then just some of the basics, I supply the family with resources to help them practice signing throughout the week when I am not there.
- Lotion/Vibration Tools/Mirror/Nuks/Toothettes. These are all great for oral motor stimulation! Back in April I wrote a post entitled "What's in your Oral Motor Tool Kit". The post is a complete list of oral motor toys and tools that I use on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis.
- Puzzles. I love using puzzles of all shapes, sizes and complexity levels to help develop a child's focus, play skills and vocabulary!
- Play Doh. This is great for those sensory-seekers who again, need help with focus and play skills. I also use this to build vocabulary through sound/word imitation, such as "zoom!", "rolling, rolling", etc.
- Speech book. For my speech-only kiddos and/or little ones with really good attention, I use a plain notebook as their "speech book". It allows a central place to put pictures and to do simple articulation activities to help zero in on sounds. I encourage the family to add pictures of family members, magazine pictures, etc so that the book truly becomes part of the family and something the child can feel proud of.
- Parent resources. On Dec. 2, 2008 I published a post entitled "Web Resources for Parents". In addition to the Internet resources, I also equip myself with a variety of reading material for parents, to help generate thought, discussion and action in the home.
I hope that you have found this helpful, especially for those recent grads and professionals that have just started working in EI. Of course there are tons of wonderful resources out there, so for those of you who are long-time veterans of the field, please weigh in and share your expertise!