Among the many benefits of doing jigsaw puzzles, these three points stand out.

jigsaw puzzle at teacherjulie.com
1. Physical Skills: as the child manipulates the puzzle pieces to fit together, eye-hand coordination as well as fine-motor skills are developed.

2. Cognitive Skills: memory enhancement, problem-solving, shape and color recognition are just a few learning skills enhanced during jigsaw puzzle activities.

3. Emotional Development: for those who are having difficulty putting the puzzle pieces together, patience is slowly being developed as the child puts the pieces together.

Jigsaw puzzle activities can also be given as a goal setting objective that progresses from a few pieces to multiple pieces as the child becomes more adept with the activity.

Yesterday, December 1, 2012, PWD Thanksgiving Celebration was held at the Manila Zoo.

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

Manila Mayor Fred Lim was the guest of honor. He said in his speech the City Hall of Manila employs around 200 PWDs.

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

Guests and advocates who delivered messages were John Chua, A PWD Advocate and famous photographer;  Engr. Bien Mateo, Chairman of SM Program on Disability Affairs; Mr. Tony Pasia, representing all PWD Organizations.

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

The guests of the event were treated to intermission numbers by the ASP Dream Girls who sang a medley of pop songs, PHWHIC Kids who did a Gangnam Style dance number and the Nelmida Twins and the Ambassadors of Light who delighted the guests with their songs.

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

PWD Thanksgiving Celebration at Manila Zoo

There was also a bird show c’/ Manila Zoo, Ventriloquist Show and Bubble Show .

Photography with a Difference supported the event with the participating groups:

  • ADHD Society
  • Autism Society of the Philippines
  • Down Syndrome Society of the Philippines, Inc
  • Parents Advocates for Visually Impaired Children
  • Parent Council for the Welfare of Hearing Impaired Children, Inc.
  • Philippine Society of Orphan Disorders

The PWD Thanksgiving Celebration was sponsored by the following: City of Manila, Kinder Zoo Adventure Jungle, Canon Philippines and SM Cares Foundation.

A few more photos here.

A lot of people do not give importance to music as a way to to teach children with special needs.

One of the things I enjoyed when I was still teaching preschool was to include music in the day to day curriculum. There are songs to make the kids get up and play, there are songs that teach learning concepts, there are songs that helps them pack away the materials they used such as there are songs that signals the class is ending in a bit and we have to say good-byes.

I have to say that though I have very limited musical ability when it comes to playing musical instruments during those times when I was still teaching the young ones, I know that did not deter me from enjoying music with them then. I just wish I paid more attention when I was taking piano lessons when I was way younger.

Teaching children about music (and also how to play various musical instruments) is a good way for them to learn a lot of things:

  • they learn to listen
  • they learn to feel the rhythm, the beat, the essence
  • they learn to be more sensitive in listening to others especially if they have to play musical instruments with others
  • they move to the beat of the music
  • they are able to distinguish similarities and differences for say for example, ultra light acoustic guitar strings or nylon strings

Music is a good learning tool and when properly used, can be a big help for the children with special needs.

Here are a few samples of songs to teach for children with special needs. 

It’s April 26 today and we are halfway through our summer vacation. That fast? Yes, but not because it is summer means the children are off the books. Nope. Summer means upping the reading skills by more fun choices.

I’m sure children will get bored if they are not engaged in summer fun activities so reading, and not just clicking on those gadgets, will give them fun and excitement too. Now is the time we parents and teachers and parents lead the way and make them love reading.

I’m sure when they are adults they’d rather read fun stuff than read minute details of work-related literature like contracts, North Carolina health insurance, and manuals.

Here is a list of books for summer reading. Let’s hope the reading continues on till after summer vacation. I know *rolls eyes*, it’s 2009 but it’s still a list 😀

Here is another reading list.

I’m not one who get books with popular animation characters because the children can watch these characters on TV so why bother have them in books? I’d rather children read books that will take them to different places, stir their imagination and make them want to read more. Or maybe be a children’s books author some day.

I’ve read about Tomatis years ago during my early foray with the web and I’ve learned from a student about Tomatis Philippines branch. Ok, this is circa late 90s. Among the so many articles I printed about special education, the one about Tomatis method was read again and again. It interested me so.

Fast forward to three years ago, I had a student who underwent a Tomatis Listening Program in Alabang. The parents were so happy with the results. They said that their child, my student, has greatly improved after she underwent a Tomatis Listening Program.

What is Tomatis Method?

The Tomatis Method was developed by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis, a French Ear-Nose-Throat or ENT specialist. The study of auditory processing and language development was pioneered by him which led to a new multi-disciplinary science called Audio Psycho Phonology or APP.

It was the Tomatis Method which led to the discovery of ear and voice interrelationship: the voice can only reproduce what the ear hears. One of the causes of learning problems is the inability to listen.

The Tomatis Method allows children and adults alike to improve their listening skills for better and improved learning skills in a non-invasive and drug-free way. This can be coupled with occupation and/or speech-language therapy and/or special education services.

Listening and communication are the targeted learning modes wherein the auditory stimulation between the ear and the voice are given focused to stimulate the ear’s ability to listen and the brain’s ability to understand what is being heard.

The Tomatis Method makes use of the Music of Mozart because of these three elements: rhythm for human balance, harmony for reaching emotions and melody for the intellect.

The Tomatis Method also uses Gregorian Chant (which by the way, our nun teachers had us learn to sing via Latin songs) because of its proportional beat that is close to the respiratory rhythm. This beat has a succession of sequences of unequal length said to be found in ocean waves that come one after the other but not identical.

The Tomatis Method re-trains the listening system through:

  • use of electronically modified music and language to improve auditory information processing
  • enhances the ability to know the difference between frequencies which are all necessary for language development and auditory information processing
  • use of Electronic Ear

Why is Listening an important factor in Learning? continue reading this entry »

With so many special education schools/centers mushrooming in the metro offering the “best special education programs“, parents have difficulty choosing the one that best suits the required helpful programs for their special needs child(ren).

For those with teen-aged children, however, their choices are few regarding the right placement because only a handful offer college courses and these usually are two-year associate courses.

Others choose to go the practical educational programs by way of technical and skills-based courses like those with computer and culinary skills among others. These alternative career options are nothing to be ashamed of, if some parents feel their children are “degraded” without a four-year degree course.

Children diagnosed with special needs can show their best by developing skills through social enterprise. They not only learn practical social skills, they also learn to be independent.

In this article, children with autism learn social skills in a coffee shop while they earn money, it is heartening to read about children being independent learning money, people and social skills.

Isn’t this what parents want? After all, parents can’t be there at all times for their children.

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