Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen these almost everywhere: at the bookstores, on Social Media posts, on your officemate’s desk and maybe even in your sister’s room. If you guessed that what “these” are being referred to as coloring books, then yes, you are right. Coloring books are what people are going crazy about these days.

To be precise, these coloring books are called adult coloring books. The designs of these adult coloring books vary, from botanicals, flower gardens, under-the-sea creatures, and even cities all over the world. Unlike when you were still in school and there were “right and wrong” ways to color things, this time, you can let your imagination run wild and you get to choose the colors you fancy.

Materials: coloring books or pages, colored pencils, colored pens.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

There are other activities we can indulge in to bring out the artist in us.

Doodling
Doodling seems like a mindless task but it isn’t so. To doodle is to draw while doing another task like listening to a lecture or music. Although doodles are usually simpler versions of objects, they may be as creative as other artistic pursuits. Doodle designs are used as wall paper and gift wrap designs among others. Doodle books are also popular as coloring books.

Materials: sketch pad or sheets of paper, pens or pencils.

Hand-drawing
Artists who draw are content providers for those who love to color. Drawing by hand gives the artist a purpose, a vision and an outlet for creative energy. Hand-drawing requires concentration, creativity and imagination to be able to present ideas in images that will be understood by others.

Materials: sketch pad, a variety of pens for different strokes, colored pencils or pens

Zentangling
Zentangling is not like doodling because it has specific styles and structured patterns. Zentangles are easy-to-learn, fun and relaxing. This art form was founded by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.

Materials: sketch pad, pens, Zentangle book for reference

Paper-cutting
Paper cutting is one of the more difficult art forms to master because it needs precision and control especially when using the sharp blades of cutters and scalpels. This art, though a bit difficult, can be rewarding too. The wonderful images and messages being cut are awesome to behold.

Materials: Cutting mat, metal ruler, pencil, scalpel, blades, tracing paper, backing material

Painting
Painting is an artistic pursuit that may be difficult for some. This entails a considerable amount of concentration, planning and organization of ideas. It is worth the time and effort, however, when one is able to execute a masterpiece or two.

Materials: easel, chair, canvas, brushes, oil paints, acrylic, watercolor, mixing disn

Chalk art
Chalk art is writing on dark surfaces or at times, on streets and outdoors. These days, newer restaurants and cafes have their special menu for the day written on a small blackboard that the clients can easily see.

Materials: blackboard, different colors of chalk

Mandala
A mandala is a word derived from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Translated to mean “circle,” this is more than a simple shape with intricate designs stemming out from one focal point.

Mandalas represent wholeness and is illustrated as a model for the organizational structure of life itself showing our relation to the infinite beyond our bodies and minds. In various religious beliefs a mandala symbolizes different things: timekeeping, visions, beliefs and religious expressions as well as meditation.

There are several coloring books featuring the mandalas which are deemed therapeutic to draw and color. Many attest it relaxes the mind.

Materials: sketch pad, pencils, pens, ruler, pencil compass

Art stamping
Stamps are fun because these have already been crafted and ready to be put together to create a vision. Stamps can be made up of letters, words and things. There are artists who make their own stamps using rubbers erasers where they carve their designs. These can be incorporated in different art forms like calligraphy, journaling,and drawing.

Materials: pre-made rubber stamps, ink, paper, colored pens, pens.

Calligraphy
Calligraphy is the art of decorative handwriting. Mostly used to write quotations, these can be interspersed with drawings. Hand-written invitations are usually made using calligraphy.

Materials: calligraphy pens, ink, papers or sketch pad, pencils, erasers, ruler, calligraphy books as reference.

Journaling or journal-writing
Journaling is akin to diary writing, only better. Journaling is like a visual board where dreams and goals can be put in written perspective. One doesn’t have to write in these journals daily, but regularly updating is a must.

Materials: a good journal notebook, stamps, colored pens, fabric tapes, colored papers, stickers

It is apparent that people these days want a break from digital stimulation and would rather work using their hands while at the same time honing their imagination and creativity. They are also able to relax and meditate while doing so.

Benefits of Relaxation and a few words of caution…

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.

The word auditory pertains to hearing.

Here are a few information regarding the word auditory when it comes to learning and language development. There are several intervention methods to improve auditory training to be able to maximize the full learning potential of people, most especially those with needing intervention services. 

Aside from undergoing occupational therapy and speech and language therapy with (some) focus on the auditory processes in relation with learning and other developmental concerns, there is an alternative intervention method to improving auditory skills: Auditory Integration Training.

What is Auditory Integration Training? Auditory Integration Training is a method of retraining the ear. AIT was developed in the mid1900’s by Dr. Guy Berard. Dr. Guy Berard is a French ENT doctor who developed Auditory Integration Training to initially correct genetically induced hearing loss.

What does AIT do? AIT is one of the alternative intervention methods that parents can avail for their children who were diagnosed with special needs and needing intervention and therapy.

AIT uses filtered and modulated music to help:

1. Normalize and improve hearing distortions.

2. How children perceive sounds as they develop is very important as this can affect the way they acquire their language skills. Any abnormalities in verbal perception will result in an inaccurate imitation of sound.

3. Improve sensory processing (which is very important for children with sensory issues). Children who have difficulty integrating and interpreting internal and external sensory cues will encounter difficulty in learning to communicate.

4. Improve the ways in which the brain processes auditory information. This in turn impacts on the different areas of the brain that controls the different senses and systems of the body.

5. Stimulate the auditory (as well as vestibular) and neurological systems. The vestibular and auditory systems are closely related and difficulties in this area can impact on speech and language development.

6. Improve sensory overload tolerance and reduce self-stimulating behaviors.

7. Diminishes or resolves behaviors related to sensory defensiveness. People who are sensory defensive often react negatively to or experience anxiety to sensory input that is generally considered harmless to other people. Both painful and uncomfortable, it can impair one’s ability to attend to daily tasks. Example: a child may refuse to join a loud party, have a haircut, or be orally defensive (in the case of an extremely picky eater).

8. Improve speech and language.

9. Improve behavior and learning.

10. Improve mood and social skills.

11. Improve comprehension which impacts on learning which may lead to better academic performance.

What types of problems does AIT (plus other intervention services) help with? In 1998 the US FDA evaluated and approved Auditory Integration Training as a safe and effective way in improving impairments in auditory discrimination associated with the following diagnosis:

  1. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  2. Asperger’s Syndrome
  3. Pervasive Developmental Disoder
  4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  5. Attention Deficit Disorder
  6. Central Auditory Processing Disorder
  7. Learning Disabilities like Dyslexia, Non-Verbal Learning Disorders, Language Delays and Communication Disorders
  8. Those with Sensory Processing Disorders, Hyperlexia, and Sensory issues  can also benefit from AIT

To know more about Auditory Integration Training, contact Sound Therapy Learning Center

Sound Therapy Learning Center Unit 7 3rd Floor, The Promenade Building 198 Wilson St. Corner P. Guevarra 1006 San Juan, Metro Manila
Telephone: (02) 775-8100 Mobile: (0917) 887-7852
Email: bridging2worlds@gmail.com
Website: http://soundtherapy.ph/
https://www.facebook.com/aitph

ML, the youngest child with two older siblings, reached his significant milestones like expected till he reached a year old. When he turned 2.5 however, there were noticeable delays in his development. At 3.8, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Later on, at 6.5, his diagnosis was PDD-NOS Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified.

Before he was given intervention after the first diagnosis, he exhibited the following behavior:

  • echolalia
  • receptive language at 12 – 15 months
  • expressive language at 9 – 12 months
  • inconsistent eye contact and negative joint attention
  • poor sitting and attention span
  • poor balance and fine motor skills
  • no approach-request skills
  • hyposensitive
  • experiences diarrhea and has foul smelling stool
  • gross motor skills like walking, jumping, swinging, climbing and running have difficulty

The following steps were undertaken for ML by his parents after the first diagnosis:

  1. “Traditional” intervention services: Occupational and Speech Therapy services
  2. Researched about autism and joined support groups
  3. Other intervention methods

In details, the following were the services that ML went through (and is still going through):

Traditional (what are usually being recommended by developmental pediatricians) intervention methods:

Non-traditional intervention methods:

ML these days at 8.8 years old: continue reading this entry »

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. 

I am an advocate (if there is something like this) of teaching practical reading skills. I am for making the children I teach lifelong learners, informed and eager to learn new things that will make their lives better.

Practical reading skills as part of a reading program (for me at least) include some of the following:

  1. reading news articles, online or with a real newspaper
  2. reading a menu, recipes, brochures, announcements, maps, manuals that include instruction manuals and even appliance parts online
  3. reading ad pages
  4.  reading two sides of an argument or controversial issue
  5. reading to follow instructions

Yes, it is good to be able to read literary pieces and enrich the mind but it is equally useful and beneficial to be able to have practical reading skills that will make lives better.

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