Our class calendar chalkboard is all ready for the start of the new month, thanks to @chalkola.
Their chalk markers are one of my best spontaneous lockdown buys. They can write on any non-porous surface, so on glass, plastic, mirrors, blackboards, whiteboards, laminated wood... the possibilities are endless! I use them everyday to update our class calendar chalkboard. They wipe away really easily too, just with a damp cloth or a wet wipe.
If you'd like to try them for yourself, here's a link to the ones I got on Amazon:
Please note: I get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post. It will not cost you anything extra, however.
I cant believe we've made it to December!
This year has been one like no other, but some things are pretty much guaranteed to happen with our special children at this time of year, pandemic or not!
Our children love and need structure, rituals and routines in order to feel secure and to keep their anxiety levels manageable. Around Christmas, there are lots of changes to cope with, both at home and in school.
Christmas trees are going up, there's music playing in the shops. Familiar places look very different under a layer of sparkly decorations. This can feel full-on for us all, but for some children with ASD or sensory sensitivities, it can be incredibly overwhelming.
Even things that we may perceive as good changes to routine can cause some to feel dysregulated, such as visits to Santa, Christmas shows, new toys to play with, etc.
What can we do to help? Try and prepare children for these changes in advance. Show them visuals of what will be happening. Find a social story for occasions like shows or visits. Maybe do work around the calendar, to show when decorations will be going up and coming down again. Try to keep to some sort of regular routine, even when schools are closed and you feel like staying in your PJs all day drinking Bailey's 😋 Try introducing new toys or gifts one at a time over a few days, so that the sheer onslaught of 'newness' doesn't become too overwhelming.
Also try and bear in mind the idea of 'comparison fatigue'. Social media is great at showing the good bits of everyone's lives... but it is not the reality. We all find this time of year challenging, maybe because your child is hyper and expecting Santa to come every morning since the tree went up, or perhaps Christmas is just another day to your child. All our experiences are different and it is important that we remember that.
What is Christmas like in your classroom or home?