Yesterday was the presentation and from all accounts it was a HUGE success! The slideshow was well received and the kids had lots of great questions afterwards. The teacher, (who is AMAZING!) was so excited about the project that she wanted to take it a step further and maybe have some follow up activities that could give the kids further understanding and broaden their empathy.
So with only a few hours notice I threw together some “hands on” activities that would mimic some of Sara’s issues. There was one table set up where the kids could string beads while wearing HUGE men’s winter gloves. This activity highlights her fine motor issues and coordination struggles. Another table had recipe cards and JUMBO sharpies and the kids were asked to NEATLY copy a sentence onto the card – super difficult and again taught them why Sara used a Chromebook as opposed to taking notes all day.At another table the teacher set up a screen that linked to this site:
where the kids could experience for themselves what it is like to read with Dyslexia/Visual processing issues.
Lastly, (and maybe my favorite) I recorded an audio clip that allowed them to experience her Auditory Processing Disorder and her SPD. She has trouble filtering out background noise. So I layered in lots of classroom sound effects: coughing, desks sounds, chalkboard sounds, background noise etc and then dubbed in the instructions to complete a math question! They found it incredibly difficult.
Kudos to the teacher who also invited both Principals to come watch her present! They in turn took the slide show to a staff meeting that day and allowed the ENTIRE school staff to watch! So every single adult in that school has an awareness and understanding of her struggles. I am thrilled. I am so proud of my kid for advocating for herself and being vulnerable. And I am so appreciative of the school for giving us the opportunity to educate and accepting her with such warmth. I have a good feeling about this year!