Dennis M. Walcott, Chancellor
Issue # 86 – Summer 2013
Gary Hecht, Superintendent, District 75
Helen D. Kaufman, Admin. Asst. Superintendent for Clinical Support Services
The summer season is here! This issue of The City Speaks will provide you with information on how to incorporate problem solving skills into 21st Century Learning and summer routines. As speech providers, we rely on you, the parents, to continue working on your child’s communication goals at home and in the community. Citywide Speech Services (CSS) is committed to maintaining a strong home-school connection. Past issues of The City Speaks are available on the Citywide Speech Services website – http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/District75/Departments/RelatedServices/Speech/default.htm. If you have any questions regarding speech, language and/or communication issues, contact your speech-language provider.
What is Problem Solving?
Your child needs to learn how to solve problems on their own. They are faced with a variety of problems every day; ranging from academic issues, peer/social issues, difficulty completing tasks, changing routines, and completing activities of daily living. When children learn problem solving skills they become confident in their ability to make appropriate decisions for themselves. When they do not have the necessary skills to solve problems, children may avoid doing the task or become extremely frustrated. Some children may not realize that problems may happen and that they have a choice in solving them.
It is important to teach and show how to solve problems. When a problem arises and you notice the child becoming upset, you can first help him/her by identifying the problem. Do not rush to solve the problem for your child. Give him/her a chance to figure it out on his/her own before helping. Sometimes unexpected events happen; allow your child to learn from these unplanned events and actions. Encourage your child to think or talk through the problem and make a choice.
Below you will find some simple steps to help your child learn to problem-solve as well as fun activities you can do together.
A- ASK what the problem is. Ask what happened or why it happened. Ask for help. Teach them to also ask themselves what they are feeling and what their needs are as well.
B- BRAINSTORM. Think up of ideas and solutions to solve the problem.
C- CONSEQUENCES & CHOOSE. Encourage your child to think about the following: Is it safe? Is it fair? Will it work? Then ask which solution is the best and to keep trying until the problem is solved.
D- DO IT. Help your child through the process by providing cues such as, “what’s next,” “what will happen?” and “what else can we do?”
E- EVALUATE. Have you child ask, did it work? If so, remind him/her to remember what he/she did so that can it be used in the future.
Sequencing an Activity
Arts and Crafts
|Take a selection of everyday items and put them in a bag. Tell your child that these are the only clues they have to help identify a mystery person. Try to stop them from making conclusions based on only one or two clues. This helps children to appreciate the importance of examining each part of a problem individually.
|Select an activity like brushing teeth and ask your child to provide all necessary steps to complete the action. Ask your child to do each step as he/she goes along, even if it is wrong. If it is correct, move on. If it is incorrect, allow the consequence to occur and help solve the problem.
|Talk children through the process of completing a puzzle. Point out the shapes of pieces and the colors; for example, a blue piece might be a piece of blue sky or a long thin piece might fit in a long thin space. Praise attempts to solve the puzzle independently but encourage children to ask for help rather than walking away from hard puzzles.
|Make a collage using different types of glue and a range of materials. Give the child time and opportunities to explore the materials and experiment with different ways to solve the problems that occur. Ask specific questions; “How are we going to stick this down and what happens when……?”
|Dear CITY SPEAKS, My seven year old daughter with autism becomes easily frustrated when she cannot help herself out of situations. She becomes frustrated when she cannot reach desired items, her shoes are untied, or her hood is stuck inside her jacket. What can I do to help her before her frustration escalates into an uncontrollable tantrum?
Helpless in the Bronx
Dear Helpless in the Bronx,
Teaching your daughter to be a good problem solver will help diminish her frustration. You can model asking for help by writing the word “Help” on index cards or post-its. Say the word help as you hold the card or post it and have your daughter imitate your verbal model or point to the card depending upon her verbal skills. Then give her the help she needs and praise her for asking for help. With repetition and positive reinforcement your daughter will learn to ask for help on her own.
Q: What do you call a dog on the beach in the summer?
A: A hot dog!
Q. What do frogs like to drink on a hot summer day?
PLANNING FOR SUMMER
There are several options available for your child:
Chapter 683 for D75 programs begins July 3rd and ends August 13th.
There are also a variety of summer camps available for children with special needs. Summer camp programs provide opportunities for socializing and making new friends, increasing self-confidence, engaging in new situations, learning new skills, participating in organized sports and play activities, improving social and emotional development and of course, getting to be outdoors!
Contact your school’s parent coordinator &/or guidance counselor for more information on local camps.
To find additional listings for a day or sleep away camp that meets your child’s specific needs, refer to:
Resources for Children with Special Needs www.resourcesnycdatabase.org (212)-677-4650.
V A C A T I O N N S G N J E T
K X W S D P F E O U G O H O L
Z I A N U A E G J M N L I C E
R Y A R U R P F Y M V E M C Z
D S E L C S J G Y E C M I K Z
P Y W S O Q E T N R E R W Z H
C A N I Z O M A E R C E S X U
O U P O M T P I V M H T Z H H
S S O G I S B X D G L A P K R
Q O U V O E U H T Z L W S D Y
G K E U A C V I H T T W M I T
V V X C H I E M T Y T H K U S
Z S H Y B R R D T G H M H Y K
V J R V A M M X N H M Z J S Q
P H O F Q E M F Q M X D Q K K
BEACH SAND SWIM
ICE CREAM SUMMER SWIMSUIT
POOL SUNSCREEN VACATION
Suggested activities you can do with your child over the summer:
For additional suggestions go to mommypoppins.com
If you have any questions or topics that you would like us to address, please send an e-mail to: or BMandel6@schools.nyc.gov
Newsletter Prepared by: Erica Leifer, Sara Leifer, Michelle Vladimirov, Jessica Zaccaro, and Betsy Mandel-Speech Supervisor