Cape Cod Mom Advisor Melinda Lancaster Shares A Collage Modification for Parents of Special Needs Children
By: Melinda Lancaster
One of the things parents of special needs children have to think about all the time is “modification”. How can I modify this bed so my child is comfortable? How can I modify this spoon so they can feed themselves? How can I modify this game so they can play with the family? It’s a nearly constant activity. And the same goes for teaching at home. How a parent modifies depends upon each child’s ability and skill level. Here are some ideas on how to modify just one particular activity-collages.
My main focus with Katelin is teaching her letters and how to read, but I also want to make it fun. Fun is important! Last year I collected close to 50 different magazines-National Geographic, Smithsonian, Time etc. with the idea to make collages when we did a lesson on a particular subject. This worked out great!
Here you see two different ways to work with collages. The first concentrated on a single animal-elephants. I cut several pictures out and gave Katelin an opportunity to choose which ones she wanted on her poster. She did this by pointing and by picking up the picture. If your child doesn’t have use of their hands you could try putting three pictures out-one to the left, one to the right, and one in the middle and watch for eye gaze.
The second collage was about marine life. This gave her an opportunity to scribble a bit, but what she really likes to do is glue!
This type of collage, one with a picture is kind of fun. This one about frogs was one of my favorites.
But, what about letters? This took some thinking on my part and a lot of searching for pictures of the same objects. The first letter we did was “F”, only because I already had a lot of “flowers” cut out and they were easy to find in the magazines.
First I got a piece of construction paper and let Katie pick the pictures. I helped her glue them on and did hand over hand to pat them in place. Once they were dried, I cut out the shape of the letter and….ta da!
You can usually pick up old magazines at your local library or ask around, friends and family are sure to have some hanging around. Plus, what a cool way to “upcycle” instead of just recycle! Have fun!
Melinda Lancaster is a children's author and a poet. Her books ("Tyler and the Spider" and "Grandma, Tell me If You Can) are published through Wiggles Press and her poem "Echoes" hangs in the Hyannis JFK Museum. After studying Russian Studies and Biology at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY she enlisted in the US Navy. Her experiences in the Navy brought a deeper appreciation for the Freedom and advantages available in America and she is an avid volunteer-local veteran's center, library, and reading for the blind, and through "Wish Upon a Wedding". She began writing in her mid-thirties and is inspired by her experiences as a single mother, a parent of a disabled child, a step-mother and a grandmother to reach out to children. She is currently working on promoting her custom poetry through DKS Verse and starting the process for establishing a non-profit organization that provides terminally ill and disabled children with their own story book-where they are the hero! It is her hope to eventually be able to provide art supplies, writing supplies, books and equipment to facilitate writing, reading and drawing to these children. She is a member of the Cape Cod Writer's Center, Cape Cod Children's Writers and SCBWI. She has several works in progress and hopes to branch out from picture books into Middle Age and Young Adult arenas and is available for readings/crafts at schools, libraries and charity functions. In her free time she enjoys reading, knitting and going to the movies.
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