Thursday, April 27, 2017

The One Missing Trait from the List of Hyperlexia Signs

When I first starting writing about hyperlexia, I was hesitant to explain what hyperlexia was because, to be honest, I wasn't sure I completely understood what it was. Yet, as soon as I looked up hyperlexia, I knew, without a doubt, that that is what my son has.

Yet, after reading various articles about hyperlexia and its signs, I've come to the conclusion that there is one thing missing from that list. And every so often, a discussion about this missing trait crops up in the hyperlexia parents Facebook group. And every time, hundreds of parents respond with an enthusiastic yes about it.

Now obviously this is a highly scientific research study I'm conducting here, right?

However, this trait does seem to be particularly common amongst hyperlexic children.

Taking a closer look at the signs of hyperlexia and what I think it missing from the list from And Next Comes L

Missing Trait of Hyperlexia

Obviously, hyperlexic children spend countless hours reading, writing, spelling, and playing with letters, but if you watch them closely, then you will spot them doing some air writing. They'll gracefully glide their fingers through the air as if conducting some grand symphony, scribbling out words or math problems or maybe some country's name.

I can fondly recall many times watching in awe as J would scribble his thoughts in the air or on his leg. Sometimes I would catch him off guard by saying what he wrote and he would instantly light up. 

Other times, I would have difficulty deciphering his air messages and ask him about what he was writing. Sometimes he would tell me. And other times, he would quickly air erase his message, giggle, and say, "Oh nothing."

It appears J is not alone in this air writing. Like I said, this topic comes up regularly in the support groups and judging by the responses, many parents, like myself, think this air writing is a trait missing from the list of hyperlexia signs.

So I'm going to go ahead and just add it to the list of signs. Yep, I'm going to unofficially add "writing words in the air with fingers" to the list of hyperlexia traits.

Consider it done.

I can do that, right?

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Taking a closer look at the signs of hyperlexia and what I think it missing from the list from And Next Comes L
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

STEM Challenge with Recyclables

When it comes to coming up with a quick boredom buster activity or loose parts play idea for the kids, I look no further than my recycling bin. The possibilities are endless with all the different materials that can be found in the recycling bin. 

This STEM challenge for kids using recyclables encourages kids to build and explore without using glue and without using tape. What will they build?

STEM challenge for kids using recyclables - a perfect Earth Day activity from And Next Comes L

The No Glue, No Tape Earth Day STEM Challenge for Kids

Since I wanted the kids to be able to explore all the possibilities with the materials and still return the items to the recycle bin, I challenged my kids to build a list of creations using only the materials on hand. No tape and no glue were allowed.

Come check out what five year old K built and grab the list of prompts for this STEM challenge.


STEM challenge for kids using recyclables - a perfect Earth Day activity from And Next Comes L
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Heavy Work Activities for School

Heavy work is beneficial for all kids, but is particularly calming for kids with sensory needs and/or autism.

Doing a simple heavy work activity, like those listed below, quickly helps to improve focus and attention. These ideas can quickly reset a day for kids and provide a much need sensory body break for those kids who have sensory needs.

This list of heavy work activities for kids is geared specifically towards the classroom and provides quick and easy ideas for implementing heavy work naturally into the school day. There is also a free printable list of heavy work activities for school included.

Heavy work activities for school with free printable list of ideas for the classroom from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Heavy Work Activities for Kids to Do at School

This list of heavy work activities are ones that occur naturally throughout the school day and/or can be done right within the classroom. So if your child needs a quick body break at school, then these heavy work activities for the classroom are perfect for that!

  1. Erase chalkboards or whiteboards
  2. Sharpen pencils with a manual pencil sharpener
  3. Fill plastic crates with books to take to other classrooms
  4. Stack chairs
  5. Move packs of paper for the printer/photocopier
  6. Staple paper, especially onto bulletin boards
  7. Take down chairs at the beginning of the day
  8. Place chairs on desks at the end of the day
  9. Rearrange desks or furniture in the classroom
  10. Help the gym teacher move mats, hang them up, etc.
  11. Ride a scooter board around the hallway
  12. Carry books with both hands, hugging tight to chest
  13. Open and hold doors for people
  14. Help the janitor or caretaker empty garbage cans, recycling, mopping, sweeping, etc.
  15. Climb on playground equipment

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Heavy Work Activities for Home

It's no secret that heavy work activities are beneficial for kids, especially those with sensory issues or autism. You certainly don't have to get creative when it comes to finding heavy work activities for kids because most household chores work perfectly. So if you are looking for some heavy work activities for kids to do at home, then look no further than this list of 30 simple ideas.

Heavy work activities for kids to do at home - includes free printable list of ideas from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

Heavy Work Activities for Kids to Do at Home

Chores are good for kids, right? You bet! They are one of the easiest heavy work activities that you likely already incorporate into your day. But, in case you need a little more inspiration, here are 30 heavy work activities that kids can do right at home.

  1. Carry groceries into the house
  2. Carry a laundry basket full of clothes
  3. Build a fort
  4. Move garbage or recycling bins to the curb
  5. Make the bed
  6. Do outdoor chores: mow the grass, shovel snow, rake the leaves, etc.
  7. Do indoor chores: vacuum, sweep, mop, etc.
  8. Load or unload the dishwasher
  9. Push, move, or drag furniture
  10. Sort recycling
  11. Water plants with a watering can
  12. Stack chairs
  13. Wash the car
  14. Remove couch cushions and put them back
  15. Fill a pillowcase or bag with stuffed animals
  16. Make or build something using real tools like a hammer, sander, screwdriver, etc.
  17. Give the dog a bath
  18. Carry a small pet
  19. Drink thick liquids through a straw or try some fun twisty straws
  20. Clean windows
  21. Have a pillow fight
  22. Push chairs in at the table
  23. Push or pull boxes or laundry basket filled with toys, books, or small child
  24. Stuff pillows into pillowcases
  25. Stuff duvet into a duvet cover
  26. Fill a pillowcase with stuffed animals and carry it around
  27. Pull laundry out of the washer or dryer
  28. Climb a chair or couch
  29. Make an obstacle course
  30. Stack and unstack cans or boxes of food

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Thursday, April 06, 2017

Free Printable Social Story About Crossing the Street

Safety is a concern for many autism families and crossing the street is definitely one area of safety that might need reinforcement with your kids. This free printable social story about crossing the street walks your kids through the process. From looking both ways to holding hands to pressing the crosswalk button, this social story covers it all!

Free printable social story about crossing the street from And Next Comes L

This post contains affiliate links.

About the Free Printable Social Story

This social story explains how to cross the street safely. It includes mentions of crosswalk lights as well.

I highly suggest laminating the social story for durability. You can use binder rings to keep the social story together or store it in a binder. As an alternative to laminating, you could use sheet protectors in a binder. Or if you find yourself printing off lots of social stories, then this binding machine is a lifesaver!

Download the Free Printable Crossing the Street Social Story

This printable is 10 pages long and includes full color photos.


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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Easter Egg Slime

We've just recently hopped on board with the whole slime craze. We avoided it for years because of concerns with J's oral sensory seeking and because I hadn't found a recipe that used ingredients that I was comfortable with. However, we have recently discovered a slime recipe that works for our family and have been experimenting with it every since. This colorful Easter egg slime sensory play recipe for kids is so fun! 

The mixture of gooey, stretchy slime with glittery squishy eggs makes for a wonderful tactile experience that the kids (and I!) couldn't resist!

Easter egg slime sensory play recipe for kids from And Next Comes L

How to Make Easter Egg Slime

This slime recipe is easy in terms of ingredients, but I warn you now, those slime videos you see on social media are all lies! Slime making is far from glamorous, at least for me. I end up with glue everywhere!!


Easter egg slime sensory play recipe for kids from And Next Comes L
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Spring & Easter Perler Bead Crafts

I am so happy that Spring is finally here! So happy that I even cleaned out my sunroom earlier than usual just so that we could get out there and utilize it! These adorable Spring perler bead projects for kids were so much fun to create. They can be turned into magnets, key chains, necklaces, hair clips, or really anything else you can think of.

Spring & Easter perler bead craft projects for kids from And Next Comes L

Spring Perler Bead Projects for Kids

There are three projects to make: a bunny, a chick, and a tulip. They're small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, but you can easily double the size of these projects by doubling the number of beads.


Spring & Easter perler bead craft projects for kids from And Next Comes L
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