Welcome to “On the Horizon”
Issue 11: Building Competence through Guided Participation
On the Horizon is a weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.
A Note from Nicole: Mother’s Day, Special Bracelet Design for Horizons
Idea of the Week: Family Bowling Night
Feature Article: Building Competence through Guided Participation
Featured Resource: Do Something Daily Calendar
Featured Program: Summer Camps 2008
Upcoming Events: Please Join Us
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May is here, and that means that Mother’s Day is coming! To all the moms out there – Happy Mother’s Day! I hope you enjoy your special day on Sunday. To all the dads out there – consider this your reminder that Mother’s Day is this Sunday. It’s a great time to pause and consider all of the wonderful things moms do for us throughout our lives. My mother has been, and continues to be, a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and comfort to me in both my personal and professional life. This week we should take the time to thank our mothers for all they have done for us. Send a card, make a phone call, order flowers – do something to let your mom (or someone who is like a mom) know how much she means to you!
While I was in Chicago this past week I met a jewelry designer who makes her own silver and beads, and turns them into gorgeous pieces of jewelry. We got talking about what I do and about our clinic, and she was really excited about what is happening here! She is going to be designing a special bracelet for our moms and other family members, and it will be ready to purchase before the holiday season. I’m really excited to work with her on designing the piece, and I know you all are going to love it! Here’s a picture of the bracelet I chose (thanks to my husband and kids for the early Mother’s Day gift):
Enjoy this week’s article about competence and guided participation. In it, Michelle shares some awesome strategies for building competence all children, and how to recognize when a competence boost is needed. Have a great week!
Looking to the horizon,
Family Bowling Night!
Items needed: disposable plastic cups, duct tape, and a small ball (i.e. tennis ball) First, make the bowling pins. Have each family member help place duct tape on the bottom of 10 cups. Once all cups have tape on them, set up the cups in a triangle formation. You should have a row of four cups, then a row of three cups, then a row of two cups, and a head cup in front. Each player gets three consecutive rolls of a ball to knock down as many cups as possible. If all cups fall before the third roll, reset them and continue. Players get one point for each fallen cup. The player with the most points wins. Try adding variations by rolling the ball in different ways (ex: eyes closed, with non-dominant hand, standing backwards), playing on teams, or using different items for pins. Happy bowling!
Building Competence through Guided Participation
By: Michelle VanderHeide, BSW
I’ll never forget my first job. I started working at a very small restaurant, about 20 tables, with only one other waitress. The first day on the job I was handed an apron, a pad of paper, and a pen; and told to get to work. I was given no guidance on how to wait tables. The restaurant became immediately busy, and I just started taking orders. Miraculously, I got the drinks out to the right tables; but by the time the food orders were up, I had no idea where to go with the orders. I started walking up to my tables and asking; “Did you order the shrimp basket?” “Please tell me that you ordered the shrimp basket!” “Somebody from this table must have ordered the shrimp basket!!!” As you can imagine, my stress increased as the restaurant got busier and I still had no idea where to bring the food! I failed at my job that day, and was feeing completely incompetent as a waitress; especially when my boss told me how disappointed he was in me!
Developing competence is critical for wanting to reenter situations we have encountered in the past. If that day had gone differently, and my boss had guided me through the process of waiting tables, I would have felt competent as a waitress and returned with excitement to work the next day. Instead, I was stressed and anxious and really did not want to go back! Fortunately, I was resilient and returned to work despite my instinct never to go back. The second day went much better, as the night was slower and another waitress demonstrated some essential concepts to simplifying the process.
So how do you know your child is feeling competent? Coping mechanisms appear differently in every child; but once you know what to look for, you can begin to understand when your child is feeling stressed and know how to respond appropriately. Here are several common coping mechanisms to look for:
Do Something Daily Calendar
$19.95 (Per Calendar) Each day includes ideas to inspire you and your children. Calendars are assembled by clients in our EmployAbilities program. $1.00 from every calendar will be donated to FARR.
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Summer Camps 2008!
Your child is going to LOVE the exciting adventures we have planned for this summer! Each week we will explore a different theme together, complete with lots of opportunities for movement, music, problem solving, working together, and indoor and outdoor fun. Our camps are design to offer a fun, safe, and therapeutic environment for children with developmental disabilities to engage with peers, try new things, and retain skills over the summer months. A low staff to child ratio ensures that everyone is supported. Principles of the Relationship Development Intervention (CORE Approach) Program are integrated throughout all activities, which provides oportunities for campers to improve communication, increase competence, enhance regulation, and build relationships.
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Please join us!
See our Event Calendar for more details…