Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Life is Therapy--Videos

New to the Life is Therapy series? Here's a quick blurb to tell you what it's about:

Sometimes we parents can get bogged down in the notion that the teaching of our children must be done by professionals. Parents of children with special needs are particularly vulnerable to this idea since children with special needs often have to learn and develop quite differently than children with typical needs. This series centers around the idea that learning can and does occur most effectively through everyday life experiences at home and out in the community--for children with both typical and special needs.

This week, let's talk about videos. Last week, Mommytoalot shared a video of her son Joey dancing to a video on YouTube. Back in October, Rachel posted a couple of cute videos of Ali and AJ playing together. Go check those out if you have not already. It's fun. Most kids like to watch and/or listen to videos of themselves. They find themselves fascinating. Jack is no exception. He loves to see himself playing and having fun. Some of his favorites right now include swinging at the park, banging on pots, saying "Happy Birthday", and splashing in the tub.

Making and watching videos of your child playing can be therapeutic in so many different ways. Watching videos over a span of time can show you how your child has grown physically and developmentally. Sometimes watching videos of your new talker can help you to recognize some of the words that he or she has been trying to say. Watching a video of your child can put into context some of the silly things that you've wondered about.

If you are in the video with your child, you can use the video as a check up on your interaction skills. Do you wait long enough to give your child a chance to do things on his/her own or do you take over play? Are you directive or playful? Do you respond to his/her attempts at interaction? Do you say and do things that are possible for him/her? Are you having fun?

An unexpected benefit that we have discovered from watching videos together is that Jack uses the videos to refine his speech and other skills. When we watch these short clips of our interactions, Jack will often take over my "speaking role" in the video. He'll imitate me giving directions or laughing or whatever. He also repeats himself but often more clearly than he says the words in the original video. He watches himself playing intently as if he is studying himself like a golfer trying to perfect his swing.

Give it a try. Grab your camera or camera phone and make some videos. Watch them together and have fun!

Recent Life is Therapy Posts:

Relfecting on Where You've Been
What's in Your Child's World
Setting Goals
For more Life is Therapy Posts, check out the left side bar.

Now it's your turn to participate. This is where we share our ideas and stories with one another. We're all in this together. Let's laugh together, motivate one another, and stimulate each others ideas. If you have a blog, create your own "life is therapy" post and link to the specific post in the Mr. Linky below. If you don't have a blog just leave a comment with your life is therapy story.


sheila said...

My kids love watching old videos of themselves. And yes...a great 'check' on parenting skills!

This is a great post for new moms and moms with little ones! A VERY good idea!

I bet the 'banging on pots' one is fun!

Michelle said...

oh Kayla could sit and watch videos of herself over and over and over LOL

Amanda said...

I was a preschool teacher for 2 years and definitely noticed how the kids learned more from their own interaction via play than they ever learned from me. They learn from doing and watching and I think that videotaping their interactions is a fabulous idea. Kids love to watch themselves and this is an awesome way for them to learn without feeling like they are learning. :)

Marie said...

It really is fun how much learning can happen when you are having fun! Thanks for stopping by!

Staying Afloat said...

I just did a post on Life is Therapy, talking about using video games and legos to teach my autistic kids. I got to you through mommtoalot. I'm really enjoying your discussion of harnessing the world around us to teach our kids.

The videoing the kids thing- I've got to try that next.

Marie said...

SA--thanks for linking up! I look forward to reading more about your approaches with E.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the mention!

Great point - it is amazing to go back and watch videos to see how far we've come. And she loves watching them too!

mommytoalot said...

So true. We had a sign language video , actually two of them when Joe was little and he loved to watch them both. One was Baby Eiestien. Those videos are so eductational too.
Oh and the Growing Together Series, by Sesame Street are awesome as well.
Sorry I did not link up this week, been crazy busy with the children being home from school. Joey's every move is scheudaled..