Just made for children autism or with special needs otherwise, this waterproof chart goes directly into the shower to help the child take care of personal hygiene with some independence, some assurance, some thoroughness.
Here’s the procedure.
The Hughes Brothers are sold on the attention to detail, the sheer amount of solid information on a chart measuring but nine-by-eleven inches. The steps follow.
· Turn on water. (with a neat little inset showing the “just right” temperature setting on the shower knob)
· Wet body.
· Get 1 pump of soap (with a visual instruction to push down on the soap dispenser, labeled “3 in 1,” indicating the soap’s usefulness as a shampoo, a facial cleanser, and a body cleanser)
· Wash hair.
· A repeat now: get 1 pump of soap.
· Wash face.
· Wash ears.
· Wash neck.
· Rinse all soap off.
· Get two pumps of soap.
· Wash chest.
· Wash arms.
· Wash stomach.
· Wash legs.
· Wash feet (with a cautionary instruction, “Lean on wall.”)
· Wash private area and bottom.
· Rinse all soap off.
· Finished. Turn off water.
· Get towel and dry all off.
· Great job.
Please understand that each of these guidances is accompanied by a cartoon drawing of a happy unisex kiddo going modeling the prescribed action at every step. We see, for example, the smiling little person leaning on the shower wall, one leg lifted up and over the opposing thigh.
An encapsulation of the chart’s byproducts
· Independence – The ease of these step-by-step instructions builds quick understanding in a child with ASD, knowing now that daily showering is a necessary task that can be completed without parental assistance.
· Confidence – Parents may relax a bit; the child is safely and completely achieving self care.
· Enjoyment – The child will find good fun in learning a daily ritual that perhaps heretofore had been difficult and time-consuming.
· Familial Peace of Mind: Parents may take heart in the knowledge that with this daily assignment now being managed by the child, even as other skills, other responsibilities, other goals seem not just possible, but likely.
Help for children with autism, of course, but for all children in fact
Such charts as these, designed by parents for parents, focus on helping children learn, for themselves, by themselves. While charts and schedules have long been an integral part of raising children with autism, the same teaching and learning methodology applies to all young people, visual learners most especially.
The Hughes Brothers find it troubling, however, that the details of manufacture, the mechanical, logistical failings of some products prevent the flowering of some good pedagogical ideas. Sadly, we’ve seen some well-intentioned products go astray. An extended example follows.
Autism Product Review Visual Morning Routine Chart
A companion to the showering chart just reviewed, this products makes full, permitted use of the picture communication symbol images developed by Mayer-Johnson (whose value has been discussed in another Hughes Brothers review). As we reported there, the Mayer-Johnson symbols are the most common visual symbols used in the teaching and development of children with learning disabilities, largely because of the ease of the symbols’ understanding and implementation. The theoretical basis of the Visual Morning Routine Chart could not be stronger.
This chart has been widely panned by parents who found the product, in many instances, dysfunctional. Their came complaints of its size, too small for easy following. Of its difficulty of placement; that is, the chart doesn’t really hang, it doesn’t really sit. Of its problematical management of cards. Of insufficient storage for the cards.
Minor imperfections perhaps, but the functional gripes proved in many cases sufficient to looking past the good, good message of the cards, their wonderful symbolism.
MORE INFO: HOM ABA/OT Approved Step-By-Step 100% Sealed and Laminated Shower Chart for Kids. Ideal for Children with Autism or Special Needs. Helps with Teaching Self Care. PECS Charts, Visual Schedules, Aids