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Need help finding activities ideas for dd13 (long)

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How it works in CO, the child visits and chooses a club. Some are project specific, such as cattle, and some are general. We found general clubs worked better for us. Clubs usually meet once a month. The children do presentations, service projects, learn parliamentary procedure, etc. Then the child also meets with their specific projects. So, the child might belong to "Golden Glow" but also meet with the pie baking kids or the fiber sheep project kids. My kids have done cattle (market and breeding), sheep (fiber and market), chickens (market and layers), ducks, turkeys, welding, candy, pastry, spinning, weaving, dogs (both GDB and obedience), cake decorating, sewing, costume, archery, .22, shotgun, Horse Bowl, horse, vet science, dairy cattle, photography, video, and taught water conservation. They've been to the state capitol many times on all sorts of trips. 4-H was a huge part of our homeschool lives. 

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Special Olympics is open to all that qualify for an IEP....so it might be very different than you imagine.  My foster son with just LDs qualified and loved it.  

I noticed a big switch with activities that were the K-6 range and then the 7-12 range.  My kids did great in the K-6 activities/field trips, etc.   About 7 the grade or so though the expectations really ramp up and that is where our kiddos struggles become a lot more apparent.

Some individuals participating in special Olympics drive, have their own apartment, and/or work full time.  It is a very encompassing group.

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47 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

Special Olympics is open to all that qualify for an IEP....so it might be very different than you imagine.  My foster son with just LDs qualified and loved it.  

I noticed a big switch with activities that were the K-6 range and then the 7-12 range.  My kids did great in the K-6 activities/field trips, etc.   About 7 the grade or so though the expectations really ramp up and that is where our kiddos struggles become a lot more apparent.

Some individuals participating in special Olympics drive, have their own apartment, and/or work full time.  It is a very encompassing group.

I didn't realize it till you said it but, that is different than what I imagined. I know about 5 lovely people who participate and they have a range between Down's Syndrome (low functioning) and significant Cerebral palsy. I had a connection to Special Olympics in the very early 90s and they were low functioning as well.  I know there are higher functioning people who participate, but I didn't really think about how I have an imprinted (biased) image based on those experiences. While typing this, I remembered that I only know these people participate because the parents told me. If I asked someone what their weekend plans were, and they said 'I have a soccer game', I would assume they were part of the elite soccer club near my work.  LOL This could be good for both of us. :) 

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I think Special Olympics sounds great.

Some ideas..... what does she do in PE at school?  Could she have an IEP goal at school for an activity she might do at home also?

Could she have an IEP goal for leisure skills in general?  
 

Special Olympics was not for anyone with an IEP when my son was in it.  I think it varies by location.  My son did one season and it was great for him.

WRT what Ottakee said about it getting harder at older ages ———— I heard this too BUT there were still options that were easier, from my understanding.  
 

I heard certain team sports were more demanding, that they would not be a good fit for everyone.  
 

But track and field my son did was the one I heard worked for a lot of people doing something easier.  
 

Where we lived there were seasons and some seasons might work really well for one person but not another, depending on needs.

I talked to a high school special ed teacher about this and she was very helpful about knowing what would be a good fit for my son at his age.  (Edit — she was a contact person for Special Olympics.)
 

With your daughter at school a drive away, there might be more social opportunities in your local area that you are not hearing about (as they often send flyers home from school ime).  A lot of churches sponsor events, and so do some advocacy groups.  She is a good age to look into that.  You might be able to find out about other options while checking on Special Olympics (if you mention it — a contact person may know about other things going on).  There may be game nights, activity nights, Valentine’s Day Party, type of stuff to try out.  
 

Edit:  It has been a while but iirc I do think some people only did the track and field season and it was 2-3 months long I think.  We moved after that season.  So for where we lived, Special Olympics was year-round but that didn’t mean everyone who did it, did it year round.  I know too, to sign up for one of the teams included a commitment to traveling for a tournament 2 hours away.  At the time that would not have worked for us.  But I think it depends a lot on location.  

Edited by Lecka
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I also think Special Olympics would be a great idea.  Many schools here also have Unified Sports and Best Buddies programs that perhaps would also be a great fit.  Unified sports here is a daily gym class plus afterschool games, meets and sometimes dances.  Best Buddies is similar but is more social.  Because it is a more narrow age range perhaps that would be a better fit. I know Special Olympics can include adults and kids but Unified would just be peers.  Another option would be to see if there is a branch of the TOPS soccer program nearby that also has a mentor type program for special needs kids. 

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Call high school athletics director, they have the scoop on the Unified Sports program offerings.  Here, one doesn't have to attend the high school in order to participate.

Also call the varsity women's swim coach and ask if she knows of any special needs offerings in the area. Your dd may enjoy learning to dive, playing water sports etc rather than lap swim.

At 13, exercise bike can be part of her day...it's not hard on the knee.  It can't be her sole exercise because its not weight bearing, and she needs weight bearing to build bone density. The other classes/groups that are active at the beginner level here are dance groups and music groups, as well as 4H and scouts.

On the food, I was on a med that caused weight gain...but the advice to counter that is spread it over five small meals AND get the exercise to release the necessary hormones.  The doc never really told me what was going on, but after I saw the bloodwork  I realized the med was raising my blood sugar so high that everything I ate was getting shunted into fat storage even though I wasn't in the pre-diabetes zone.  For me, a two hour bike trail ride was the only thing I found to help....I am not fit enough to lap swim that long and there isn't anything else available locally in the daylight hours other than walking and shooting hoops.  HIking locally is not strenuous enough for me to keep my heart rate in the zone and either way its not safe alone.  I graduated to running on treadmill and on weekends hiking steeper elevations. 

Do you need activities while home, or just afterschool? What is enjoyed at church youth group?

 

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As for just getting her out, what about volunteering at the local food pantry?  There are a few lower IQ kids who come help at ours.  I'm wondering about other civic groups that do things like community garden, highway clean up, park clean up, ect.  Even our small town has civic groups that work to plant flowers at the park, help older people do yard work, ect.  

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Civil Air Patrol didn’t end up appealing to my son, maybe in part because locally it was a very small group with no one near his age to be friends with—and it might not be right for your daughter either. However, Portland/Vancouver is supposed to have bigger and more active CAP groups.  

Plus a head person for PNW (alas I can’t recall her name) was in Vancouver and so think had being a school librarian as her day job.  She was very helpful when I spoke with her.  If she’s still involved she might be good to talk with, not only about CAP,  but also she may have other suggestions for activities in Clark County. 

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Here is a link.  It is pretty active as you need to run them through the course.

 

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11 hours ago, Tap said:

I checked the gyms in our immediate area. They are all competitive and not adaptive. Her sister was a cheerleader for 5 years. I think she would like it but her physical issues would limit much of what a cheerleader does (even just basic floor/arm movements). I will keep this in mind though, I think she would enjoy and adaptive program. 

Also, call rec and school programs. I know of six special needs teams in my region-two competitive rec, three at all star gyms, and one high school. I would call, not base it on websites-I know that DD’s gym’s website does not get updated even as to what teams they have each year. 

 

USASF encourages special needs teams, including CheerAbilities (usually developmental disabilities/multiple disabilities) and for gyms to host special Olympics teams and paracheer (ICU) teams. CheerAbilities athletes get free registration with USASF, teams get special deals on uniforms (similar to what Title I schools get) ,  and free athlete registration for competitions.  NYAA cheer has Shining Stars, who, again, coaches are incentivized to run. The Sparkle Effect is a similar outreach for school teams, to either do a parallel team, or to include special needs athletes on their sideline teams. 

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Another option is call your local Kiwanis.  Ours has Aktion Club which is for individuals with unique needs but they partner up with community groups too.  Coat was $5/year.

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I grew up in the Seattle area.  You just need to dress right!  We biked and walked and hiked year round.  I also lived in Germany for 4 years, similar climate, a lot of rainy days, the Germans go out and do their walks, bike, walk to their shopping, etc. in every type of weather, they dress for it.

You need waterproof shoes with a good tread, a long rainproof jacket with a hood (hood, no umbrella) and lightweight waterproof pants to go over whatever pants you normally wear. Zip on or button on waterproof pants to make it easy to take on or off if it stops raining and you start to overheat is nice.

There are a lot of nice hiking trails and areas in the PNW.

She might have more social success with children younger than her, or helping out younger children with something she is moderately good at, through church, 4H, in the neighborhood, etc.  

Here is an example art idea that anyone can do, even if you have no artistic ability, doodle in your traced hand with designs.  (I have no artistic ability, LOL, my children's art turned out better than mine from age 5 up, there is artistic ability on my husband's side.). You can also do this with animals or any solid shape, trace a shape and fill in with doodles.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/55943220343851585/

 

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I've kept up with one of my volunteers from my first group class about 10 years ago.  She was helping raise her Grandkids with her single son.  Her son died and she was the one relative her Grandkids had, she was in poor health and didn't want to leave them on their own.  She posted her walks on social media to help chart her progress and ensure accountability.  At first, she could barely walk a block.  Within a year, she was doing 3 mile walks!  A bit after that, she was doing more challenging 4 and 5 mile hikes!!  Charting her progress was motivational for both her and people who followed her on social media, she encouraged many to be more healthy.  

She is also a strong Christian woman with interesting posts in that area; her life has been challenging but she always perseveres and tries to find God's will and strength in everything.

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If you're looking at fitness classes, you may want to try weight lifting. My gym has great weightlifting classes to music. Students ages 13+ can join. 

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I was going to recommend martial arts, but I see that you've already considered that and it won't work. Could she volunteer at an animal shelter? Maybe she could walk the dogs. Would she like geocaching? One parent I know who has an autistic child requires 10,000 steps on the Fitbit before he can have screen time. I don't know how that would work for other kids. I think it helped them, because it was something concrete that he could control.

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7 hours ago, ElizabethB said:

I grew up in the Seattle area.  You just need to dress right!  We biked and walked and hiked year round.  I also lived in Germany for 4 years, similar climate, a lot of rainy days, the Germans go out and do their walks, bike, walk to their shopping, etc. in every type of weather, they dress for it.

You need waterproof shoes with a good tread, a long rainproof jacket with a hood (hood, no umbrella) and lightweight waterproof pants to go over whatever pants you normally wear. Zip on or button on waterproof pants to make it easy to take on or off if it stops raining and you start to overheat is nice.

There are a lot of nice hiking trails and areas in the PNW.

She might have more social success with children younger than her, or helping out younger children with something she is moderately good at, through church, 4H, in the neighborhood, etc.  

Here is an example art idea that anyone can do, even if you have no artistic ability, doodle in your traced hand with designs.  (I have no artistic ability, LOL, my children's art turned out better than mine from age 5 up, there is artistic ability on my husband's side.). You can also do this with animals or any solid shape, trace a shape and fill in with doodles.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/55943220343851585/

 

I agree about the right clothes, but I work and don't get home till evening. It isn't just damp, it already dark or getting dark by the time we could go, walk and get back to the car.

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14 hours ago, Lecka said:

 

Special Olympics was not for anyone with an IEP when my son was in it.  I think it varies by location.  My son did one season and it was great for him.

 

 

Special Olympics does vary by state.  Special Olympics brands themselves as being specifically for individuals with Intellectual Disability, and it sounds like Tap's daughter doesn't meet that strict standard, but many states will extend eligibility to individuals with other developmental disabilities (e.g. ASD or CP) who need similar levels of support, and some may extend it even more widely.  In my state and the neighboring one, based on what Tap has described, her daughter would qualify.  

Another thought I had is whether she's motivated by money, and would be interested in walking dogs or other activities that would get her out and moving.  Logistics might be challenging though.

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10 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

 

Special Olympics does vary by state.  Special Olympics brands themselves as being specifically for individuals with Intellectual Disability, and it sounds like Tap's daughter doesn't meet that strict standard, but many states will extend eligibility to individuals with other developmental disabilities (e.g. ASD or CP) who need similar levels of support, and some may extend it even more widely.  In my state and the neighboring one, based on what Tap has described, her daughter would qualify.  

Another thought I had is whether she's motivated by money, and would be interested in walking dogs or other activities that would get her out and moving.  Logistics might be challenging though.

This post led me to search to see what the qualifications are. She does meet the qualifications. Her IQ is 70, she is diagnosed with slow processing speed, find motor skill delays, and Autism. She is in 7th grade and read/writes at 2nd-3rd grade level. She is 13 and was diagnosed with all the above a few years ago. 

  1. IQ is below 70-75
  2. There are significant limitations in two or more adaptive areas (skills that are needed to live, work, and play in the community, such as communication or self-care)
  3. The condition manifests itself before the age of 18

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On 2/2/2020 at 8:17 PM, Tap said:

This post led me to search to see what the qualifications are. She does meet the qualifications. Her IQ is 70, she is diagnosed with slow processing speed, find motor skill delays, and Autism. She is in 7th grade and read/writes at 2nd-3rd grade level. She is 13 and was diagnosed with all the above a few years ago. 

  1. IQ is below 70-75
  2. There are significant limitations in two or more adaptive areas (skills that are needed to live, work, and play in the community, such as communication or self-care)
  3. The condition manifests itself before the age of 18

I would talk to your local area coordinator.  The Autism may combine with the IQ to make her eligible, they may have latitude.  

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2 hours ago, ElizabethB said:

I would talk to your local area coordinator.  The Autism may combine with the IQ to make her eligible, they may have latitude.  

 

She seems to clearly meet the eligibility without special latitude 

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Just now, Pen said:

 

She seems to clearly meet the eligibility without special latitude 


Many people and organizations set the IQ line for ID at 69 (plus other criteria) or below, others will extend it to include individuals with IQs up to 75 under certain circumstances. So she’s in a gray area.   This is one of the reasons why accessing appropriate services for adults with IQ’s in the 70s can be so challenging.  My guess is that if Tap had to look up the criteria the school district hasn’t documented an ID diagnosis.

Having said that, in every state I’ve had experience in, a kid with an ASD diagnosis who clearly needs extensive support would be allowed to join Special Olympics.

 

 

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2 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


Many people and organizations set the IQ line for ID at 69 (plus other criteria) or below, others will extend it to include individuals with IQs up to 75 under certain circumstances. So she’s in a gray area.   This is one of the reasons why accessing appropriate services for adults with IQ’s in the 70s can be so challenging.  My guess is that if Tap had to look up the criteria the school district hasn’t documented an ID diagnosis.

Having said that, in every state I’ve had experience in, a kid with an ASD diagnosis who clearly needs extensive support would be allowed to join Special Olympics.

 

 

She does have an ID diagnosis at school.  She was diagnosed by neuropsych eval and the school district holds that as the golden rule here.  It helps with her IEP status, because her math/reading scores are so low. She learns but  doesn't retain. For the past 4 school years, she has started math at 2nd grade level. No matter how far they get in her math book in the school year, she loses the material and starts over at 2nd grade (addition/subtraction) in the fall. Even through the school year, she looses any progress on material they aren't actively using.  I think the school likes the diagnosis on her record, so it doesn't look like they aren't doing their job. LOL She also has an Autism diagnosis via a highly regarded psychiatrist (it is listed as a diagnosis on her neuropsych and IEP as well).  When the school tried to do their own testing of her, she destroyed an office and hid under a desk. The examiner tried to test her 3 different days, and each day she refused to finish the tests. They were happy to have the existing testing, so they could stop putting her and the examiner through the evaluation process. 

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1 minute ago, Tap said:

She does have an ID diagnosis at school.  She was diagnosed by neuropsych eval and the school district holds that as the golden rule here.  It helps with her IEP status, because her math/reading scores are so low. She learns but  doesn't retain. For the past 4 school years, she has started math at 2nd grade level. No matter how far they get in her math book in the school year, she loses the material and starts over at 2nd grade (addition/subtraction) in the fall. Even through the school year, she looses any progress on material they aren't actively using.  I think the school likes the diagnosis on her record, so it doesn't look like they aren't doing their job. LOL She also has an Autism diagnosis via a highly regarded psychiatrist (it is listed as a diagnosis on her neuropsych and IEP as well).  When the school tried to do their own testing of her, she destroyed an office and hid under a desk. The examiner tried to test her 3 different days, and each day she refused to finish the tests. They were happy to have the existing testing, so they could stop putting her and the examiner through the evaluation process. 


Ah then misunderstood.  She will 100% qualify anywhere with an ID classification on her IEP.

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