Ira demonstrates a tactile book she has created for her students on the topic of brushing teeth. In this video, Ira talks about the importance of using a simple visual presentation to meet the needs of her students. Each page of the book includes a tactile representation, print, and braille.
PADHYE: Hi, my name is Ira Padhye. I'm a teacher at Perkins School for the Blind in the Deafblind program and I'm here today to talk to you about adapted books.
Now I'm talking to you about the social story I've made about brushing teeth.
I really like to create social stories, or experience stories, for my students who are between the age ranges of 11 to 13 years old.
They are totally blind, hearing impaired, and also have cognitive delays.
It is really hard for me to find age-appropriate materials for my students, that at the same time have simple language that they'll understand, so that's why I really enjoy creating these social stories.
This story in particular about brushing teeth I've made because for our kids who have sensory impairments, brushing teeth can be a very stressful thing, and a lot of our students are tactilely defensive.
This book breaks it down into 5 easy steps that the students can anticipate and make it, hopefully, a little less stressful.
So like students with vision impairments who need simple visual representation, I like to think about making something a simple tactile representation for my students, so that means one picture, or one object, and only one or two brailled words, which gives them the whole idea of each page.
So in this case, I've broken it down to "Brushing Teeth", into "I go to the bathroom."
This is a piece of underwear. A piece of underwear is meaningful to my students because my students are toilet trained.
If your students are not toilet trained, probably a piece of underwear is not meaningful and in that case you would use either a diaper or something else that signifies going to the bathroom. And only the "bathroom" is brailled.
"I put toothpaste on my toothbrush."
Again, I've used the actual object; I've used an actual toothpaste tube and the head of a toothbrush, and a little puffy paint to signify some toothpaste, but it gives the same feeling of toothpaste.
"I brush my top teeth."
It was very hard for me to find something that felt like our own teeth, so in this case I used some laminate, that gives that some glossy feeling that our own teeth have.
"I brush my bottom teeth."
And then "I drink a cup of water." This is a little paper cup that my students use when they go to the bathroom. It's a little loved right now, but it gives you guys an idea.
So, when I read this book with my students, sometimes I bring it right into the bathroom. We read the book together and then we re-read it again and at each page we actually complete each step of the story.
This way the students are in control of brushing their teeth. They can look ahead and anticipate what's going to happen next. They can also anticipate when it's going to finish, and hopefully this will decrease some of the negative behaviors that are around brushing teeth.
So this is just an idea that I've had and hopefully you guys will be inspired by it too, and that's today's teachable moment.