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Ask the Expert
 

If you have any queries about A Busy Day then use the form below to put your questions to Rosemary. Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions first as these may answer your query.

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Frequently Asked Questions  

1) I'm a teacher in a special school. I have a child in my class with ASD who does not speak. Do you think this system could help him?

2) My son’s Primary school is using a phonic approach to reading. He is still struggling at the level of a 7 year old and doesn’t seem to be progressing. Could a Busy day help?

3) My 8 year old daughter has autism yet she has a reading age of 14; however her comprehension is very weak. How would a Busy Day help her?

4) I have a child with very unclear speech. Would a busy day help my son with articulation?

5) I teach in a primary school where there are quite a few children learning English as a second language. Would a Busy Day be beneficial to these pupils?

6) Would a Busy Day benefit any pupils in my class? They are aged 6-8 with severe learning difficulties. Some of them have Downs Syndrome or global delay.

7) I am a speech and language therapist. Could I use A Busy Day with the children who are referred to me?

 


I’m a teacher in a special school. I have a child in my class with ASD who does not speak. Do you think this system could help him?

In my experience I have encountered children who did not speak but still possessed the ability to read text.  At stage 1 we start the programme with the aid of lotto boards usually concentrating on a theme that has a special interest for the pupil, i.e. toys, transport etc.  The objective is to help the reader comprehend that text carries meaning.   We teach the child the words by encouraging them to hear gesture and match the words to the pictures, and we check their comprehension by asking them receptively to give the correct word from a selection of three to four words.  To explain further, place four transport words on a table, such as car, boat, bike and train.  Ask the student to hand you the correct word, when the child does this successfully on a number of occasions you know the child has mastered the understanding of that word.   The child can continue to build up a reading vocabulary and even though the child might never speak at least they have been provided with the opportunity to understand that text carries meaning and can begin to read silently.

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My son’s Primary school is using a phonic approach to reading. He is still struggling at the level of a 7 year old and doesn’t seem to be progressing. Could a Busy day help?

 Not everyone learns to read phonetically, some people are naturally visual learners where they will learn to read a whole word much easier rather than having it being broken down into syllables. Perhaps your son is a visual learner. A Busy Day is designed for visual learners, e.g.  When a pupil is asked by the teacher to show them the word car, the pupil is taught to lift the word from the sentence strip and match to the car in the book.
Thus the pupil has successfully demonstrated to the teacher that he not only recognises the object but the accompanying text that goes with the object. Using the programme on a regular basis helps our visual learners develop a whole word vocabulary, which in turns creates feelings of confidence and self esteem in the mastery of the reading process for the pupil.

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My 8 year old daughter has autism yet she has a reading age of 14; however her comprehension is very weak. How would a Busy Day help her?

Some children on the A.S.C. spectrum could be regarded as gifted reader’s, reading text above their chronological age group, but unfortunately their  comprehension of the text does not match that of their sight vocabulary.  By introducing the Busy Day method into their reading activities they are being taught to develop understanding and comprehension of words.

By using a Busy Day the pupil is encouraged to learn the fundamentals of communication. Literally, children are asked to identify objects and their function,  e.g. I would ask a child to show me the duck on page 11, the child is delighted to show his/her comprehension of the object. At this early stage the child may not recognise the written word for duck but she is demonstrating her comprehension of what the object represents.

As the child progresses through the programme she is acquiring a sight and comprehension vocabulary.

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I have a child with very unclear speech. Would a busy day help my son with articulation?

This communication/ reading programme has been specially designed to encourage communication. We advise a daily session with the book where the participant is provided with opportunities to discuss the events that are happening in the pictures., e.g. where do you think the little boy and girl are going with their Daddy on page 7.   What do you eat for breakfast? page 2 etc.  Children with unclear speech are provided with an opportunity to communicate on their level, on topics that they can relate to with an adult.  As they progress through the programme they acquire a written sight vocabulary which hopefully helps to reinforce a clearer speech pattern.

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 I teach in a primary school where there are quite a few children learning English as a second language. Would a Busy Day be beneficial to these pupils?

By using the book on regular basis children learn to relate to written words and the spoken word in a structured approach.  The children start the programme by learning a series of functional nouns relating to every day life, such as clothes, transport, toys and body parts.  The child is provided with the opportunity to physically interact with the word, e.g. the Teacher requests the child to show them words such as arm, leg etc.  The child demonstrates his knowledge by lifting the correct word from a selection, on the sentence strip and placing it on the correct body part in the picture.
This system is a fun way to learn a second language as it provides a visual and kinaesthetic approach to acquire the rudiments of a second language.   It has been trialled in schools where English is being acquired as a second language. Its basis starts with nouns which enable the student to build up a functional word bank before progressing to the more complex process of sentence construction.
 It is an ideal tool for a child to obtain confidence in learning a second language because the process is uncomplicated, and easy to understand.  

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Would a Busy Day benefit any pupils in my class? They are aged 6-8 with severe learning difficulties. Some of them have Downs Syndrome or global delay.

Yes, one of the aims of A Busy Day was to promote listening, attention and concentration skills.  By using the book on a regular basis, establishing it as part of the class routine children learn to associate it as their special one to one time with teacher.  In this situation the teacher is providing a Talking and Listening opportunity, where the pupil can discuss the details that he/she relates to in a relaxed and positive environment.
I had a child with a diagnosis of Tubular Sclerosis, he a was placed on the programme and successfully transferred to main stream reading books,  his Mother was quoted as saying “It is a miracle my son can read!!”
All children develop at different speed; the book can be used on different levels with different pupils in one class.  One child in the class might remain at stage number 1 (Show me the car etc) for a period of time where another pupil could be working at stage 3(sentence structure). The programme is ideal for a class of children working at different levels and abilities.

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I am a speech and language therapist. Could I use A Busy day with the children who are referred to me? 

A Busy Day has been specifically designed as a therapeutic communication and reading tool.   The book has been designed to attract the interest of a child, pages containing images that they can relate to in every day life. At its most fundamental level, oral communication is encouraged between pupil and adult.  To exemplify, the child is encouraged to recognise the object/s in the picture and verbalise or sign their function, e.g. car, the child can demonstrate his understanding by making an imaginary toy car move, can verbalise the word, or vocalise a “vroom, vroom” sound.
Obviously, as the child progresses from one level to another, object, word recognition and language development increases.
 Having established a rapport with the child their concentration, listening and focusing skills strengthen.

This reading programme has been specially designed to encourage communication between child and adult.   We advise a daily session with the book where the participant is encouraged to discuss events that are happening on different pages, e.g. where do you think the little boy and girl are going with their Daddy on page 6 etc.  The book has been designed to be child friendly and I think it would benefit any Speech and Language Therapist.

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