Volume 3 | April 29, 2020
Marple Education Center News
Hello Parents,

We want to thank all our parents and caregivers for helping to support our students and teachers during our transition to virtual learning, we recognize this is a difficult time as we are embracing our new normal. Teacher Appreciation Day is on May 5, 2020. We would like to ask any family that would like to include a picture or video snapshot of your child into a teacher appreciation video to share with our staff in appreciation. The picture or snapshot could be of your child holding a picture they drew, a thank you sign, a video of your child using their communication device or their voice saying thank you to the teachers we would appreciate it. If you are interested, please send the pictures or videos to  KComly@dciu.org  by Saturday May 2, 2020.

During this new adventure into virtual learning, we would like to get feedback from our families in order to reflect on our current process. Please click the link below to participate in our parent survey.

Thank you,

Dr. Susan Brousseau and Dr. Kelly Comly
For Art Let's mix up some easy to make Play dough. Here's an easy to follow recipe and a video to watch of the Play dough being made.
This will make a soft ball lump of play dough divide it up and make lots of colors.
 Play dough Recipe:
You will need:
·       2 1/4 cups flour
·       1/2 cup salt
·       2 teaspoons cream of tartar
·       2 tablespoons oil
·       1 cup of boiling water (PARENTS WATCH THAT STUDENTS DON’T GET TO CLOSE)

·       Dump all the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix it all together.


Have Fun Mrs. TC 😊
How to Make Play Dough
Making an Alligator and turtle with your Play dough
Coach Brian's Book of The Week
My book this week is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? This is an excellent book for reading comprehension skills. This story goes through a series of animals in a particular order. The more you read it, the more the readers will remember all the animals in the story!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear Song
Listen and watch this accompanying song to the book. Match colors, and animals!

Give this ten minute step aerobic activity a try!
.Check out this ten minute beginner step aerobic routine. Make sure you have water. You could use a stable, solid peice of wood for a step or simply do the routine on the ground. It is a "beginner"step routine. Do what you can and listen to your body if it is telling you to stop.
The "Pretzel" Stretch
This exercise comes from The Exercise Connection.by David S. Geslak, BS.,. Give it a try and have fun!
Coach Brian's Outdoor Gym Class
This is an shortened outdoor adapted physical education lesson. In it you will see communication and other visual strategies such as "board maker", signs, zones of regulation, core board, schedules, and authentic assessment at the end of the lesson.
Music and Movement Activities
During music classes at school, the students enjoy when I play songs and let them move ribbons or scarves along to the song. To create a ribbon on a stick, grab any ribbon, yarn, or long fabric scraps that you have around your home. Rubber band or tie them to the end of something with a handle that you have at home (I used a spatula; there was a hole already there to run the ribbon through, the handle is a hard rubber, and students may be able to hold onto a handle of this size easier than a small stick). You could also tie these to a hair tie or rubber band for your child to hold or wear on their wrist. Below are two videos for your child to move and follow along to. Feel free to use a ribbon or a scarf for either video.
Like a Girl by Lizzo
Lovely Day by Bill Withers
Online Music Creation
If your child enjoys online activities, you can have them create a song using this music maker game . After selecting a place to create music, students change the heights of the musical bars, changing their pitch. By clicking on the instrument at the bottom of the screen, an accompaniment will play along with their song. You can also change the speed from slow (snail) to fast (rabbit).
Music for Relaxation
I know this school closure and disruption of routine may be causing a lot of stress and anxiety for students. I wanted to provide some relaxing music and activities to help bring calm to your houses. This video is from a board certified music therapist who works with individuals with special needs. He wrote a song about taking deep, low, and slow breaths when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.
At the end of each music class, I turn on relaxing music and give each student a turn playing my ocean drum or a rain stick. Both are soothing instruments that make sounds like an ocean or rain! You can easily make a rain stick with objects from your home. You’ll need the following items:
  • Paper towel tube 
  • Paper
  • Rubber bands/hair ties/duct tape
  • Aluminum foil
  • Rice or small noodles (like alphabets or orzo)
  • A way to decorate the tube: paint, paper, glue, markers, stickers, etc.

Below is a video with directions for how to make the rain stick. After your child makes their rain stick, you can put on some relaxing music and let them gently turn the stick back and forth as they listen. You can check out my relaxing music playlist , which I also sent out in the first newsletter, or the gentle piano music below (I've been listening to this music a lot while I work!).
How to Make a Rain Stick
Relaxing Piano Music
Could a Song Help At Home?
Is there an activity, transition, event, or chore that your child is having difficulty with? Would a song help the procedure go smoother? Whether it's how to unload the dishwasher, brushing your teeth, or time for a preferred activity to end, feel free to email me and I would be more than happy to write and sing a song to help out your child and your family. Let me know if you have any other questions, comments, or concerns. Have fun and keep making music!
- Ms. Amanda almiller@dciu.org
Notes from the Nurse
Healthy and Inexpensive Eating

Many families have lost income during the pandemic and are searching for ways to continue to feed their families. It is also important to continue eating well for good health during this time. Here are websites with inexpensive and healthy recipes.

Here are sandwich recipes that cost less than $1 per sandwich to make.

-Nurse Meghan Donohue
The National Association of School Psychologists suggest several ways to help your children cope with changes from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Be calm and remind your child that your family is safe and you are doing everything you can to stay healthy. Children will react to you and act like you do.
  • Focus on the positives and create opportunities for your family to spend time together.
  • Establish and follow a daily routine.
  • Monitor television, social media, and internet time. Constant news can be anxiety-inducing for adults and children. Information created for adults may be confusing or upsetting for younger children.
  • Explain simple safety steps like staying away from other people, washing our hands frequently, covering our coughs and sneezes.
  • Use appropriate explanations. Try using simple language like, "Adults are working hard to keep you safe".
  • Offer lots of love and affection.
Suggestions from the Psychologists
The OCALI Autism Certification Center is providing free access to their online courses until June 1, 2020 for caregivers to learn strategies to help people with autism develop social skills, independence, and positive behaviors during the pandemic. https://autismcertificationcenter.org/
-School psychologists Lydia Solomon, Susan Howard, Jim Wolf, and intern Lena Costalas
Social Worker Wisdom
Creating Schedules
Creating a daily schedule at home may help your child by developing a sense of structure and consistency. Individuals with autism may cope with changes better when daily routines are minimally interrupted. New routines will have to be created. When possible, give children choices in their schedule, as having autonomy may be reassuring during this pandemic, when so much feels out of control (for example, ask a child what indoor activity they would like to do, whether they would like to play ball in the yard or go on a walk with a parent, etc.).

This short webinar was created by ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) for the Autism and Intellectual Disabilities in PA organization. It focuses on the importance of routines and schedules for children with disabilities during emergency situations. They provide helpful tips and examples of how specific individual/family needs can be addressed. 
Below are resources that you can use to make a schedule at home for your child.
-Jill Shaika, Social Worker
Hume, K., Waters, V., Sam, A., Steinbrenner, J., Perkins, Y., Dees, B., Tomaszewski, B., Rentschler, L., Szendrey, S., McIntyre, N., White, M., Nowell, S., & Odom, S. (2020). Supporting individuals with autism through uncertain times. Chapel Hill, NC: School of Education and Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retreived from: https://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/supporting-individuals-autism-throughuncertain-times