Cause and Effect: Empowering Your Child

By: Katherine Vuocolo

Cause and Effect can be defined as the concept that an action produces a response.  By learning cause and effect a child is learning they have the power to change and affect the world around them.  What an empowering concept!  I am going to share a few ways to explore the concept of cause and effect with a child that has multiple physical challenges.

 

What you will need:

Exploring:

A power link is a device that allows you to plug in common objects and make them accessible through a switch or button.  You could use a power link to help your child have access to things like Christmas lights, fans, a blender, a radio, or a lamp. The “Hop On” method is a great resource for teaching a child to hit a switch independently.  (learn more about “hop on” in this blog post) Here is a video of a student hitting a switch with his head and turning on a fan!  Through exploration this child has learned that when he hits the switch he turns on a fan.  He is often hot and given a fan to help him cool off, he is now empowered to turn a fan on and off as he pleases in order to meet his own needs!

 

Tips:

  • When choosing an object that you would like to plug into the power link be sure to choose an activity that will be motivating. If you are working with a student who is startled easily a blender might not be the best option!  Christmas lights or soft music might be a better idea.
  • If you are allowing your child to turn on and off music, have their favorite song ready to go with an appropriate volume level.
  • If you are providing the opportunity to turn on and off a light be sure to start out in a dark corner or room.
  • Keep in mind there are many ways to access a switch. A child may use a foot, hand, head, shoulder, or whatever works best for them!

 

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