An essential aspect of managing the challenges of a child having Special Needs is recognizing that the norm is not enough. We must get creative and behave like scientists trying different theories and putting them to the test. That is how Thumball™ developed into an effective tool for teachers and parents to use.
As a speech pathologist working with students having multiple disabilities including Autism and other communication disorders I needed to get attention, keep focus and maintain motivation so we could reach our individual goals. Thumball had a positive impact on all areas.
The challenges of daily life and learning are compounded when a children feels overwhelmed, unmotivated and isolated. Thumball engages players in a natural flow of toss and catch which promotes eye contact and social skills.
When a player lifts their thumb they get to respond to the panel under their thumb. It might be to name words in categories, answer questions about things they like or act out an emotion (18 designs available). What matters is that focus and attention are activated so the learning can take hold.
Students report feeling "smarter"' when they play Thumball and having "more fun in school". They show interest in others and build interpersonal skills. They expand their vocabularies and they learn to offer or ask for help with less reticence.
Schools are choosing Thumball as an innovative fund raising event. Parent Associations are motivated to offer a quality made product that is educational, fun and gets students moving. With the rate of childhood obesity steadily rising, cooke dough and candy bar drives are not the message they want to send to students.