THE WINNER IS... Suzie G! You have been emailed and have 72 hours to reply with your shipping information or Random.org will be used to select another winner!
Clara-Bear and Alan are both still pre-school aged, but this super busy summer has given me a glimpse of the future. It ain’t pretty. The who’s, what’s , where’s, and when’s of our schedules and transportation arrangements changed constantly. When school starts, Clara-Bear will have therapy North of us three days a week overlapping with school South of us four half days a week, and we are trying to get Alan into preschool. Fun activities or Mommy's appointments are not even planned into our crazy schedule yet.
I used to think that organization was the key to keeping all this together. This summer has taught me that communication is the real sanity saver. I had the opportunity to review Tickler Tags schedule reminder system and envision how this simple, inexpensive, and flexible communication system can keep your child, your child’s teachers, and other involved adults informed about the current after school plans. I also brainstormed some ways Tickler Tags can help Special Needs children.
Tickler Tags are invented by Nicole Budleski, a Mom whose need to clearly communicate after school plans with her daughter started in Kindergarten. Kindgergarten! Yikes, I thought all that started later. Here’s how Nicole describes the communication system she developed:
Tickler Tags are interchangeable backpack reminder tags that parents attach to their child’s backpack each morning to remind them of the day’s after school activity and transportation arrangements. Tickler Tags are also used to communicate words of encouragement, positive feedback or to remind your little ones of a task they might otherwise forget.
After a couple of missed buses and misunderstood intentions, I developed a basic set of tags to help my daughter remember the day’s plan. Designed to accommodate readers and non-readers alike, the simple and iconic images used within the design of these cards proved to be a local hit. After testing Tickler Tags with local friends and other busy families, I decided to share this solution with other families.
Kids love them because they understand the day’s plan. Parents love them because there’s no more confusion. Teachers love them because they know the “official” after school arrangements.
The selection of Tickler Tags is fun as well as practical. There are Activity Tags for the most popular after school activities and Transportation Tags to tell your child who will pick them up or if they should take the bus. Combine the Transportation and Activity Tags to create a two tag system that clearly shows your child his after school plans and how he will get there.
You can also choose from a selection of Tickle Tags to encourage your child and communicate positive feelings. Tags can be used to remind your child to make an important phone call or to communicate in shared custody situations. There is a custom tag option to create your own Tags with your choice of picture and text.
I had the fun of reviewing a set of Tickler Tags. I got to choose five standard Tags and a carabiner clip color. Since Clara-Bear is non-verbal, my choice of tags was based on what I would want to communicate to her teachers and therapists. If a message is really important, I might clip the Tag to her Dynavox instead of her backpack because that is carried around the classroom with her and I want to make sure the Tag is seen. Clara-Bear learns picture symbols very quickly and the tags have clear and simple images so I know that she will eventually learn what her tags mean.
Because our lifestyle is centered around her appointment schedule, I chose a Tag that says “appointment today” and one for “early release” as reminders for her teacher. I selected the “dad is picking you up today” tag to notify her teachers of a change since I’m the one picking her up 98% of the time.
I also chose two Tickle Tags: “I love you with all my heart” and “You can do it.” I plan to clip these onto her Dynavox from time to time for her teachers or therapists to read to her as a special note from Mommy and Daddy. I surprised my husband by clipping the love tag to his keyring and had to ask several times to get Clara-Bear's Tickle Tag back.
Here are some other ways Tickler Tags can be used as a communication tool to help Special Needs children:
- To reduce stress caused by a change in schedules, routines, or caregivers. Custom tags can be created to prepare your child for school breaks or half days. There is a standard tag for shared custody arrangements so your child will know whose house he will be going to after school. Your child can check his tag ahead of time or throughout the school day to remind himself of a change.
- As a visual schedule. You could hang the tags on a hook for each day of the week and your child can check his week’s schedule ahead of time. If you use a day of the week clothes organizer you can place the tag for the activity with the day’s clothes. A set of cards could be created for daily routines as well.
- To encourage independence. Hand your child the tag for the next day’s activities and let your child help pack clothes and sports equipment.
- Reduce your concerns about transportation miscommunications by hanging Tags on backpacks, lanyards, zipper pulls, lunchboxes, wheelchairs, or assistive technology devices to communicate with teachers, therapists, and caregivers if your child has impaired communication skills.
- Create custom behavioral reminder cards that won’t fall apart before the end of the school year. Use pictures of your child doing the desired behavior or images for stop, wait, etc. The cards can be carried in a wallet, worn around the neck like an ID badge, or clipped to a belt loop so your child’s caregiver will have easy access to the reminders and you can use duplicate cards at home for reinforcement.
- Create simple, portable social stories.
- Make your own reusable reward cards customized to your child's interests. Your child earns a Tag that he can clip to his backpack, belt loop, or carry. Once he collects a certain number of cards, he exchanges them for a motivating reward. Since the cards are durable and waterproof, the same set of reward cards can be used over and over.
- Create a custom med-alert tag to hang on backpacks, lunchboxes, and book bags.
Standard Tickler Tags are $1.50 apiece, carabiner clips in your choice of color are $2.50, and custom tags are only $5.00. Large quantity discounts are available. Planning a fundraiser for your school or organization? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on creating a Tickler Tag fundraiser. There is currently a back to school special at the Tickler Tag site: free shipping on orders of $12.00 or greater through Sunday, August 12th!
One lucky able2able reader will win a set of 5 Standard Tickler Tags and a carabiner clip (no custom tags, ARV $10.00). You can choose from Activity Tags, Transportation Tags, or Tickle Tags, as well as your choice of clip color.
To enter this giveaway, post a comment following the rules below (scroll to the end of the comments and click on "post a comment"). You have the opportunity to enter this giveaway up to 17 times!!:
All entries must have an email address or a public profile. Email me for directions on how to post anonymous entries without sharing your email address.
Mandatory 1st entry: Visit the Tickler Tag site and do some shopping! Select five standard Tickler Tags you would like if you won (no custom tags, please), and also choose a color for your carabiner clip. Post your selection in your comment - shop wisely, what you choose is what you get!
The mandatory first entry must be completed before you can complete any of the following additional entries! You can choose to do one or all of these additional entries in any order.
For an additional 3 entries: Make a fundraiser inquiry through the Tickler Tag site. If your fundraiser entry comment is the winning comment then I will confirm that email contact was made with Nicole. .
For an additional 1 entry: Enter another able2able giveaway. Post the name of the giveaway you enter in a comment here, and while you're there post the name of this giveaway for an additional entry!
For an additional 1 entry: Become a Facebook Fan of able2able... Your Special Needs Resource Directory and post a shout out comment on the fanpage wall. Current Facebook Fans may post an entry.
For an additional 3 entries: Become a public follower of able2able. Post 3 separate comments for your entries as a new follower. Current able2able followers may enter 3 times.
For an additional 2 entries: Post a link to this giveaway on your Facebook status. Post a comment for each entry. Click "Share" at the end of this post to quickly spread the word.
For an additional 2 entries: Tweet the link to this giveaway. Post a comment for each entry. Click on "Share" at the end of this post to quickly spread the word.
For an additional 4 entries: Blog about this giveaway! Your blog post must include links to this giveaway and to Tickler Tags. Include a link to your blog post in your comment. You must post a comment for each entry.
It is very important that you post a comment for each entry. Why? Because a random number generator will be used to select the winner. Each comment will be numbered by Blogger, and I will use those numbers for the drawing. So if you combine entries into one post all your entries will not be counted. There will be no do-overs!
I will verify that the winning entry has met the requirements above, so if your comment for a FB status update is the winning comment then I might ask to see that link, etc. If I cannot verify your entry, then all your entries will be removed from the list and the drawing will be repeated.
This giveaway ends at 11:59 pm (CT) on Sunday, August 15th.
The winner's name will be posted on able2able on Monday, August 16th and I will also email you. The lucky winner will have until 11:59 pm (CT) Wednesday, August 18th to contact me.
Warning - I have been having problems with Gmail holding my sent emails then releasing them with a new release date. I cannot be responsible if your email notice gets delayed by gmail so check back at this post or on Facebook to see if you won!
I was given a set of 5 standard Tickler Tags with a carabiner clip for review. This review was not influenced by any products I received.
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