Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Finding Resources: Use What Sticks!

Sometimes you get those kids in your class that just need SO much!  You know the ones!  The ones that have family challenges, developmental challenges, throw in some pretty serious attention problems, behavioral challenges, language understanding and of course huge difficulty in learning and retaining information. 

Where exactly do you start?  Well, I have a very unscientific way of looking at this.  I find as many resources as possible, throw everything at the wall...and see what sticks!  I don't even begin to think that I could tackle all of those challenges with one child in a matter of...oh...let's see....10 months from the time he started in my room until heading off to kindergarten (we have school all summer- this is including the summer months). 

So, we started slow, giving him a chance to get used to new expectations, environment, children...then slowly began adding things in...

...an evaluation for music therapy...check.  Tracking down mom to encourage her to take advantage of a community mental health program offered through school for the child....check.  Therapy dog set up to visit once a week (not just for this one child, of course)....check.   Sensory breaks...check.  Language based computer program offered at school...check.  A daily schedule basically set up to maximize his strengths and work with his energy level....check, check and check!

And, of course, we're also working our butts off to directly teach social skills, model appropriate social and behavioral skills in the classroom, give him plenty of opportunities for practice and a safe place to feel he can come to each day. 

It's funny, when people realize you are interested in taking advantage of outside resources, they will often help track down these things for you!  (I had almost nothing to do with tracking down the therapy dog, our wonderful SLP did this!  She has another child in mind for the reason behind this- but we all know it will help several children.)

So, sometimes, just keep throwing things at the wall...something WILL eventually stick and make a difference for that challenging child!  And sometimes you may find that each thing and each person plays a part in helping that child!

(Keep in mind, this is a HIGHLY active child who needs continual one on one assistance.  This many outside resources may be overwhelming for most children...not this one :)

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