My name is anonymous and I am currently attending a FETAC level 5 childcare course in St. Joseph’s College Newport. As part of the ‘’Disability Awareness’’ I was required to complete a journal of learning as a reflection of my experience on work placement. I was also required to submit five separate journal entries based on different tasks or activities that I carry out with the child I was supporting.
I carried out these activities over a period of five days during work experience. I have put together the planning of my chosen activities, the child’s specific needs, benefits of the activities and outcome in an easy to read report format.
Planning The Activities
The activities took very careful planning and quite some thought as the child has Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) so I chose activities that the child would not only enjoy but would also benefit from. The first activity I chose to carry out I felt would be beneficial to the physical development of the child which would involve ball throwing and also moving objects to particular places which I felt was also beneficial to cognitive development. The second and third activities were based solely on cognitive development such as, colour sorting and differentiating between large and small objects. Both fourth and fifth activities were the same and focused on the language development of the child which I found to be most important as this was the area the child seemed to be lacking the norm ability of his age. As well as the child having a learning disability there was also a language barrier because of his nationality. These were all factors I considered in brief of my actual planning of the activities.
Date: Monday 28th January
Location: Classroom in crèche
Person’s present: Myself, Child’s SNA and T.C
First I introduced myself to the child using very simple phrases and clear hand gestures, as the child is only 3 and a half years e.g *point to myself while speaking my name repeatedly then pointing to T.C and saying his name so he understood what I was try to show him. His SNA was very helpful with the activity as she has her own way of teaching and communicating with him by using only the key words in sentences so if I needed him to sit down she would point to a chair and repeatedly exclaim ‘’sitting’’. I gave the child a basket with several soft balls in it I then placed in from of him another basket and with the aid of his SNA I explained to him that he needed to throw the balls from his basket one at a time into the other one. T.C’s mobility seemed to be very stiff although he seemed to enjoy and repeat the activity several times he could not grasp the concept of letting go of the balls at the right time but each time he would throw them the same way and only let go when his hand was straight up in the air. This resulted in all the balls only being flung behind him or into the air and land straight in front of him rather than three feet away in the basket.
Qualities and skills required
The qualities that I found were mainly required to assist the child in carrying out the activities were to be of course : friendly as well as understanding and enthusiastic to encourage the child.Good communication skills, tact and patience are important also as the child is quite behind the norm development of his years and needs a lot of help and understanding.
Patience and calmness were two qualities I found to be most important in this instance because when T.C panicked I myself panicked ever so slightly as I was worried about the child having an outburst. The SNA however remained perfectly calm and just held the child and reassured him everything was ok. She also explained to me that If someone around him is frustrated that he will become overwhelmed and panic even more in fear that he has done something wrong.