Free Play, Circle Time and Transitions
When a child is cognitively delayed caregivers/teachers must try to incorporate the child’s level of ability (Allen, Paasche, Langford, and Nolan, 2006). Several ways to help the child during free play time are the caregivers/teachers have to break down the activity, and go through it step by step in order to help the child complete the task (Allen et al., 2006). The teacher must try to use different types of activities such as, music, movement, and sensory materials. Help the child in these different activities by showing them and interacting with them (Allen et al., 2006). The materials should be easy to use and keeps the child’s interest such as, easy puzzles, crayons, and pictures of everyday things (Allen et al., 2006). An example of an activity the teacher can do is Sand and Water Play, where the child can first hand see the changes of the materials used. They can also make their own hypothesis, this way they open their imagination and start to think (Koralek, Newman, Colker, 1995). When there is group activity, give the child the chance to become involved, which can occur during circle time. The child with special needs will function better if the group is decreased to a small size, rather than the whole class (Allen et al., 2006). A couple ways the teacher/caregiver can help the child during transition times are throughout the day it is easy for the child to remember things if the caregiver/teacher are always repeating things (Allen et al., 2006). Also be consistent with schedules and routines (Allen et al., 2006). Physical Challenges
Physical challenges are the inability to perform some or all of the tasks of daily life (Encarta Dictionary English-North American). When a child is physically challenged caregivers/teachers must accommodate their lesson plans to include the child with a disability. During free play time the caregiver/teacher must give the child numerous opportunities to gain experience in developing their fine and gross motor skills. Some examples of fine motor skills are to, set out crayons to draw which will help them develop their handedness and how they hold the crayon in their preferred hand (Allen et al., 2006). Set out the easel, the child will be able to develop control of the paint brush (Allen et al., 2006). Water play, the child will be able to pour water in and out of objects (Allen et al., 2006). Building blocks can be used, such as Lego to stack and balance (Allen et al., 2006). Puzzles and beads can also be implemented to develop their eye hand coordination, the use of their fingers and wrist (Allen et al., 2006). Some examples of gross motor skills are to, set time for large muscle play (outside playground/gym) to run, jump, hop, skip, catch, and throw (Allen et al., 2006). A balance beam is a good way to help children walk steadily across without stumbling (Allen et al., 2006). During circle time caregivers/teachers can play a game where the children will have to use their large motor skills to play. Visual Impairments
“Vision loss includes the following conditions: blind, partially sighted, blindness and low vision” (Allen et al., 2006, pp. 102). Visual Impairment affects many learning areas such as language development, where they should be able to see the object to identify it as well as in cognitive development; they will fall behind in concept formation (Allen et al., 2006). As well in the motor development, the infant will also fall behind in crawling, reaching, and walking (Allen et al., 2006). And finally in social development, the children are losing out on interaction time with the children, because they are not able to participate (Allen et al., 2006). When a child is visually impaired the teacher and parents are the main source of support. Using sensory activities such as, touch, taste, smell and hear to help strengthen their skills and ability (Allen et al., 2006). Hearing, for example is tracking sounds...
References: Allen, K.E., Paasche, C. L., Langford, R., & Nolan, K. (2006). Inclusion in early childhood programs: Children with exceptionalities – Fourth Canadian Edition. Toronto, ONT: Nelson/ Thomson Canada.
Germain, C. (2008). Article for special-needs students. Academic Search Premier. 143, 55-71.
Shipley, D. (2008). Empowering children: Play based curriculum for lifelong learning (4th ed). Scarborough, ON: Nelson.
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