Keeping Your Kids Happy

Montessori Nursery School And Your Down Syndrome Child

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Montessori Nursery School And Your Down Syndrome Child

Most parents are a bit apprehensive when it comes to choosing a nursery or preschool for their children. Parents of special needs children have added concerns. A child with Down syndrome is likely to thrive in the right environment, so as the parent, you want to be sure you make the right choice. Montessori schools may be the perfect environment for your special needs child. These schools have been around since the early 1900s. According to the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association, there are now approximately 20,000 Montessori schools worldwide. These schools have served children in all walks of life, including those with special needs. Montessori Methods Montessori schools work differently than other schools in that they allow children to learn at their own pace. Even nursery and preschool age children learn, play and discover as they are ready. No child is pushed to do something that they aren’t ready to do. Teachers are trained to observe children and make adjustments to the materials as they see fit. Knowing that a teacher is watching out for your child and his or her individual needs is excellent news for parents of children with Down syndrome. The Montessori environment is set up in stations that are child-friendly. The stations have toys and learning materials that allow the children to work individually or in groups. Teachers are there to help and guide children as necessary. Some of the things you will find Montessori schools helping to promote are: The ability to make choices. The stimulating classroom setting allows children to choose what activities they want to participate in. Children with special needs may be restricted in other settings. A sense of community. Some activities will require the children to work together. This is especially important for preschool age children who are learning to socialize and share. They can become more comfortable with children who are different from them.  Building self-esteem. Children who work at their own pace and are encouraged along the way will feel a sense of accomplishment. The school also requires that children respect one another at all times. Learning to be respectful and being treated with respect both help to foster healthy self-esteem. A sense of responsibility. All children are required to clean up after themselves. Your child along with his or her peers will be learning that in spite of their differences they can and should live cohesively. This atmosphere provides a lesser chance of teasing or bullying than other school environments. Special needs children are usually accepted and befriended by their peers in Montessori settings. Age Groups Montessori schools group children by ages. Most schools follow the same age groups. For nursery and preschool, you will find two age groups: Ages birth to 3 years old Ages 3 to 6 years old Dr. Maria Montessori spent time observing children and came up with the age groupings she felt helped children with their development. The benefit for your Down syndrome child here is that he or she can move at their own pace. They will be in the same classroom for three years with the same classmates, allowing time to learn and absorb the materials. Your Child and Montessori Schools Children with Down syndrome are all individuals. Your child’s special needs may not be the same as another...

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3 Ways To Engage Children With Autism In Group Play

Posted by on Aug 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Engage Children With Autism In Group Play

As a daycare worker, caring for children with autism can be a challenge. Children with autism spectrum disorders often have difficulties engaging with their peers, which can make it hard to include them in group play. Here are three activities you can use to help engage autistic children in your care in group play in the future. 1. Plan activities that give children the opportunity to pretend play. Experts believe that pretend play is vital in helping children develop the skills needed to function within a social relationship. Language and communication skills develop when young children pretend to be dinosaurs or use toy foods to make a meal. By having groups of children in your daycare engage in pretend play, you can give autistic children the opportunity to participate in this sophisticated form of play. Be sure that you pay attention to the toys or activities the autistic child is drawn to, and incorporate these into your pretend play to encourage higher levels of participation. 2. Provide the opportunity for your daycare charges to engage in sensory play. Children with autism spectrum disorders can have difficulties processing sensory information. Things like texture, smell, or sound can be overwhelming, causing the child to withdraw. By introducing sensory play into your daycare, you can help autistic children become more acclimated to the sensory information they receive each day. Studies show that sensory integration can be beneficial in helping autistic children become more independent in social situations. Providing sensory play for all the kids in your daycare will give both autistic and non-autistic children a creative outlet for learning development as a group. 3. Plan a craft that allows an autistic child to express his or her creativity. Autistic children can benefit from participating in activities that allow them to use their creativity. By providing a craft like ice painting, you give all the children in your daycare the opportunity to bring their inner worlds to life on paper. This simple craft requires only some ice cube trays, colored paints, popsicle sticks, and paper. Fill the ice cube trays up with paint, and stick a popsicle stick into each cube before placing the trays in the freezer. Once the paint is frozen, have your daycare children hold onto the popsicle sticks and paint images on paper. These types of crafts bring all the kids together as a group, while giving autistic children the space they need to feel comfortable. Getting autistic children to engage in group daycare activities can be difficult. Try planning activities that incorporate pretend play, sensory information, or creativity to improve the likelihood of your autistic charges engaging with the group. For more information, contact a company like A Child’s View Learning Centre Ltd day...

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