Neil (name changed) was 3.8 years old studying in Nursery when he came for an assessment. He was a preterm baby by 1 month and his motor milestones were delayed. He also exhibited behaviour difficulties (hyperactivity and inattention). Parents reported difficulty remaining seated, following directions, fearfulness and withdrawal from activities. In addition to this parent also reported he would fidget with things, move around and be restless.
Neil enrolled for the Summer Program for the duration of 3 weeks where he came for Remedial sessions for 2 hours in a week. Plan was geared around fine motor skills, Visual Perception skills, Reading and writing readiness and Receptive and Expressive language skills. A lot of emphasis was given on picture talk, object talk. Flash cards, Videos, Role Plays these were the different techniques used to improve language skills. By the end of 3 weeks 94% of the goals were achieved with 90% accuracy in fine motor skills, 85% accuracy in writing readiness and 90% accuracy in reading readiness, 70% in receptive language and 85% in expressive language. Seeing good improvement in the child, parents re-registered for therapy.
His therapy continued for 3.5 years. Ms. Darshika, the Remedial Educator worked on different areas like Motor development, Communication skills, Social development, Writing and Reading Readiness, Activities of daily living. Slowly once basic skills in literacy and numeracy were mastered she moved on to word reading. Since Neil’s phonics were 100% accurate, they could proceed towards word reading. Main emphasis was given on sight reading, Schonell’s spelling list. To teach Sight words different material like flash cards, circling word from sentence, using word in sentence were used. Schonell’s spelling list- reading out words, using syllabication techniques to spell words, and using words in sentences were used. Slowly focus from word reading moved on to reading sentences followed by short paragraphs and then short stories. Ms. Darshika began with oral comprehension basically asking him all factual questions and recalling details from the story. Then, the biggest challenge came into writing. There was no aversion towards writing but he was not HAPPY writing. So Ms. Darshika started with colourful pattern writing, coloring books, mazes, dot to dot joining, fill in missing letter…..While doing all these activities they found out that it was not that he didn’t like writing but his work was not neat and that was the reason he did not want to write. So they started doing tracing of alphabets, used sand boxes, used sandpaper cut outs and also started with letter and word games in writing. A Handwriting Book was also used so that Neil had some model to copy. This made him confident about writing and his letter formation started improving. At that stage he was almost age appropriate with his skills acquisition.
He was slowly progressing towards Primary School where Ms. Darshika felt the need to include school curriculum in Remedial Therapy. So she started working on the school curriculum. Now the program included a lot of vocabulary goals like spellings, understanding curricular words, meanings, using them into sentences, Reading & Written Comprehension, how to answer questions, how to write composition of 3-5 sentences and paragraph writing. After completion of 3 years of therapy his IEP goals were 100% achieved with 80-90% accuracy in various areas.
Today, Neil is a much more confident and happy child.