One of the questions we hear on a regular basis is "How do I know if my child needs help?" Today we are going to start answering that question for the early years. Over the next few weeks we will specifically look at older children as well. When looking at children in the Preschool and Junior Kindergarten level, these are some of the areas that could raise concern:
- delayed or limited speech
- persistent baby talk
- pronunciation problems
- struggles to learn new words
- general weak coordination
- difficulty buttoning, zipping and tying
- poor grasp of a crayon or other writing instrument
- lack of interest in learning to print or colour
- inability to grasp numbers, the alphabet, days of the week, colours or shapes
- poor concentration
- inability to follow simple directions
All of these areas underlie specific brain skills that may not be strong enough to ensure long term academic and life success.
As an adult, I have looked back at my own educational experiences. Sure, I was able to pass and yes, I made it through. Sure, I was able to complete post-secondary certification but what was my experience really like? As I look through the above list I can see several areas that, with some brain skill development, may have positively impacted my ability as well as my confidence and self-perception. It is with great passion that I recognize the value of the resources that Breakthroughs offers. Resources like the Listening Program, Get a Grip Kit and Spacewalk are priceless.
Anyone who attended school with me would attest to the fact that I was not one of the most athletic students in my class. Whether a stone existed in the parking lot or not, I would trip over it. I was not able to quickly identify my Rights and Lefts, and my coordination, to say it gently, was weak. I would have benefited greatly from the Spacewalk Program, an activity that works on developing the neural pathways between the brain and the rest of the body.
I loved to colour with my mom. I remember watching her colour with such envy, wishing I could trace the edges and shade in as 'perfectly' as she did. The truth was that I found it painful to colour for any extended period of time. My ability to grasp my pencil, crayon or any writing tool was strained. The tiny muscles in the hand that are necessary for grapho motor skills (writing activities)were weak. Furthermore, my brain did not communicate efficiently with my pencil grasp. Thanks to resources like the Grip Kit, I now have writing that is often complimented.
Have you ever met those really cute kids that just smile and nod all the time? You guessed it, that was me. Sometimes, I struggled to follow the simplest instructions. I understand now that I struggled with Listening Comprehension. I was not able to follow an extended auditory conversation. When the speaker stopped talking and expected a certain response, I was lost. Breakthroughs has a free tool that would have saved my parents and my teachers a lot of frustration. It is called the Listening Program. It is a few steps that, when applied consistently over time, extends an individual’s ability to hear, comprehend and follow instructions. You can download your free copy here.
As I mentioned before, one or more warning signs can dramatically affect a person's education and personal life. Every day, I get to experience individuals who are reaching beyond what is, and are striving for what can be. Clients at Breakthroughs often come on board indicating concern in several areas and with the completion of our Program, go on to discover what life can be like after developing specific brain skills in their own Individualized Brain Development Program.
Download your free copy of the Warning Signs Checklist today for a complete list of signs to watch for in your preschooler. Please contact Breakthroughs if you have questions or concerns, we'd love to help your child move forward.