Readiness for Mainstream Education: Is Your Child Prepared?
School Readiness: Is my child ready to go to mainstream?
Choosing the right school for children with ASD and ADHD can be tough for parents. When kids reach school age, parents often feel pressured to enroll them. However, we’ve seen that some children struggle in school because they aren’t fully prepared. This can lead to stress for both parents and children.
Story 1: A Boy with ADHD
Meet Ken, a 7-year-old boy having a hard time at school. He finds it tough to stay calm, often daydreams in class, and has trouble following rules. Teachers complain that he interrupts class a lot and doesn’t listen. When teachers correct him, he sometimes throws tantrums and gets sent to a discipline room. He also gets upset easily and even fights with his classmates.
Story 2: A Boy with ASD
Now let’s look at Tim, an 8-year-old boy with his own school struggles. Loud noises bother him, and he shouts at his classmates when it’s too noisy. He doesn’t like to go to assemblies or sports events because they are loud. Changes in his regular school schedule make him very upset. He also challenges teachers, like when he insisted on doing math during Malay class because he thought the lesson was over.
Story 3: A Boy with Speech Delays
Then there’s John, who is 8 years old and has trouble speaking. He can understand basic instructions and follow rules, but he often gets upset and cries because he can’t keep up with lessons. He has a hard time making friends and joining group activities. His emotions are also unstable, and he gets really upset when things don’t go his way.
More Than Just School Stuff
School readiness encompasses more than just academics and cognitive growth. For children with special needs, preparation isn’t solely focused on mastering reading, writing, counting and spelling. It’s also about equipping them with the abilities to navigate diverse social expectations and situations. As such, the significance of social-emotional development and language & speech proficiency cannot be overstated; these factors play a pivotal role in determining a child’s success in their school journey.
To help parents understand what kids need before starting school, we wrote a helpful article. Let’s learn together and make sure our special children have a good time in school
What is School Readiness?
- Following Rules
Teaching your child to accept and follow rules, like staying seated, lining up, walking together, and waiting patiently. Follow school rules is a fundamental skill that empowers them to function well in the school environment.
- Embracing Change and Challenges
The ability to adapt to changes, such as adjusting to a substitute teacher or a modified school timetable, is a crucial skill for your child to develop resilience and succeed in the school setting.
- Taking Care of Themselves
Equipping your child with the skills to maintain personal hygiene, look after their belongings, manage their recess time, and follow a schedule enables them to be independent in the school environment.
- Meeting Higher Expectations
Helping your child understand that primary school comes with greater expectations for independence, maturity, and adherence to rules and authority. This is essential for their success in this new setting.
- Maintaining Calm
Keeping themselves calm is valuable. It’s beneficial if they can control fidgeting, avoid getting overly excited, and handle problems without overreacting.
- Sustaining Attention
Ensuring your child can focus during lessons is vital. This allows them to fully participate in and grasp the content being taught.
- Planning and Organizational Skills
Primary students are expected to independently complete assigned tasks and collaborate in group activities. You child should had developed basic organizational abilities that helps them navigate these responsibilities.
Speech and Language Development
- Using Simple Sentences
Your child should able to communicate their needs and feelings using simple sentences. They should also be able to ask for help (e.g., “Teacher, my book is missing”) and explain themselves (e.g. “I cried because she took my book.”)
- Comprehension Skills
Ensuring your child comprehends spoken language is vital. They should be able to understand not only instructions but also more detailed explanations that go beyond short sentences.
Social and Communication Skills
- Understanding Social Norms
Your child ability to show empathy, awareness of social norms & boundaries, and emotional understanding could help your child navigate social interactions effectively.
- Social Interaction
Knowing basic social skills, such as greetings, friendliness, showing respect, and being assertive, is important skills for your child to establish positive relationships with others.
Introducing Kidz Steps: Your Partner in School Readiness
Before embarking on their educational journey, it’s crucial for children with special needs to establish a solid foundation in school readiness skills. Kidz Steps Centre is here to offer an effective intervention program designed to meet this essential need. Our goal is to equip children with the necessary tools to confidently step into their school life.
Early Intervention Program (Ages 3 to 6)
Our Early Intervention Program is tailored to children between the ages of 3 to 6 with ASD or developmental delays. We understand that each child has unique needs and challenges. Through this program, we address these individual requirements comprehensively. Our approach includes exposure to fundamental academic concepts while also focusing on personalized growth. Each student benefits from an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), thoughtfully crafted to foster their development as independent learners.
Our IEP encompasses the following key components:
- School Readiness Skills: We concentrate on honing skills that empower children to smoothly transition into a school environment. These include following instructions, managing emotions, adapting to change, and adhering to routines.
- Holistic Development: Our program embraces a well-rounded approach to education. Alongside academic themes, we emphasize social skills, communication abilities, and self-regulation skills.
- Tailored Approach: Every child’s IEP is uniquely designed, considering their strengths, challenges, and developmental milestones. This ensures a targeted and effective learning experience.
Enrichment Program (Ages 7 and Above)
For children with ASD and ADHD aged 7 and above, our Enrichment Program offers a continuation of growth. This program is especially designed for those already attending school but who could benefit from ongoing support to further enhance their skills.
The Enrichment Program focuses on:
- Social Skills: Building the ability to interact with peers and navigate social situations with confidence and empathy.
- Self-Regulation Skills: Cultivating the capacity to manage emotions, maintain calm, and adapt to various challenges.
- Communication Skills: Enhancing the proficiency to express thoughts, ideas, and feelings clearly and effectively.
At Kidz Steps Centre, we’re dedicated to nurturing children’s potential and setting them up for success. Our programs are crafted to address individual needs while fostering a strong foundation for academic and personal growth. Join us on this journey of empowerment and watch your child thrive.