Developmental Disabilities

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Vision/Hearing

Sveta 2-1/2 Years Old

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Description:  Sveta is a small–boned blond, curly-haired boy who is 2 ½ years old. At the time of the observation, he is unaccompanied by his mother, but shows no anxiety or withdrawal as a result of being in the classroom without her. Sveta’s activity level is high; his mood is pleasant and his attention span and distractibility are average that is, he attends to toys like spoons and cups, for a short time, then shifts to an activity like playing with the basketball hoop for a much longer duration.

Sveta engages other children easily; but his method of playing with other children is not welcome; for example, he takes away trucks from another boy, but when the boy tells him to go away, he does not understand the social cues and persists in trying to take the toys away. Sveta aggressively interferes with anyone or anything that is an obstacle in his way. What he sees is what he wants!

Assessment: Sveta’s large muscle movements are above average for his height and weight and his strength is excellent. Sveta uses his high activity level instead of using his words to get what he wants. Sveta mimics the expressions and words of adults. For example, he runs down the hallway, peeking, holding the hand of Susan, saying “Bacca, Bacca,” and “Hi.” Sveta does not control his aggressive behavior. For example, Sveta falls and rolls over two girls who are playing with dolls. He runs into the girls’ toys without regard to consequences. Sveta shows signs of spatial delays, impulsivity, and visual-motor problems with distance, location, and perceptual awareness, but he does not appear to be on the autistic spectrum or have attention-deficit disorder at this time.

Recommendations:

  1. Help Sveta control his impulsivity and spontaneous outbursts. His friendliness is a great asset, so compliment him on his ability to play with other children, and give him physical hugs and hold his hands when he starts to become aggressive!
  2. Sveta is a good role model for all children. Give him simple puzzles and ask him to choose a friend to share the puzzle. Teachers should take turns bringing another child to play with Sveta because adults can help him control his behaviors.
  3. Teach Sveta three verbal directions critical to his progress: (a) direct him to ask permission to play with children who are nearby by asking “can I?” (b) Ask him to say “please” when he wants something and (c) ask him to go to a corner of the room to get control of himself and relax.
  4. Give Sveta helpful classroom occupations, such as, choose him as teacher’s helper in the classroom. Give him tables to wash, cupboards to straighten, or spoons to count. Give him gentle touches and hugs and taps on the shoulder all through the day to comfort him. Sveta’s impulsivity has helped him survive his home situation; value it and try to channel it in helpful ways,
  5. Stress group activities for Sveta. He does not understand how to join in and hold hands, sing, dance or share food and toys. Use circle time and group songs and games to help him learn these social and emotional skills.
  6. Arrange six activities in a closed loop circle, by taping off the circle area and placing the toys for each activity inside the taped area. This closed loop strategy allows the children to visualize how to start and finish six sensory-motor activities placed around the circle of tape on the floor.  Sveta will gain self-control and improve group dynamics by doing this every day.
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