Solutions For Parents

Let Me Introduce Myself

Let Me Introduce Myself Zahaar

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Zahaar is an attractive, energetic and curious boy who has a physical disability and mild autistic-like behaviors, such as staring, twirling and some lack of interest in others in a strange situation. His left leg and foot are pronated, spastic and dystonic. He receives therapy but uses not special therapeutic appliances for walking. Zahaar’s mother reports she considers his development normal and his capacity to learn average, although she feels he needs to learn more rapidly and with less attention to his disability.

Zahaar’s mother appears to be an attentive teacher who teaches him songs, takes him on outdoor excursions, and exposes him daily to events, situations and experiences from which he eagerly learns rapidly, according to his mother. These activities are appropriate, but he lacks social and interpersonal relationship skills. His mother feels strongly that he belongs in a normal kindergarten classroom at the appropriate time, and does not want Special Education options for her son.

Susan notes Zahaar’s energy level is average and that his intellectual competency is within normal range. His language skills are at age level, but the observer notes that Zahaar needs more focused and intense reading activities and writing and drawing exercises. He will also benefit from oral language games with his teachers and parents, such as rhyming words and games of naming “what will happen if…?” and What do I see?” He does not appear to be a shy boy; thus, he must learn to converse with other children and to share enjoyment with others in a group.

Zahaar needs practice in drawing images on paper, making projects out of scrap materials around the home, and building structures of all kinds which he can combine with his love or cars and vehicles. Teach him intellectual tasks such as recognizing objects by (a) the number of objects in a set of similar objects, (b) by size and shape and width and length, (c) and by reading daily stories with parents. He is old enough to help with simple cooking and other chores around the home.

Zahaar needs to attend more directly and to pay better attention when he is with adults and other children. He does not seem to know how to play with a role playing idea in his own mind. He seems to lack purpose. The observer notes he sits apart, fiddles and stares. However, from observing his play with cars, the observer notes that his behavior is appropriate with adults, and he is a clever boy.

Zahaar is capable of learning through discovery and self help techniques. Susan notes he is ready for preschool instruction including some reading and writing readiness activities. He will then form friendships and to be part of an age-appropriate group. He needs an orthopedic opinion to determine more effective ways to normalize his walking and balance, and he needs physical exercise in the form of playing some sport that he enjoys. A team experience would be excellent progress for him. Thank you for allowing me to visit Zahaar and his mother.

Ask Dr. Susan