A teacher in a childcare program shares her perspective a few months after Luke, a three-year old boy with developmental delays, has joined her classroom (running time: 1 min. 53 sec.).
Over the past several months Luke’s made some great progress in the classroom, both on his communication goals and with peer interaction. I think he’s a lot smarter than what people give him credit for. We just need to find more specific strategies to help him use his own voice and express himself. And that’s where I need more help.
Usually I work one-on-one with him, while my co-teacher handles the rest of the class. During circle time, my co-teacher will lead the group, and I try to keep Luke engaged. I’ll whisper little comments to him, that sort of thing. Without the individual attention, Luke struggles to play or participate like the other kids. He’ll go back to spinning bowls or fixate on a favorite car, and isn’t interested in the group activity.
I see Kathy, the speech therapist using play sequences so I’ve been trying those out as well. I think it’s starting to help. I really wish she could be in the classroom more and teach us how to use his spring board. That way we could use it in more activities. Right now we only use it at meal time. He’ll ask for foods and tells us when he’s finished.
Another thing I am still getting used to is understanding how the people in other agencies outside our program, fund and support Luke. I am learning that there are a lot of requirements around his IEP and I need to communicate and collaborate with those folks as well.
But seeing the smile on Luke’s face coming into school every day – that really makes it easier and fun doing our job. The other morning, I arrived late to class and Luke noticed. He left a favorite activity to come over and greet me. He gave me a nose kiss and said “Hieeee”. It meant a lot to me that he knew I was there.