It can be heartbreaking parenting a child who finds it difficult to mix with other children, gets into trouble often at school, or struggles with learning to read, write and develop number skills, and so often, it is hard to know where to turn for help.
Learning happens sequentially and sometimes, for a variety of reasons, some of these early stages of development can be missed, or be incomplete. As a result many children struggle with various aspects of social, emotional, behavioural, physical and academic learning.
Behaviour as Communication
Children’s behaviours are often their way of communication, when they have really big feelings, and are unable to find the words to express their distress. Research shows strong links between overwhelming events during infancy and early childhood, and gaps in early development, learning difficulties and challenging behaviours.
If you are concerned about your child’s progress or behaviour at school, or at home, I offer a comprehensive assessment and development program aimed at identifying and addressing underlying issues. The intention is to support the whole child, supporting changes, not just for tomorrow in school, but for a lifetime of learning.
The first step is to make an appointment for a chat, where you can share your concerns, and discuss options for supporting both you and your child.
An initial assessment will help to identify your child’s individual needs, and will be followed by a meeting with you to discuss the results. The assessment usually takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours, and will include:
- Fine and gross motor skills
- Sensory development and integration – touch, balance, listening, vision
- Basic auditory and visual screening
- Standardised tests of reading, writing, spelling and number skills if required
- Development history questionnaire, completed by the parent, providing background information about your child, including:
- Indications of missed or incomplete developmental milestones
- Stressful experiences during infancy and early childhood
- Likes and dislikes
- Special gifts and talents
Extra Lesson Program
The Extra Lesson is an internationally recognised development program, designed to help your child by recapitulating missed or incomplete stages of early development through an individualised movement program.
Key Features of my Approach
- Acceptance of the child, reverence for who they are and what they bring
- A place of safety and trust, permission to be themselves
- A non-judgemental space to safely explore deep feelings and emotions
- Learning how to gently self-regulate behaviour
- Safety of a predictable routine
- No rush, no pressure to succeed
- Building sensory and motor skills through movement, craft activities, music, rhyme, rhythm, therapeutic painting, games and puzzles
- Recognition that learning happens at the child’s pace in an atmosphere of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy
I generally see children individually for one hour each week during term time, for a period of about 12 months. A short daily home exercise program will be designed to enhance your child’s progress.
Regular meetings with a parent are important to offer support and to keep track of your child’s progress. This is also your opportunity to discuss anything that is worrying you.
Case studies of individual children, and Testimonials from their parents show that by addressing underlying issues, and building firm foundations for social, emotional, physical, behavioural and academic learning, gains can be seen in the following areas:
- Listening and communication
- Relationship skills
- Self-regulation of behaviour
- Reduced anxiety, anger and frustration
- Development of a sense of self through personal achievement
- Fewer (or no more) meltdowns
- Social skills, such as making friends, taking turns
- Academic achievement, such as reading and written expression
- Improved body awareness, motor coordination
- Increased awareness and understanding of the world around them
- Signs of empathy and compassion
- Closer family relationships
- Growth in confidence and self esteem
If you think this program can help you and your child, please call for a chat.