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Tapestry

Playing Alongside Or Cooperatively?


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How would you define, in a very short sentence, the difference between these two points?

 

What if the child seems to have special needs, but the parents do not want him to be assessed, making the situation a bit more complicated?

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Playing alongside is when two children may be driving engines around a track and when they meet there is no interaction. So they are using the same things, doing the same things but there's no involvement with each other.

Playing co-operatively they may interact or speak or smile, crash the engines into each other or say 'beep beep' or something. they are involved co-operatively.

 

If the parents don't want a child assessed, your hands are tied. Note down everything you observe that leads you to suspect there may be a problem and that the parents don't want any assessment by anyone. That way you have some comeback.

 

Leave things for now and then perhaps gently mention it again a bit later, using the impetus of better providing for the child's needs if you can get some additional support

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Thank to both of you. Yes, Possum, that is what I have always understood for these two points, but I suddenly was wondering why they put them in the same developmental stage. If it had been in the old curriculum, I would have put one in the blue stepping stones and the other in the green ones, but then and now they stay in the same age group.

 

The thing is that the boy "can" play cooperatively , but only if you remind him to do so. If not, he will play alone or obseve the others playing, get all excited, dance around fidgeting his hands and smiling, but won't pick up a piece of brick to take part of what he is enjoying by sight. He will take the brick and just move it in front of his eyes (like with other things) and smile while moving on his toes. The same is in the playground. The thing is that he sort of knows, because if he sees you are looking at him, he will stop and join a group.

 

Thankfully I had written down my observations and taken movies with my camera, which I presented to his mum in March as evidence of areas in which he was making progress and areas where he needs support. So, at the end of the meeting, it was accepted that if the child required professional assessment, then it would be done before or during Grade 1. This was a big step with his mum because, until then, she would always make an excuse for his behaviour.

 

It usually becomes worse once he returns from a school break or holiday period. It was very sad to see him get so upset and frustrated when trying to achieve a goal or demonstrating flexibility and adapting his behaviour to different events, social situations or changes of routine. After a couple of weeks, things were better. But now this was his last week of school (left earlier before the holiday break) and started to "go backwards" again. Thankfully he achieves well academically (Literacy and Numeracy). He also requires help with fine and gross motor skills.

 

Again, thanks to both of you for sharing your opinions, which confirm I am doing the right thing. Sometimes one doubts of one self :o

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I was going to suggest to observe his 'play' stage in various contexts, plus to observe how he interacts in other 'non play' situations, but hey, you've already done a marvelous job of this, well done you for sensitively getting Mum on board to be open to possible development concerns. However, from what you describe the 'possibility' of development concern looks limited as you say, he adapts his behaviour when he notices he's being observed. :o

 

Peggy

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Yes, Peggy, this is in regards to his play... but not when he gets frustrated. E.g. it is time to go home and he seems to become the 'last one', so he gets 'stuck' with his jacket/coat. He blocks and cannot put it on, even when he can normally do so. The day I had the meeting with his mum, he was upset because he had to wait for her and that she was speaking with me. So the Deputy Head brought him in, but the boy got so upset with his mum that scream at her and slightly hit her. It was so sad. He can have mood changes in a second, but is never aggressive in school.

 

He will become 6 next month.

Edited by SmileyPR
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