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We have a boy of 2 and a half with language issues - he only says an odd single word and these arent clear.

He always have to have a couple of animals in his hand at all times and doesnt like to let these go to eat or do other activities. He wont play with other activities other than the animals

Has anyone any ideas for things to do with him (maybe involving the animals) to help him develop

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did not want to R&R but sounds identical to a little boy we had with ASD , what does he do with animals ? does he pretend play or use any verbal gestures when playing with them ? does he join any other children? what do his parents say about his behaviour , language at home ? etc

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Could you set up a small world farm with a selection of farm animals inside and encourage the little boy to play alongside you. Then you could model making the animal noises, singing 'Old MacDonald had a Farm', talking about how the farmer looks after them etc. Perhaps you could have the song playing on repeat on CD whilst he is playing to see if he is encouraged to join in with the lyrics.

 

Maybe an animal themed role play area e.g. vets, safari bus, aquarium? You could add animal masks, costumes etc to perhaps extend is play, all the time introducing vocabulary and constantly repeating simple words and sentences.

 

An activity such as freezing small word animals in ice may interest him - How can we help the animals escape?

 

It is really hard to try and encourage children to talk but I always try to offer as many opportunities based around their interests and model language. The poor children must go home fed up of my voice!!

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does he play alongside other children and why would you not expect him to be playing with other chidlren at his age ? think bgf has made some good suggestions , could you give him a special box to put his animals in while he eats , and try a visual register so he knows what is happening next .

it may be the animals are a security blanket for him and is fearful they wont come back if he gives them up .

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Oooh, I really like lashes2508's suggestion about a box for the animals to go into whilst he eats.

 

Maybe you could ask his parents to find a box with him and bring it in, then he could work alongside a member of staff and other children to create little habitats for them - using resources based on what kind of animals they are e.g. farm, zoo, arctic. They could even have little water bowls and food bowls that he could fill up for them so they can eat at the same time. You could encourage him to think about what food they might like, providing picture cards or actual food for him to choose from initially.

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At 2 and a half he is in 'normal' development stage of solitary/parallel play. His way of playing with others normally tends to involve him jumping on them quite forcefully but this does seem to have calmed recently.

Thanks for the ideas - I love them!

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to encourage him to speak you could use 'forced alternatives', e.g. say "do you want milk or water?", and then he will hopefully reply. it might help you by hearing how he says milk etc then you will know that's what he is saying next time he says it. helps to tune in to his speech. maybe he could decorate his box with pictures of animals he cuts out and glues on? may develop interest in creative activities then? could he paint an animal/draw one? find animal puppets to explore or put some in the sand x

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Is there any way you could have an animal come on a visit to your setting? Perhaps a parent with a new pet, someone from a local pet shop with an animal, a pet a member of staff has at home?

 

We had a mobile farm come to visit our school last year and the children absolutely loved it. They were so excited at being able to touch the animals and help feed them and that enthusiasm may encourage some speech, however minimal.

 

As long as you wrote a risk assessment and checked all allergies with parents, it would be a lovely experience for all of your children and could help your little boy.

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