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Child that is having difficulty listening and understanding


Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

We have a child aged 4 who we are trying to support in terms of his listening, understanding and processing skills. He just seems zoned out at times! You could be talking to him on his level have eye contact and he is really not following you at all. We ask the children to say lift their table mat and a cup then bring it to the table and this is something we do every day with them - just repeating the words so that they remember but he never seems to click. He will sit down at the table without anything and it takes him quite a time to be told repeatedly that he needs the mat and cup to have snack. Similarly when he goes to wash his hands he will stand and look in the mirror for ever before he remembers he is there to wash his hands. Today for instance he was sitting at the play dough table when he noticed a child in the dressing up area with a hat on. He jumped up from the table and ran to the child, grabbed the hat from his head and started walking round and round in a circle. The other child was distraught and he never clicked that it was because he had taken the hat off. It took us quite a few moments to bring him back to his original play. What would you suggest we use/do? As I say even talking with him face to face and on his level, eye to eye is not working so what should we do instead? We have tried whispering, talking basically everything but to no avail.

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My younger daughter zones out like this when she is getting too much sensory input and can't cope with processing it all. At those times you can talk to her and she will look at you, nodding in the right places, and take nothing in.

 

Have you tried taking him into a calmer space, perhaps another room, giving him a moment and then using very simple clear language to communicate with him? If this works it may be that he simply can't process your speech in the busy preschool environment. You could also try using visual prompts like pictures of the cup and mat to show him when he needs to get them.

 

I find very simple language better too. So I might say "Hands wet" then "Soap" then "Rinse" then "Dry" perhaps with some matching gestures to guide him through the handwashing process as he may simply be struggling with the process as a whole.

 

If these strategies work for him you need to record it carefully as it could be helpful for a future assessment process.

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Guest terrydoo73

Thanks. I tried today to speak very calmly and very slowly and I think it worked but 2 minutes later he was away again. For instance I said to him don't empty all the box out just take one out at a time. That was OK then 2 minutes later he lifted the box up and emptied it! When I went over and spoke to him and showed him putting all the cars back into the box first of all then lifting one at a time he decided to move onto something different - and I had done the tidying up for him!

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Would it be possible to have less out? At the moment we have a "tipper" - we just decant things like cars, wooden bricks into smaller baskets and leave the main bulk tucked up in the cupboard - if they are a tipper, then there is less to tidy, so they may not think it so daunting a task to help, plus, it's easier for them to find something - not such an over-whelming choice - as the grand old saying goes 'less is more'. Gradually you could add more to the basket as he gets older and not in a tipper frame of mind or begin to put out your whole box again.

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Would it be possible to have less out? At the moment we have a "tipper" - we just decant things like cars, wooden bricks into smaller baskets and leave the main bulk tucked up in the cupboard - if they are a tipper, then there is less to tidy, so they may not think it so daunting a task to help, plus, it's easier for them to find something - not such an over-whelming choice - as the grand old saying goes 'less is more'. Gradually you could add more to the basket as he gets older and not in a tipper frame of mind or begin to put out your whole box again.

 

Gosh Tippers are exhausting are they not!!! :blink:

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Guest terrydoo73

Funny never thought of this! When I think of it he does pull a lot out at the time - bricks too and when it comes to water he wants everything in there at once! Must try and look at this again tomorrow!

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With regard snack try limiting instruction eg "first....mat". "then cup". Allow him to make this a two step activity. A photo of the mat and cup may also help him to process the instruction.

 

With regard the tipping out all the cars, as Panders said. start with a small choice of cars, too many can be overwhelming and some children are unable to make a choice.....so they take them all. Support and model choosing which cars he would like, keeping language to a minimum and making it clear eg. "John choose"...."John chose a red car". If he tries to tip them all out gently say "stop" and repeat "John choose" . Sounds like he needs time to process instruction and support in play skills.

 

Hes like a 'kid in a toy shop'. ....he wants them all!! : ) : )

good luck....

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