“Paul is a lively child who loves to chat; however, this only happens at home. Although he behaves well at school, but the teacher is concerned about his speech development because he either speaks in a volume too soft to hear or he doesn’t speak at all.” Paul’s mother had originally thought that this was because Paul was still young. However, ever since Paul started school, no improvements have been made.
“How do I help Paul to speak?” This was the mother’s main concern when she first brought him to KickStart.
My first meeting with Paul. He was extremely shy, and he hid behind his mother, clutching at the hem of her shirt. It took a while for Paul to finally poke his head out. He looked at me and this unfamiliar environment through his big teary eyes.
From experience, I know that when faced with an anxious child, the key is to go slow. The first step of any treatment plan is to build a relationship with the child. This is especially important with children who suffer from anxiety. A good first impression will make the rest of the journey easier. Once the child trusts you, they will be able to put down their wall and enjoy the therapy activities.
I learned from the initial phone call to Paul’s mother that he enjoyed playing house and playing with dolls. I took out toys that he would be interested in and began playing with the toys. Paul was soon engrossed in watching me play and came out from behind his mother. I took this opportunity to invite him, and he nodded. We began playing together The first session went by quickly, and it was time to say goodbye. Paul actually whispered a soft “Byebye” to me! I knew at this point that our relationship had been formed.
From then on, Paul adjusted quickly to the classroom environment. He began talking more, each time louder than the last. After about a month, Paul began to show interest in what other children are playing with, and expressed his own wishes on which toys he’d like to play with. After two months, Paul was ready to move on from one-on-one class to group class. However, when he first joined the group class, Paul showed signs of anxiety and talked less than before. Paul’s mother was worried about Paul’s progress.
Whenever this happens, the most important thing to deal with first is the mother’s emotions. The major caretaker’s emotions are often reflected onto the child. Once the mother is calmed, the child will feel a sense of security and stay calm as well.
In the course of the treatment, aside from helping Paul’s mother deal with her own emotions, I also spoke with the mother about the day’s progress after class. During this time, aside from telling her what we did and why we did it, I also taught her tips and tricks she could use at home to help Paul progress further.
For example, I taught Paul’s mother how to use the Wilbarger Protocol (tactile brush) combined with the joint-compressions method. At first, Paul’s mother was only able to work it in once per day. However, after I strong insisted for her to do it at least three times a day, she quickly rearranged her schedule. She noticed that Paul was more relaxed on the days when he had been brushed three times. Of course, aside from the Wilbarger Protocol (tactile brush), we have a collection of techniques to teach the parents We cannot stress enough how important it is to practice these methods and techniques from home!
As of currently, Paul has been with us for about half a yeah. He is completely different from the Paul who couldn’t speak and hid from us at the beginning.
When your child has a problem, such as not speaking, it doesn’t mean that they’re sick. It’s important to seek the help of a professional. Work together to find what the problem is, how to treat it, then implement your plan. We hope that all children will have a wonderful future, beginning with KickStart.
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