In our previous two chapters, we have covered on early childhood within the age groups of 2 to 6 and hopefully had given enough points to parents in order to be well prepared for their child with special education needs both mentally and physically in facing the new school environment. Children aged between 4 to 6 years should be proficient in several basic skills necessary in understanding better and more complex knowledge once they reach primary school. Today we will focus once the children are six years of age, as a parent the focus shifts towards financial contribution to ensure their child will be able to master the knowledge necessary. The type of knowledge and skills that a child will learn in primary school is more advanced and complex compared to when they are in kindergarten.
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Financially for this age of children with special education needs, the therapies required for them needs to be suitable with their age group. This is to ensure that the child is able to adapt to the new developmental milestones that they need to achieve. Parents will need to balance out on payment for their children in terms of school fees, books, stationeries and other necessities including therapies. Thus, the selection of therapy centers becomes crucial as the parent’s financial capacity is not only to get their special education needs children in control but also their academics. Therefore, affordability and what a therapy center is able to provide to complement the required syllabus for their child comes into play.
As a child ages, especially children with special education needs, their developmental milestones change drastically. Based on their now improved skills and capabilities the children can learn within a primary school and acquire new knowledge in various fields. In the previous developmental milestones, they are more focused on basic calculations, geometry, alphabets and basic thinking skills but at this age range they are exposed to a slightly more complex but fundamental basic to acquire new type of knowledge. So, let’s explore each of the developmental milestones of this age group.
In terms of physical development, the child will grow in height for about an average of 2 to 2.5 inches per year. During this age range, they are able to exhibit a wide variety of physical skills such as throwing or catching a ball or even more athletic skills including some natural variation in growth rates. Most of these children would have so much energy, so its important for them to perform various physical activities to burn them off. Not only that, their fine motor skills have also evolved as children in this age range are more adaptable in drawing, writing letters, able to recognize and understand pictures or stories. They are also able to do more complex task such as tying a shoe.
The key milestones of this stage which they are able to achieve are:
· Improvements in locomotor skills such as running, jumping and skipping
· Stronger hand-eye coordination which is necessary for tasks such as passing a ball or carrying small items
· Listen and follow instructions in a sports game
In terms of emotional development, children within this age group are more wary of their emotions and others. They may be able to understand complex feelings such as if they accidentally made others upset or hurt someone else’s feelings. Some even may want to do their very own self-care such as choosing their own clothes, wash themselves or even comb their hair. In fact, parents should also take part helping their child with special education needs with their self-care. Furthermore, the child is able to develop more complex and meaningful relationships with adults and peers to be more wary of the world around them.
The key milestones for emotional development of this stage are:
· Love to show off their own talents
· A more developed self-control skill
· Better emotional control that improves over time
In terms of social development, children in this group are able to adapt to seek and form relationship or friendship with family and friends. They will feel more secure and comfortable in forming relationships with those close to them. They are even more comfortable to share stuff with their family and peers. However, there would be times where they will have scuffles or rivalry between themselves and their peers but their tension will be dispersed very quickly. In fact, their social skills will improve gradually and eventually they will be able to work out differences for themselves without any parental supervision.
The key milestones for social development are:
· Teamwork and friendship become the of the child’s attention
· Children feels accepted and liked by certain group of peers and family members they interact with.
· Children shows intention to be more independent from the family.
In terms of cognitive development, children will be able to justify what is right or wrong and understanding the consequences of their actions. In addition, their attention span constantly develops to be much longer than before comparatively to the earlier ages. Furthermore, they are more capable to handle more complex project or tasks given to them either at school or at home. They are also more inquisitive about the world outside exponentially, so help them explore the world safely as they will pick up various ideas and concept of the world.
Speech and Language
Speech and language are one of the most important skill a child needs to acquire and at this age, they are able to develop independent reading. In fact, they may also enjoy reading short chapter and are capable of retelling basic plot points and even point out the best and worst parts of what they have read. They may even begin to enjoy writing stories, especially about themselves because their creativity and interest are constantly developing with them. In addition, they will also start to know more sight words that are more easily known or familiar when memorized rather than it being sounded out or spoken. They are also capable of breaking down words into sounds, which makes it easier for them to speak and familiarize with the word’s usage more frequently including improvements in vocabulary. They are also able to spell a wider array of words but they may still make minor mistakes such as spelling “flew” as “floo”.
In terms of play, most children within this age group are able to differentiate between “fantasy” and “reality” in terms of perception. In fact, some of them may be interested to do what their parents do and mimic them using various toys available to them such as taking pictures or pretend cooking in the kitchen.
The key milestones for play are:
· Participation in simple group activities such as outdoor games or board games
· Telling the time in a day
· Replicate complex shapes in multiple ways similar to origami
Other than the aforementioned milestones in the article, there are other milestones that should be acknowledge as well. Most children of within this age group are perfectionist. They refuse to make even a single mistake or even an error as such losing in a game due to their performance makes them feel unacceptable for their defeat. In addition, they develop a strong sense of justice as such they perceive the world works either in ‘black’ or ‘white’ and no gray areas in decisions or opinions.
Brightling Program (soon-to-be BrightFuture Day Care Centre)
There is a whole lot of preparation required to prepare a child with special education needs for school specifically in training and nurturing necessary skills. Among them are proper therapies and education program to improve the child physically, mentally and socially. When presented such situation, parents may need to find the right therapies and consultation to observe the progress of their children during school hours in terms of their behavior, skills, knowledge and social expressions. Our Brightling program is specially designed to provide both academic and life skills for children with special education needs with priority on essential component of learning and with the Cambridge Curriculum (IGCSE) syllabus. Every 4 months, their learning goals and objectives will be reviewed and monitored to ensure a smooth pacing and that they will excel in some areas. Our Brightling program syllabus covers, music, movement, sensory play, mathematic for numeracy, individual and shared reading, English literacy, information communication technology and also extracurricular activities such as free play, pre-vocational skills, executive functioning and science projects. Our Brightling program is capable of ensuring that your children with special education needs are well equipped for their school life at affordable prices.
Take a look at the children's ice painting artwork in the Brightling Program. One of their activities during their electives for art and craft!
In conclusion, children with special education needs deserves to progress in school and so parents need to be capable to manage financially for them. The therapies they need may differ based on their physical and mental capability as they progress. Therefore, parents would need to balance their financial needs between therapies and education and be well prepared financially to ensure an efficient and effective growth of their child to be future leader or intellectual for the nation. For parents who are seeking for education for your child with special education needs, look no further than our Brightling program.