PREPARE FOR PREP
Before a child is ready to start ‘big school’ they need to have developed the foundational skills necessary for Prep so that they don’t struggle with the demands or pace of learning at school.
This group is for children beginning Prep the following year who need extra assistance to ensure that they are ready to thrive, flourish and enjoy school.
The group will be run by a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist and will target the following:
pencil control and finger strength
attention and listening skills
Big muscle strength and coordination
and hand eye coordination (this is important for learning to write!)
and organisational skills
expressing their ideas
(following instructions, concepts etc)
The program is tailored to support each child’s needs through discussion with families, pre-school teachers, and other health professionals involved.
Parents will be provided with a summary report at the end of the group and suggestions/activities to continue their progress after the program has finished.
The Prepare for Prep groups are run for 3 half days – 9am till 1pm in the January school holidays.
Children will bring their own lunch and participate in a ‘lunchtime at school’ with social support.
SOCIAL SKILLS GROUPS
We are fortunate to be able to run our group sessions within schools and early learning centres.
Carryover of social skills teaching is more easily achieved if ‘worked on’ with the child’s peers as they can then replicate the game/session throughout the week. It also teaches other children on how to engage in the right way for your child.
The groups focus on building the foundations for social interactions and play skills needed in everyday life. Skills such as turntaking, eye contact, reading facial expressions and body language, functional play, problem solving, responding to instructions, initiating and maintain interactions, building peer relationships – the list goes on and on!. The program is tailored to the needs of your child.
The groups can be ongoing over the year or for a targeted time, for example a term.
Below is one of our popular school groups –
LEGO Therapy is a social development program for children with social communication difficulties or kids who need to work on their social skills.
It is based on Collaborative Play Therapy because children work together to create LEGO models. It facilitates joint attention, shared goals, social communication and co-operation.
LEGO Therapy works on social skills such as:
- Turn taking
- Team work
- Awareness of self and others
- Listener awareness
How it works
Sessions will last around 45 minutes (depending on the children in the group). There should be 3 children with an adult to facilitate (if possible the group should be mixed ability to include 1 typically developing peer to be a role model to the others).
Small LEGO kits are used (kits available from stores such as KMART for around $5). For the later stages larger boxes of mixed LEGO are needed. The children will work together to follow the instructions and build the models.
Each child will be given a clearly defined ‘LEGO job’ and they must stick to this job role rather than overstepping into each other’s role throughout the sessions. Jobs are changed at set times throughout the session e.g. use the timer or specify how many instructions in the instruction booklet.
LEGO Therapy is great because it is a positive strategy to use as it focuses on what children can do rather then what they can’t do very well i.e. you’re coming to the group because you are good at LEGO and/or building things not because you ‘need help with your social skills’
LEGO Therapy Jobs
- Engineer: Looks at instructions, and tell the supplier which pieces to get. Then tells the builder what to do with the pieces.
- Supplier: Listens to the Engineer and finds the pieces, checking back with the engineer if they are right. Then passes them to the builder.
- Builder: Listens to the Engineer about what to do with the pieces and builds the model, again checking back with the engineer that what they are doing is right.
Your therapist may recommend that they initially work 1:1 with your child to introduce the concept and will bring in other children once the child is able to understand and stick to their job role without prompts.
During the group sessions the therapist will need to initially set up the group and structure the session. They will need to prompt children to stick to their roles and the group rules.
However, after a few sessions the therapist will start to step back and will eventually remain mostly silent. This is to allow the children in the group to work together and resolve problems on their own (or with minimal prompts e.g. “We just had a problem, what was the problem? Not “you shouldn’t snatch, give it back”)
LEGO Therapy Levels
Level 1: Building with an adult using simple LEGO kits
Level 2: Building with one or two peers with an adult as facilitator, using LEGO kits
Level 3: Freestyle building with peers with an adult to monitor
SPEECH SOUND GROUPS
At Joy Therapy we want to make sure that our families can access therapy in a relaxed and cost effective way. We are lucky that we are able to service our children at their daycare or kinders. Sometimes we have several children at the one centre that can work together, therefore reducing the cost for families.
The children will focus on their individual speech sounds that they need to develop and parents will be provided with follow up material each week to practise.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
If you have any questions about our groups, please contact us on 5976 2570 or email us.
To get in touch with us please fill in the form or feel free to call us on
PO Box 3467 Mornington Vic 3931
We are here to answer any questions you have regarding speech pathology and occupational therapy for your child. We will get in touch with you within 24 hours of your enquiry.