Step One: Provide a brief context for the child you are studying and the setting
I selected to conduct my observation of school age 6. Among the school-going children at age 6, I chose to observe Tom. A son of single-mother who is 60 year old, by the name Whitney, Tom was born in 18 of November 2013. Tom is in stage 1 in pre-kindergarten. They live next to a big pyrethrum farm and a majority of their neighbors is farmers. He has two siblings, Jane and John, who are grade 3 and five respectively.
Moreover, they have a nanny by the name Mrs. Alice. Tom is about 40 inches tall and his weight is 40 pounds. Children of age between 5- 6 years old tend to play a lot, talk some of the time even when they are only in a room, and can express feelings. However, Tom does not reveal his emotions in an age-appropriate manner, most of the times he refuses to eat causing to behavioral issues and health complications.
Step Two: Involve the Child's Family
How did you establish a relationship with the child's family?
After her mother come to seek help at your offices, she was recommended for home assessment before offering care to Tom. She invited me to her home for one day to that I can pursue with my observations. I went on one of the Friday afternoons after Tom had arrived from school. I tried to make friends with him, but he was cold to me. He went to his room, changed the school uniform come back to the living room, by the time Mrs. Alice was bringing him evening snacks, his siblings arrived. They greeted me warmly and went quickly to change their uniform and they were back to the evening snacks. They ate and even asked for more, but Tom instead of eating he bits ate and threw the rest of the floor. Upon asked he did so, he took the plate and threw it through the window and began crying. I attempted to calm him down, but did not heed to my pleasure, he instead ran away from the dining room and locked himself in his bedroom. Mrs. Alice also stated that he was resistant to nursing, an extremely fussy eater, and, resisted cuddling, when he was an infant. After Jane, promised to play him his favorite cartoon video, he came back to the living room, took his books and worked on the assignment he was given in school and gave Mrs. Alice for approval.
It was routine for the kids to play after they are done with homework in Alice house. Alice invited all of us for a hid and sought game. As we started everyone took part, but after a period of like ten minutes, Tom had withdrawn himself and was busy watching cartoon alone. On the next day, he performed the same.
What did you learn about the child's family and community and how did you learn it?
His condition could have been attributed with staying next to pyrethrum farm, which could have exposed her mother to chemicals from the farms during pregnancy causing her to give birth to a child with autism. Moreover, the age of the parent is another risk factor, the older the parent, the higher the risk of autism in a child, her mother gave birth to Tom at an old age.
What insights into the child's developmental and learning needs did you gain from your relationship with the child's family; and, the immediate and long-term developmental goals the family has for the child?
The school should incorporate learning of soft skills in the curriculum that will equip student with problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, and, adaptability among others.
Step Three: Identify the Child's Developmental Needs
Tom's behavior was evaluated with the SCERTS Assessment Process. This determines a child's profile of strength and prerequisites based on his/her development phase in the domains of emotional and social interaction (Laurentet et al, 2018). Tom has had autism since his infancy stage. This was characterized by a lack of warm expressions, becoming upset easily and tough to calm if feeling distressed. Even at his age, he stills experience emotional and social interactions problems
What are two immediate developmental goals that make sense for this child?
I. Elevating use of emotional words
II. Selecting what he needs to calm himself from choices given
What actions will you take to begin to promote positive development and challenge the child to gain new competencies in each of the two areas that you have identified?
I would recommend her mother to try to increase attachment with Tom. Since the words, he will use to describe the relationship between himself and the mother share a similar descriptive basis. To reduce the rate of which Tom gets hungry, I draw a simple picture illustrating what is wrong and what is right to help him figure out what is expected of him and what is not expected on him.
Laurent, A. C., Prizant, B. M., & Gorman, K. S. (2018). Supporting Parents to Promote Emotion Regulation Abilities in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A SCERTS Model Perspective. In Handbook of Parent-Implemented Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism (pp. 301-320). Springer, Cham.
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