Helping Parents Help Their Child

I have a child in my class that I am concerned about in a developmental issue. From what I observe and have heard from his sister's teacher from last year, EVERYTHING is done for him and I believe he is developmentally behind.

No interaction with other kids. He plays by himself. I have a child in class who takes things and displays aggressive behaviors to specific children because he knows he can, and this child is a target. The other day, this other child took something from him, and I encouraged the child to say "stop, that's mine." He didn't say anything. Doesn't speak at all. When he does speak, it's "A Mama", and that's it. It's like he has one emotion, and he always looks like he could burst into tears at the snap of a finger.

If we say " ' go to _____and _____' ", he stands there, waiting for someone to do it for him. He cannot wash his hands or turn on the water. A few weeks ago he stood in the bathroom crying because someone wouldn't turn on the water for him. He has no interest in an open cup, and cannot drink from one without spilling it on himself-he needs to be fed the cup, similar to feeding a baby their bottle. If he is not fed his cup, he doesn't drink anything the entire day.

M stays home and D works from home. My guess is that everything is done for him. I have spoken to M about this, who said she is trying to work with him at home, but then she seems like she is something which I cannot figure out.

He turns three at the end of January, and I want to help him, only I'm not sure what to say to M about his lack of social skills and communication, along with self help skills. I know that she did say when she enrolled that she enrolled him because she noticed the lack of self help and communication skills.

Then there is the other child. I wrote about this child a month or so ago, because curiosity makes me wonder what the nanny actually teaches him. He too cannot use an open cup, and has no interest in doing so. We noticed he was unable to drink from an open cup, mentioned something to the nanny when she came to pick him up. We stated in a positive manner, "hey, we noticed he isn't using an open cup and doesn't drink anything all day when he is here. Does he use an open cup at home for you?" She didn't answer the question and blew us off with an attitude.

The nanny is there full time, and he is with us part time, two days per week. I feel like if we see something at school, we should be able to ask the nanny if she sees the same behavior at home, and vice versa. I feel as though it should be a team effort between all of us (myself, co teacher, the nanny) and the parents.

Mom is aware he is not using an open cup, and said he prefers bottles to drink milk. There is a younger sibling at home (just turned a year) and most likely still gets bottles, which is understandable if the sibling wasn't introduced to a cup. This child needs to be fed an open cup, or he won't drink anything during the day. Most of my class is 2, and they are able to use open cups. Even the two youngest who just got into the classroom two weeks ago having just turned two are able to use open cups.

I realize each child develops at their own pace. But parents and those who care for the child like the child's nanny are partly responsible for teaching self help skills. I can only teach so much for so long, and it's a team effort. I feel like neither of these parents nor the nanny get that.


Anonymous said...

Hi there! Special ed teacher replying who has tons of experience with developmentally delayed toddlers/kids. It's awesome that you are so invested in your students! It really is hard to tell at such a young age if the child has developmental delays, if they are simply taking a little longer, or if they don't have enough positive reinforcement. What you may want to do is - Email the mother to inform her about daily tasks that are being done in the classroom that the child may be falling behind with, or seems unable to do alone. In your email, suggest different activities that the parents can implement to help the child at home or even suggest the use of a sticker chart at school for the child to try to do these tasks independently. Also look to see if the child is sensitive to noise as this is a common developmental delay symptom. See if this helps any, good luck!

Taleia said...

Anonymous - this is such a great comment, thanks for pointing that out! Kids at age 2 have such a wide range of abilities and it doesn't necessarily mean that they are not being nurtured if they are a bit "behind". I got this all the time with the triplets I nanny for, people frequently expressed concern at how "behind" they were, and it really bugged MB (me not so much, as I could see tthey always caught up fairly quickly). Now at age three they have surpassed most of their peers and people are constantly surprised at what they are capable of. But it ticked me off to have people who didn't know us constantly criticizing or making assumptions and trying to shame us. :(