5 year old who has difficulty sitting still and
I met this young man in March this year. He started the school year one month later than his class. He hadn't been to kindergarten or any early learning service before starting school and when I met him I did my initial test of handing him a coloured pencil and what I observed was heartbreaking.
This little man didn't know what colour the pencil was, he had never held a pencil because he didn't know what to do with the pencil. When I started to teach him how to hold the pencil and use the pencil he looked so awkward in this hand grip but so excited about using a new tool. He happily scribbled for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes I handed him a different pencil. Again, he didn't know what colour the pencil was, he didn't know which hand to take the pencil from me with. He fumbled over his left and right hand like the didn't use his hands enough in his previous play experiences. Not only did this young boy start his school term late and behind his peers, his motor development was also behind before he even started his schooling life.
I continued to do some basic motor development tests with him on his first day. He still had his infantile reflexes, which you can learn more about from page 52 onward in my training manual;
* his body awareness was poor;
* he was unable to cross the midline; and
* when I went to sit with him on the ground in a cross-legged position.
As soon as I crossed his legs over with him, his upper body slumped right back in to my lap. It was like this young man had never sat up on the floor before. This young boy's teachers, education support staff and myself are trying to catch him up at school every day, but my passion now is to prevent this delay from happening to children in the first place by bridging the gap in early learning classrooms and by supporting early learning professionals who are currently lobbying to improve access for children to 3 year old kindergarten.