Early Intervention is Prevention: As a Learning Support Educator in a comprehensive school in Gauteng Department of Education, experience has taught me that learners who struggle in Grade 1 and are promoted to Grade 2, have immense academic challenges in the second grade. Then they progress to Grade 3 and the learners start feeling lost whenever they enter a classroom. This leads to low self-esteem in the learners. The core of the matter that I return to is that this lost feeling of low self-esteem should be prevented from happening.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. What could parents do to prevent their children from struggling and becoming discouraged in school? In the article: “Effective Practices in Early Intervention,” written on September 8, 2010, and updated in March 2016, the Centre for Parent Information and Resources state that a critical part of improving developmental and educational results include the implementation of effective early intervention strategies. These services could include an agency setting, the home, or the child’s natural environment. Andrew M.I. Lee, J. defines intervention as any sort of help a child gets.
Professor Zucker, G. H. (2010) in her publication on the Intervention Strategies for Pre-School Students with Special Needs states, “Study after study shows that intense preschool services produce huge academic, social and economic benefits.” She insists that interventions should take place as early and consistently as possible to assure the best opportunities for success in academics and social interactions.
A parent who wishes to prevent a child from struggling at school could consider Neurofeedback Therapy. It is a well-proven strategy that has improved scholastic performance and self confidence in the lives of hundreds of children. In a nutshell, Brain Gain will assist children struggling to sustain concentration, by improving their ability to pay attention, concentrate, focus and perform. The learners receive the benefit of coping better at school and work and can improve the quality of their social interactions and personal lives. Scientific studies support the use of Neurofeedback training for AD(H)D. At Brain Gain we make use of HEG neurofeedback, which has been shown to be effective and has no reported negative side-effects.
Another intervention will be a Cognitive and Motor Skills Evaluation to measure the cognitive ability of your child. Learners need a set of perceptual skills to equip them for readiness to read in Grade 1. If these perceptual skills are not in place at the age of 7, the child struggles to learn to read. This test is the first step in our process of getting your child ready for Grade 1.
At Brain Gain we will also evaluate a Pre-school learner’s motor skills – this evaluation was developed by a Kinder-kineticist and Occupational Therapist – to identify age appropriate under-developed motor skills.
The BRAIN GAIN MOVE motor skills development programme was written to address under-developed motor skills which could be the real reason for learning impairments. Movement plays a crucial role in all aspects of the child’s development – especially in pursuit of academic success.
In conclusion, the most important point for a parent to consider is the sooner you reach out to get help for your child, the sooner the child will cope in class. School may become a pleasant experience for your child.
- Andrew M.I. Lee, J. (n.d.). Understood. Retrieved from Instructional Intervention: What You Need to Know: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/instructional-intervention-what-you-need-to-know
- ASDF Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation. (2020). Retrieved from Why Early Intervention Is Imperative: https://myasdf.org/media-center/articles/early-intervention-makes-a-huge-difference-for-autistic-children/
- Center for Parent Information and Resources. (2016, March). Retrieved from Effective Practices in Early Intervention: https://www.parentcenterhub.org/effectivepractices-ei/
- Coetzee, M. (2016, May 30). Five Reasons Why CAPS is Harming Our Children. Retrieved from Linkedin.com: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/five-reasons-why-caps-harming-our-children-marina-goetze#:~:text=It%20is%20too%20rigid.&text=They%20are%20unable%20to%20slow,the%20creativity%20out%20of%20them.
- Zucker, G. H. (2010). Intervention Strategies for Pre-School Students with Special Needs. The Forum on Public Policy, 2, 10.