Stop, Look and Listen!
SPOT Paediatrics is a Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy Clinic that works with children and their families on developmental areas such as language, speech, fine motor, literacy, sensory processing and social skills. They use a fresh and fun approach to child therapy and are continuously looking to collaborate with schools and other professionals in the allied health community.
We asked SPOT for some advice on ‘School Readiness’:
‘School Readiness’ is a term that is o en used to describe the set of skills necessary for transitioning to school, but it may be hard to determine if your child is “school ready” if you are not sure what to look for! As well as reading there are a range of skills crucial to giving your child a comfortable start at school. While knowing numbers, colours and shapes are helpful, school readiness is also about whether a child is ready from a fine motor, communication, social/emotional and behavioural perspective. If you are wondering “is my child ready?” there are a number of skills and behaviours that need to develop in the pre-school years to ensure a child is “school ready”.
For School Readiness we Consider the Following Skills
LISTENING AND UNDERSTANDING
• Follow instructions of up to 3 parts to allow children to independently complete tasks
• Understand many types of questions to help at story time and group discussion times
• Speak with appropriate use of speech sounds so that almost 100% of listeners can interpret what a child is saying
• Express thoughts and ideas clearly to help children form friendships and successfully engage in conversation with their peers
• Understand and use a wide vocabulary to support early literacy skills and accessing the curriculum
• Understand and participate in turn-taking and waiting
• Use social greetings and engage in back and forth conversations
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
• Hold a pencil with appropriate grasp to allow a child to participate in drawing and colouring activities without fatigue
• Write their name. Children put their names on everything! Being able to mark which work is yours is important
• Using scissors for simple cutting to support participation in learning activities
ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION
• Attention and concentration are important so that children can attend to spoken and visual information, concentrate, follow instructions, listen to a speaker, learn and access the curriculum
• Regulation supports attention and concentration and children need to be well regulated in order to learn, and sit in a group
The SPOT Paediatrics team of Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs) are able to help and support children and families with the transition to school by developing school readiness skills. SLPs may typically focus on:
- Following instructions
- Building vocabulary
- Teaching age appropriate grammar
- Correcting speech sound errors
- Developing social skills
OTs may typically focus on:
- Writing name
- Scissor skills and pencil grip
- Making sure self-care skills are age appropriate (toileting, dressing, feeding)
These are just some of the many skills that SLPs and OTs work on to support children’s development, participation, and ability to access their community. If you have any concerns about your child’s development or school readiness don’t hesitate to contact SPOT! They are more than happy to answer any questions or chat about concerns.