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Offices in Nowra & Ulladulla
Now next year seems closer than ever, there will be many parents considering if they will start their child at school in 2015. Are they ready? Will they cope? Am I ready for my child to start school?
There are many questions parents debate within themselves, with their preschool or day care teachers and with each other.
There are a few things you can do to make this choice a little easier for you.
Firstly organise and tick of the things you can do: things you can have some control over.
Get a hearing test – not just a hearing test in the GP surgery with a ticking watch. Ring your local community Health centre and book your child in for a formal hearing test. “Why?” I hear you ask…”my child can hear everything!” That may be the case, however how well are they actually hearing? A formal hearing test can show your child’s hearing levels at varying loudness levels and frequencies (high pitch verses low pitch). Importantly it can also tell you have the eardrum is functioning (through a quick test called tympanometry) and this can often show the child is having difficulties with this even though they show no outward signs.
Also, kids are smart. They may not hear you call, but will notice you in their peripheral vision. They may not hear the car pull up but will hear their dog bark that tells them a car has pulled up.
If there is no issue with hearing – and often there is not – then you can confidently tick that box and move on. One job done before starting school. If there is a problem identified, then you have the chance to do something about it before starting school.
Get a vision test – not just for clearness of sight – ask your optometrist to check the eye muscle co-ordination your child will need for starting to read, to look at the board and then to the page, and also their general eye health. If a child starts school with poor sight, they are starting behind the 8-ball. A child will not necessarily know their sight is blurry, they may think it is just how it is – until they put on a pair of glasses and exclaim in delight how they can see individual leaves on trees! As adults, if you have ever worn a pair of glasses you will know the feeling
Speak to your child’s day care teacher. Often preschool and day care teachers have just as many hours with your child as you do. They will have, however, a slightly more objective view point of how you child interacts, copes and learns than us as parents. Respect their opinion – sometimes you may feel upset of angry that the preschool teacher has put forward an opinion about your child – be reassured they are doing their job and want your child to be successful as much as you do.
If problems are raised, then do something about it. See your local Dr, a Speech Pathologist, School Principal or Occupational Therapist for advice.
You have time to kick start assistance for your child before they start school. Make use of it in a positive way.