So, here we are on Sunday night – after a weekend of swimming in the pool, visiting family, weekend sport, Church, live performances - over and back to it. Monday – first day of the week at school. A new classroom, new teacher, teacher aides, new class of friends, fresh uniforms, clean shoes and new lunchbox. At this stage, the child is motivated to return (providing last week wasn’t too scarey). This week, the books might get sorted, pencils rationed and desk layout and groupings reviewed.
Now, the child with a vision impairment may not appreciate the change of desk so quickly, as it’s the closest one to the board. Has the teacher read the recommended notes on the child to understand where the best place really is for the best field of vision? Does the child have a particular friend that was intentionally placed in the class based on last year’s request? Is the nervousness still there from last week or some of the burning questions may now have been answered.
I hope that every child/teenager returning to school this week feels good about being there again and that considerations have been made in the teacher’s planning, considering the child’s learning style, providing an alternate format if required, to enable the child to participate. Establishing and confirming the preferred place to play at break times will enable the child to feel confident to go back to that area and make new friendships and learn of new opportunities within the learning environment.
NDIS Registered Provider no. 4050011793
Kerri Weaver is a service provider for children with disabilities.