Angelia is currently ten years old and entering Grade 5. Up to July 2017, she attended The Children’s Village at Bridlewood. My grand-daughter is a curious, creative, energetic, enthusiastic and affectionate child who also has special needs. She has several diagnoses: ADHD, LD and ASD. Labels aside, her challenges include social skills, staying on task, emotional regulation and transitions. Using language to express her needs, wants and to carry on conversations is also difficult for her. Most children learn these skills easily; however Angelia requires extra time to learn these. Without the support from our resource consultant from Children’s Inclusion Support Services (CISS) and the dedicated teaching team of the child care program who implemented the recommended strategies, Angelia would not have been able to continue to attend. I also believe that CISS and the teaching team have played a major role in helping her to grow and develop into the child she is today.
Angelia started receiving CISS support in December of 2012 when she was in senior kindergarten. At that time she had a lot of difficulties with aggressive behaviour and transitions. The teaching team implemented a bead system, provided a visual schedule and gave warnings prior to transitions. They used social stories as a teaching tool for building skills like keeping her hands to herself and how to play with friends.
Over the years, Angelia has improved in many areas. Socially, she has gone from a child who mostly played by herself to a child that can initiate play, continue play and accept an invitation to play. Most of the time she is able to handle when a peer she invites to play says ‘no’ by moving on to another activity. She is learning to take on different roles while playing; both a leader and/or a follower. Her ability to self-regulate has improved. She independently leaves a situation she does not like and she practices calming strategies such as taking three yoga breaths. She is able to distance herself and then rejoin her peers when she is ready. She is able to respect the personal space of others most of the time. Initially with the help of an activity choice board and now independently, Angelia can now stay on task for longer periods of time. She continues to improve her conversational skills and contributes to group discussions during community time. The majority of time she can listen and take turns. She is encouraged to stay on topic and ask her peers questions related to the information they are sharing.
I will be forever grateful for the support of both CISS and the dedicated teaching team at The Children’s Village at Bridlewood.
Nanny (as Angelia calls me)