No one likes to see a child struggle to keep up with their peers! Parents too often blame themselves for these issues and feel there is a stigma that comes with getting help for their child. However, in today’s world of technology there are less opportunities for “typical” growth.
Most of the children we treat are of average or above average intelligence but are still struggling with some aspects of school. They are good with activities such as building with Legos, remembering facts about their favorite superhero, and quoting lines from their favorite shows. These same children struggle to remember seemingly basic concepts like letters, sounds, addition, subtraction, or even the process of getting ready for bed. These children are missing basic foundational skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic that make school easier.
The children we treat are cute, funny, and full of personality but struggle making and/or keeping friends. They are friendly but do not know how to ask their peers to join in play or include others in their play. At FUNctionabilities, even children that do not appear to be interested in making friends learn the skills needed to successful in these everyday situations. With this newfound confidence, they are better able to interact and play with their peers.
We often get confused looks from parents when we tell them that their child has poor balance and struggles with motor planning. They report that their child does well in karate, loves rock climbing, plays sports, and is always active on the playground. What is often overlooked is that these activities require repetitive movements that allow a child to become efficient but does not translate into other similar skills. Inevitably, the child struggles with the new tasks, has bruised legs, watches other children before joining, or has risk taking behaviors. These issues are a sign that your child struggles with coordination, balance, timing, and other skills that prevent, even an athletic child, from being as successful as they could be.
The children we work with often fit in to one of two categories: they are the kids that have frequent impulsive, meltdown, or shutdown behaviors or they are the kids that are amazing at school but a “Holy Terror” when they get home. First, pat yourself on the back that your child is well behaved in school, but feels that home is a safe place where they can let it out. Now let’s talk about what may be going on. It is highly likely that your child is dealing with a lot more stress at school than you or the teacher realizes, and maybe even more stress than your child can express to you. But not necessarily stress and pressure to get good grades, it is the type where their sensory system is overloaded and where they have difficulty recognizing, expressing, and controlling their behaviors.