{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I am struggling to engage a child who is very behind cognitively and acts like a one year old, they are 4 years old. Any tips for engaging her in appropriate ways?", "post_id": "5db8f3e5ecba89001a762b58", "reply_count": 16, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }

I am struggling to engage a child who is very behind cognitively and acts like a one year old, they are 4 years old. Any tips for engaging her in appropriate ways?

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What is the reason for the delay? Does the student have an IEP? The student should be adjusting and following along with the routine of the classroom by now. That’s a significant delay comparing a 4 year old to a 1 year old.

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She responses well to weighted objects such as weighted stuff animals or blankets, tag toys, and things she can chew on, but she turns 4 in December and all the other kids ask why she acts like a baby.

Engage how during Circle time or centers

Anytime, she chooses to roll on the ground and head butt everything in her path including furniture, other children, and adults. She does not speak either

Have you spoke to the parent about what peaks their interest outside of school? Maybe if you can connect with them on a different level they will connect to you and engage in the topics you are trying to teach the class. I struggled with this with a 1st grader about 6 years ago. Mom told me his favorite thing outside of school was Clash of Clans (game on his iPad if you don’t know what that is). I downloaded, played, connected with him and it made teaching easier. The only problem is now it’s 6 years later, he’s moved away, and I’m still playing Clash of Clans!

I agree, connect at their level.

While the other kids are engaged in something, work with the student in tiny steps. Take a toy, like stacking rings or something super easy, and dump the rings on the table. Bring the child to the table and ask for one ring to be put back. Use hand over hand if needed and then let the child go back to playing for 2 min. (Set a timer.) When the timer goes off, bring her back for another ring. Repeat until the toy is complete. Keep doing this same toy every day until she is able/willing to stack more than one ring at a time or do them independently, and then move onto another toy when she’s mastered the toy independently. Eventually, you’ll be able to move onto academic tasks, but it doesn’t seem like she’s there yet.

Really against ABA, works for some kids, but I have seen so many students go through ABA and leave the programs with actual PTSD

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