Early Development Class
The learners who attend at Jo-Dolphin Swartland APD is of different ethnicities, cultures and diagnoses. From angelman syndrome, hydrocephalus, autism and down syndrome, to name a few. In our Early Development Class, we have learners of the ages 4 to 12.
Children with intellectual disability learn more slowly than typically developing children. These learning deficits generally apply to many kinds of learning and across different developmental stages. Young children with the disorder may learn to sit up, crawl, walk or talk later than other children. Most have difficulties developing communication skills as well as trouble interpreting and applying new information. These children often have trouble keeping up in school.
In this class we have carers that not only look after them for the duration of 6 hours, starting from 8am to 2pm, but also doing their best to maximize the potential for success by providing a balance of visual and auditory stimuli in their teaching. The basics are taught from an early age to ease the transition to our Skills Class.
First we develop their general knowledge and skills, such as: recognising their own name, know and say personal details (name, surname, age, birthday and address.), know the names of their fellow learners / friends, practice writing their names, the use of a variety of functional writing tools eg. pencils, crayons and scissors and listening to instructions and respond appropriately.
(Please note that these following tasks are performed under the supervision of a caregiver at all times.)
Then we move on to self-care and self development. The incorporation of brushing their teeth and the washing their hands and faces are all a part of becoming more self sufficient.
Lastly we focus on their physical development. We examine whether they can balance on their own, throw and catch a ball and walk forwards and backwards in a straight line.
Students with ID (Intellectual Disability) need consistent and effective instructional support in order to learn new concepts and tasks that many of their general education peers may learn incidentally. Intellectual disability is lifelong. It is treated through management and stimulus programs aimed at helping children with the disorder acquire adaptive skills so they can live healthy, happy, relatively independent lives.