Your 15-min-a-day plan
Start by identifying what is most important
Most children with a developmental movement condition experience a range of difficulties in many aspects of their daily function and participation in family, school, play ground and sporting activities. The long list of things a child needs to learn can be overwhelming: where does one start?
Fortunately with most children there are just a few that that stand out as being of particular concern. These are the ones you need to tackle first, the one's your child will be motivated to work at, the one's that are going to make the most difference.
A good place to start is by identifying your child's strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of all the activities that form part of your child's daily routine. Mark the activities that your child can do well with a large tick and those that need improvement with a small circle. Now you are ready to select the ones you would like to work on.
The Goals for Everyday Activities and Routines Checklist is a good starting point for identifying strength an weaknesses.
The interesting thing about making a list of strengths and weaknesses helps parents to gain some perspective: all the things that can be done well probably far outnumber those that are causing difficulties: your child has more strength than weaknesses.
This allows you as parent to device a plan of action from a position of strength – and perhaps look for ways to draw on those strengths to help in other areas.
The next step is to set some task goals
Task goals describes the task - what the child should be able to do - and states how well the task should be performed. Stating exactly how well the child should be able to perform a task (called task parameters} makes it easier to monitor progress.
Here are a few task goals as examples: the child will be able to:
- Dress self in the morning when cloths are set out, in 10 minutes without prompting.
- Sit erect and work at a table doing drawing or hand tasks for 15 minutes without fidgeting or supporting the head with one hand.
- Climb to the top of the slide in the park and slide down catching weight on the feet at the end of the slide.
- Climb the flight of stairs at school without holding onto the railing in 60 seconds.
- Hop down the passage (5 meters) on one leg.
- Do a handstand against the wall and stay up for 10 seconds.
- Run to the end of our street and back again (200 meters) in 2 minutes.
- Catch a soccer sized ball thrown to the left or right at waist height 15 out of 20 times.
Now decide when, where and how
You need to think about whether you want to incorporate the training into your daily routine or want to put aside some time in the day to work on the activity.
Everyday family life provides multiple opportunities for tweaking and improving basic skills. Here are just a few examples:
- Getting dressed in the morning - especially over the weekend when there is a little more time
- Preparing and eating breakfast
- Getting ready to leave the house for school
- Helping to prepare supper
- A walk in the park or around the block, a trip to the shop,
- Playing games indoors or out of doors
Taking time for training