Written by Sarit Levy- National Vision Guide, Elia Association
The absorption of a child in kindergarten is a delicate task, which requires emotional investment and planning from both the child's parents and the kindergarten staff. The child arrives at a new kindergarten with all that implies– familiarity with the horticultural and helpful staff, the physical structure, the children, a new and understandable agenda, different habits, different emotional attention and coping with a separation from the safest entity of all, mother or father. It is important to remember that, as part of the child's adaptation to kindergarten, the parent also undergoes a process of adaptation and building confidence and trust in the staff. The process that the parent undergoes is equally significant, and can affect the child's ability to cope with the separation.
The first few weeks are difficult and emotionally charged for each of the participants in the kindergarten recording cycle, but there are ways to successfully get through these processes, and if we give our opinion and act together out of willingness, understanding and a lot of love, we will be able to get through the period of adjustment.
For most children the separation is difficult, so is the child with visual impairment or blindness, who goes through the same process that the child who sees.
Before the child enters the framework, it is necessary to make it in advance. It is advisable that the parent share with the child the changes expected towards the entrance to the kindergarten. He will come with it first in favor of getting to know the new space of the garden, and will make it as easy as possible for everyone to adapt quickly and easily.
The more visually impaired the child knows the environment in which he is located, the more likely he is to gain confidence and learn to explore the wider environment.
In the first few days we must allow the child and the parent to recognize and adapt to the kindergarten and his "new" team is frightening and threatening the visually impaired child but he can be taught to take an interest in the new one by creating trust in the people who take care of him and by giving signs and comparisons to familiar things.
Deepening the child's connection and trust in the team is built while knowing and playing with him, it is a process that requires sensitivity and flexibility, and it is important to remember that each child and his parents have a different personal pace and adaptability. Since the difficulty of separation is great for some of the children, it is important that one of the parents stay with the child at the beginning of his career in the kindergarten in order to give him confidence and at the same time allow him to participate in events, activities and contact with the caregivers. The parent serves as a safe anchor for the child in the new place in which he is located, and in his stay, he teaches his child ways of adapting firsthand, while giving him exclusive attention. For example: what to do when something bothers him, who to turn to, where the facilities are in the garden, where to wash his hands, etc.
The child's absorption process can be expressed in natural and legitimate behavioral ways, such as crying, mood swings, lack of appetite, lack of sleep, escape to sleep and more. The role of the kindergarten staff is to be aware and attentive to the needs and difficulties of each child and to provide constant support that will help facilitate the child's separation from his parents and absorption in the kindergarten.
Most of the children in gan Elia come through a transportation system of drivers and escorts, and therefore the children and parents actually experience another process of adapting to other characters. This process can occur after adaptation to the garden and the staff or at the same time. However, due to the fact that the children come to the kindergarten and return from kindergarten with an array of transportation and not with the parents, it is important to establish the process of adaptation and building the confidence and trust of the parents in the staff, and to understand the continuation of the relationship throughout.
The period of adjustment is accompanied by an emotional burden for the child that makes it difficult for him to discover openness, to reveal his abilities and skills, and to free up for learning. It is important to contain him during this period and to deal with his adaptation to the garden and the new environment, to get to know him and his character, with his needs and habits. The stage of evaluations and evaluations as well as rehabilitation treatments will begin after the end of the process of personal acquaintance with the child and his adaptation to the kindergarten.
Necessary accommodations in the garden and surrounding area such as seating, standing, dazzle, preferred seating will be made immediately. Additional adjustments that require more familiarity and diagnosis will be made later and in accordance with the results of the diagnoses and evaluations.
Tips for parents to help with the process of absorption and adaptation to the garden:
- Give your child confidence and otherwise consciously and unconsciously optimistic messages, your concerns will pass on to your child.
- Try to avoid casual standing – this stance can cause the child a feeling of insecurity, which is another moment a father and/or mother are going, and he may avoid other pursuits or any desire to play and integrate into the activities of the kindergarten.
- Be with your kids and make this first experience positive and quality.
- Be sure to say hello and goodbye, do not "run away" even if the child is busy and even if it seems that the separation will be difficult. Since visually impaired children generally cannot rely on body language, we must give very clear verbal instructions and also use voice to illustrate emotion.
- When you break up, say it and do it – don't date the breakup by going and returning several times.
- It is important to avoid making additional changes during this period, such as bottle detox, pacifier, diaper, etc.
- Share the child's habits and loves with the staff to help with familiarity and adaptation.
- If the child is connected to a particular object, bring him to kindergarten. Even if the child does not have a specific object, it is possible to bring him an object that is familiar to him from home.