By DAS Preschool Educational Therapist

Striving to Meet the Challenges

In light of the current circuit breaker measures due to COVID-19, DAS had to shift all classes from the physical classroom to the online classroom. The staff at DAS, just like many teachers and educators around the world, have been facing a chain reaction of challenges.  Every day since has been an uphill battle.

The DAS Preschool Educational Therapists have been striving to teach our young learners by pacing, learning, sharing, supporting and adapting our curriculum to continue creating a positive impact for our students in every possible way.

In the process, we not only discover new knowledge but also new findings and strengths about our students.

Discovery: Underneath the Silence

One such student in my class is Bella (pseudonym). When Bella joined my Preschool class, I was informed by Bella’s parents that she has a condition called Selective Mutism. I still remember one of my colleague sharing:

“You know that selective mutism is related to anxiety, right? If the child feels familiar and comfortable with people or the setting, he or she will open up”.

Aha! So familiarity and comfort are key and that is exactly what took place for Bella in her online learning sessions.

In the comfort of Bella’s house and with her parents nearby, these past few weeks of online classes with her have been a totally new discovery.

I heard her speak extensively about almost everything under the sun and found out that she is a big fan of glittering and rainbow heart shapes. Previously in a physical class setting, my concern was sparked when I observed Bella’s adamant efforts to respond to my questions related to a story using non-verbal gestures.

Now, with online learning, it is a pleasant surprise to see her expressing her thoughts verbally during e-books shared reading time. I must say a lot is going on in that incredible mind of hers!

I guess what I am really trying to say here is that I am happy that the online e-learning is working out so well for Bella.  Below is a  picture of the reward system used during the online session with Bella, personalised with her favourite hearts!

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