I teach an Early Childhood Education for the Handicapped classroom. Basically, we serve any child in Kindergarten, First or Second Grade with any handicapping condition. We have children with Autism, Epilepsy, Intellectual Disability, Down Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
In addition to having special needs, our children attend a Title I school (most families are below poverty level) which means that many of our students lack early childhood experiences that lay the foundation for learning.
Our children can and do learn when we provide them with experiences that utilize their senses and appeal to their past limited learning opportunities.
Very young children with disabilities need to have multiple opportunities to learn daily living and social skills.
Through previous DonorsChoose.org projects, our class obtained a complete pretend play kitchen. The children are thrilled! They are learning how to pretend play, interact with each other and how to play cooperatively!
Our new Pretend Play Kitchen quickly became all of the children’s favorite center to play in! Their interest and enthusiasm has remained high and the kitchen remains their favorite center. We need to expand the kitchen with dolls and dress up clothes to enhance their play. The language and social skills opportunities that will become available as the children dress up and role play are numerous to count! Children learn by imitating what they see. Research has proven this time and time again. If our children are not taught how to pretend play, they will not learn these critical skills.
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