I just brought Rayyan for another assessment and this time it's for a programme called ICE. ICE provides one-to-one specialised intervention for children with special needs in a mainstream preschool environment. What happens is that Rayyan will attend twice weekly sessions at Presbyterian Community Services (mainstream preschool).
Each session lasts an hour and the teacher will actually guide him while he is there. He will be encouraged to socialise with peers his age and take part in the activities. An IEP (individualised education plan) will be drawn up for him and there is also one home visit. Sadly, the whole programme consists of only 20 sessions and the whole programme costs about $1500. Yes, it is costly but if it benefits him, it is definitely worth it. Anyway, aren't all programmes for these special needs kids costly???
So Rayyan will start next week and I really hope he will learn how to behave in a school environment. I also hope he will learn to socialise and be more comfortable among his peers. This reminds me of the conversation I had with the teacher, Ms Susila, a very nice, cheerful lady. She told me that when parents are asked of the short and long term goals that they have in mind for their child who are enrolled in the programme, some parents said that they want their child to learn how to read or talk. She said that this can be pretty far-fetched as there are only 20 sessions and she also hope that parents will think more about improving the child's behaviour and life skills.
Indeed, I do agree with her. For me, I want Rayyan to acquire some play skills while he is there. This to me is fundamental. When a child knows how to play appropriately, he will feel more comfortable amongst others and this in turn, will improve his social skills. Others around him will also accept him more readily if he can play together with them. So that brings me to the next goal, I want him to learn to socialise with his peers. He doesn't have to talk to them but play alongside them and be comfortable among them. Next, I want him to learn to sit quietly in a classroom and be part of the group, learning together with his peers.
Those are my three main goals. If he is able to achieve all three, I will be very, very happy indeed. If not, even if he managed to achieve only one, I will still be thankful and pleased. I really hope he will gain something from this programme and that this programme will be a stepping stone to other achievements...