Integrating into childcare

Integrating into childcare
Gabriel started going to childcare in July 2016. He was 3 ½ years old and had just been diagnosed with autism. His mom, Karine Landry, explains how childcare helped her son.
Gabriel started going to childcare in July 2016. He was 3 ½ years old and had just been diagnosed with autism. His mom, Karine Landry, explains how childcare helped her son.

Our son, Gabriel, was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in June 2016. He’s an only child and had never been to childcare, so socializing and communicating didn’t come easy for him. The professionals he sees insisted that we enrol him in childcare so that he’d learn to interact with other children, follow instructions, and stick to a routine.

We were lucky: it didn’t take long for us to find Gabriel a spot at a centre that provided services for children with special needs. It was a smooth transition; Gabriel felt at home from the moment he set foot in the daycare. The other kids immediately welcomed and accepted him.

It still took a couple of months for the childcare providers to work on Gabriel’s behaviour. He could be aggressive with the other kids, pushing them or pulling their hair, and would often run away. I should mention that this was during the summer, and the childcare staff was constantly changing.

I was reluctant to enrol Gabriel in childcare, but it was a decision I made in his best interest.

But ever since he’s been in a group with just one educator, Gabriel has been doing great. A specialist comes to see him for an hour each day. She helps him with things like nap time, when he used to bother the other kids. She solved that problem by giving him headphones so he can listen to music.

Childcare completely changed Gabriel’s life—and ours! His dad and I were exhausted from taking care of him night and day. Ever since starting childcare, he’s been sleeping much better. He’s not the same little boy anymore—he’s more talkative and expressive. You can tell that he’s more comfortable around people and is better at showing affection. For instance, he’s learned how to hug his friends goodbye.

Gabriel still acts out when he doesn’t get what he wants or when he needs to be alone, and he’s still awkward about asking others to play with him, but his behaviour has improved by leaps and bounds. His motor skills are much better, too. We’re confident that he’s ready to start school. Nothing but good news!

 

Naitre et grandir.com

Source : Naître et grandir magazine, May–June 2017
Interview by Amélie Cournoyer

 

Photo : Maxim Morin