Friday, October 22, 2010

Landscapes that Teach and Support Development

Margo Running’s Saturday Oct 16 talk entitled:

Landscapes that Teach and Support Development

I walk in late…..oops! Margo is talking about the wonder years between 2-6years old; when the things children pick up in the garden magically turn into “anything”. A rock isn’t just a rock. “Imagination,” Margo says, “unlocks true thinking.”

What’s in a garden? Rocks, sticks and boulders….she has wooden planks in her daycare garden for the children to use as they please. They will prop them up for balancing. “Their first introduction to lines….” says Margo. The children practice lines with their whole body and then when they are ready and old enough, they will use this skill to write in lines on paper.

Anticipating the audiences fear of children falling in the natural environment, she explains how we want to support the children, but without rescuing. We want children to “find their spaces”. Learn what’s in front of then, beside then, behind them. The importance of being aware of their “backspace”. Katie Philippov talked about this development in her talk at the Sensation Celebration.

Another common statement between both talks was about how we should not put children in positions they can’t get into themselves. Katie talked about the stress we place on a child when we force them to sit up before they are ready and how this stress can challenge their development. Margo explained how they don’t put children into swings. They show the children the belly swing and let them rock themselves.

Margo concluded her talk by talking about the seasons and how in the Fall, there is a sense of coming in, drawing back in the home, nurturing our roots.

Her talk over, I go back home, snuggle on the sofa with a blanket and think about writing this blog....

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects at least one in twenty children. Children with SPD don't process or experience sensory information the way other typical children do; therfore, they don't behave the way other children do. They struggle to perform tasks that come easier for other children. Consequently they suffer a loss of quality in their social, personal, emotional and academic life.

The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation is dedicated to continue their research into the knowledge and treatment of SPD, so that, as Lucy Jane Miller writes in her book "Sensations Kids", "the millions of sensational children currently "muddling through" daily life will enjoy the same hope and help that research and recognition already have bestowed on coutless other conditions that once baffled science and disrupted lives."