Vidhya is an Early Intervention Teacher, who drives positive change by equipping young children with the skills to overcome developmental delays. It’s a rewarding, even humbling experience, as she finds herself learning from the children she teaches. Hear it from her, in her own words.
“As an Early Intervention Teacher, I work with students below the age of 6, who require help because they are faced with developmental conditions such as developmental delays, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or multiple disabilities. The work I do is part of the efforts of a larger team. Early intervention, be it therapy or educational support services, involves a dedicated team of professionals, including occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists. On a typical day, I work with students and their families on activities that help improve the students’ psycho-motor skills, social-communication abilities and cognitive development. This activity-based intervention approach includes playing games, telling stories and singing songs.
I chose to be an Early Intervention Teacher because I have always loved working with children. So when my friend alerted me to the job as I was completing my degree in Psychology, I decided to give it a shot. Unexpectedly, it has turned out to be more than just a job – it has become a calling. I love the joint efforts of our professional team in mapping out strategies for each case. I enjoy playing with the children, through which we are able to introduce learning opportunities. But most of all, being an Early Intervention teacher has been a humbling experience, for we too are learning from the children.
One valuable lesson the children taught me is the importance of taking the cue from them. I remember an occasion when a child indicated to me how ready and eager she was to demonstrate what she had learnt from the team’s Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). I took her cue and encouraged her to request for her favourite biscuit in this manner. When she got the biscuit, she clapped her hands happily. When she saw us celebrating her happiness, it “unlocked” her ability to ask for what she wants. From then on, she was able to communicate what she had in mind.
My work is challenging but what makes it worthwhile is the smiles on the children’s faces, the appreciation their families express, and the camaraderie displayed by the multi-disciplinary team. When the children show progress, it encourages us. When families share their success stories, it vindicates our efforts. And when we resolve an issue as a team, it reminds us of our shared purpose in driving positive change.
Hear more of Vidhya’s story in the video below: