During my most recent placement, I was put in a fully outdoor kindergarten also known as Forest School and I essentially worked: Occupational Therapy Assignment, SHU, UK

University Sheffield Hallam University (SHU)
Subject Occupational Therapy

During my most recent placement, I was put in a fully outdoor kindergarten also known as Forest School and I essentially worked with children ranging from 3-5 years of age. Compared to my previous experiences with placement, this was the first placement in that I was given the opportunity to work with children and not with adult patients in a hospital. Forest School is an inspirational process that provides a more hands-on learning style for all ages while offering regular opportunities to attain and foster confidence in a woodland environment.

For the first two weeks of placement, my coursemate and I were given the opportunity to observe and form relationships with the children. By talking and getting to know the children, we were given the chance to establish and sustain a safe, welcoming, and encouraging environment where the children can feel confident and secure with us which would also ultimately promote the child’s well-being. From my observations, for the first two weeks, most of the children were just like any other children one would encounter. They were full of zest and zeal and were simply adorable. There was this one child, Harry, that caught my eye.

Harry was nonverbal and had a very different way of expressing himself he became violent when he was unable to express himself, he hit, kicked, punched, pushed, and smacked his friends. After seeing how he acted around the other children, I discussed what I had seen with my coursemate, and we approached the team about it as we wanted to learn more about him, it was brought to our attention that he was classified as someone with a speech delay and had symptoms of mild disabilities but was not properly diagnosed yet.

After several days of observation and having done some research on my own, Harry slowly started warming up to me and I noticed that although he seemed extremely frustrated when communicating with others, he and I somehow found ways of communicating. He always smiled when he saw me, brought me books to read to him, sat on my lap asking me to trace things with him, pulled me over to sit and color with him and he would always try to get my attention whenever he sees me. While doing my research I learned that it is common for children with speech delays to need help with managing their problematic attention-seeking behaviors and disruptive behavioral problems.

During my supervision, I gave my supervisor a run-down of what had happened during placement, about Harry and how he has a speech delay and that he usually played by himself because the rest of the children feared him as he gets very violent and random times which usually results with the other children getting hurt. My supervisor then asked me to come up with some interventions I could do with him, seeing that he seemed comfortable with me, and to make sure he was not being left out because of his behavioral problems. The Equality Act 2010 places an equality duty on public servers to ensure discrimination is eliminated and advance the quality of opportunity between persons who have protected characteristics and people that do.

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