About Vincent’s therapies every week or explaining ST,PT, OT, FE, LSS, KiGa etc.
Vince knows a lot. He is also eager to learn. Our last team meeting in Kindergarten was good and the general consensus was that his attention span has increased tremendously over the summer. One thing that we learned early on is how much Vince really learns by observing, and having peers that are ‘better’ than him has been a huge help for him and us. Things that he most certainly learned from his day care environment are eating habits, cleaning his mouth, waiting for his turn, waiting in line, many fine motor skills and much more.
Vince goes to a regular Kindergarten and is the only kid with a diagnoses there. A so-called IZB-team (therapy teams) comes there during the week. It is always the same people coming each time. Except for the times mentioned below, he is on his ‘own’ in KiGa. Our KiGa has set a side one room as a therapy room and sometimes the therapies are in there, sometimes in the main room and sometimes in the gymnastics room.
We also have the help of a gang of therapists working with us. This is what a typical week looks like for us:
Monday: 9-11:30am physiotherapy (PT) in KiGa. Our day care is great, and it is one group 0-3 year old (Edgar’s group) and one group 3-6 year olds (Vince group). Both groups have their own gymnastics/PE room complete with equipment. Mostly Vince PT is in this room and he gets to bring at least one of his friends from the KiGa group. This is something the other kids love and they all want to go to PT with him.
Tuesday: regular KiGa day without therapies. 4:30-5:30 pm Vince has dance he is in a group with only kids with DS.
Wednesday: every other Wednesday Vince has 45 minutes private Speech Therapy (ST), and every other Wednesday he has swimming from 9:30-12. His swim coach picks him up in KiGa and brings him back. This is part of Familieentlastung (FE) (Avlastning Austrian LSS). This is great, I do not know if there is something like this in the US? We have 450 per year where we get a person who takes care of Vince so we can recharge our batteries. The cost is dependent on family income, but it is cheap. We have two great people, one who has been with us since Vince was 14 months old and now the swim coach guy too. So for the swimming we only pay the hourly rate of the FE!
Thursday: 7:30-9.15 Psychiatrist in KiGa, they basically work on cognitive things and some Occupational Therapy (OT) related areas. Last week they were playing games and working on rules (of the games) and taking turns. Sometimes he is alone, sometimes he gets to bring a friend.
Friday: 8-9 am Speech Therapy in KiGa. This is the only therapy in KiGa where he is always alone and I am fine with that.
From 9:30-12:30 am he has a ‘special needs’ KiGa teacher there. She usually is in the main room with him and helps out in a more general way. Some of her goals are things like getting him to do the zipper on his jacket all alone, learning to button the button on his pants after he has gone to the bathroom and such.
That is that! Please let me know if you have any other questions about our therapies!
Filed under: Austria, Cultural differences, Disability, Down Syndrome, Get It Down 31 for 21, Just Life Tagged: | Austrian system, down syndrome, Kindergarten and down syndrome, special needs therapies, Trisomy 21, weekly therapies