Intensive Intervention Program (IIP) – Pilot Research
The IIP program is a DSD initiative. With this program, we want to determine the level of development and skills of 502 children at the 20 sites taking part in the program. We have gathered a group of highly skilled and trained professionals to help, intervene and develop the skills and knowledge of the children that have been referred through using the ESI screening tool. We found that it was most conducive to screen the children between 08:00 and 12:00 in the mornings. Not only were the children’s concentration very poor after 12:00 many of the schools also served lunch around that time and the children had their nap time after lunch.
As to date we have screened 286 4-5-year-old children at 16 sites. Of those 286 thirty-eight will be referred to our therapy groups and 39 needs to be rescreened. These results were accumulated in only 5 weeks by 4 therapists and 3 teachers. Due to the Fire disaster, we have lost 5 days of screening. Rescreening will take place at the end of the year (2017). We are looking into the Elom test as our second screening tool.
We have identified and come across two learning outcomes that need focus and practise across the board at all the schools participating in the IIP program. Shapes (circle, square and triangle) and colours (blue, green, yellow and red) needs practise and consolidation in almost every Grade RR (4-5year old) class. These two learning outcomes both fall under the Learning Area: Numeracy. The children’s fine motor skills also need focus and development. This skill falls under the Learning Areas Life Skills and Literacy.
There is a discrepancy between the accepted normal child appropriate behaviour such as playing, jumping crawling and swinging (the more general gross motor activities) and the typical School readiness skills that they would need to succeed in the Grade R classroom, such as perceptual knowledge of body image awareness and fine-motor skills such as holding a pencil correctly.
The children who struggle with their Gross motor skills are those who lack a big open playground and access to jungle gyms.
There was an obvious decline in the results of the children who have suffered emotional trauma and/or neglect in comparison to the results of the others that were screened.
The children who’s results showed that they need to be referred for Intensive intervention will now move on to the next step in this program.
Our Therapy group consists of two Occupational Therapists and three teachers. Therapy groups will start on the 31st of July. Each group will have a minimum of 4 or a maximum of 7 children in a group with 1 OT or teacher. Group sessions will be 45 minutes long. During these therapy sessions, all learning areas will be covered e.g. Life skills (gross motor, fine motor, social and creative skills), Literacy (sentence structure, sounds, listening skills) and Numeracy.
Before the start of the Therapy sessions one member of our team will give feedback to the teachers and principals of the schools participating in the IIP program.