Every child is unique and special in their own way and that means that every child works differently. Some children are only interested in music toys, whereas others thrive during complicated tasks like jigsaws.
When I first arrived at the Tamahar trust, I did not know any of the children. I couldn’t pronounce their names properly and didn’t know their ages or family history. Yet, I started working with the children and noting everything about them that I could. This process taught me the true value of knowing and understanding a child and how important that is.
After a few weeks of working with the same children on a daily basis, I came to know certain children quite well. Knowing what they can do and what they will do are the most important things to know because every child needs encouragement to progress. Yet, pressuring a child to do something that they cannot do, can be extremely demoralising for the child. I often find the children are extremely capable but struggle with tiredness or just don’t want to do the activity that you had planned. In times like this, it is important to adapt to the child’s needs and use your knowledge of the child to provide a fun or easier activity, so that the child can participate effectively.
I have come to know two girls particularly well and under guidance have watched their development over several weeks. One of these girls has been learning to raise her arms, which has taken a lot of support and encouragement from me and other staff, but being able to watch her get stronger very day is wonderful. This particular child often gets tired quickly but I have been taught how to watch out for this and have now worked out that singing and music aids this situation. Realisations like this take a while- I tried a lot of other things before singing! Yet, it is this dedication to truly understanding the children and all of their ways that makes the Tamahar staff so special. It was truly wonderful to help this child to achieve one of her goals but it was the support and teaching of the staff that allowed me to do that.
The other young girl who I have gotten to know quite well, is a very bubbly, loving young girl. She is always smiling and that makes me so happy! When I first started working with her, I was purely trying to increase her imitation in play but soon found that she loves colours and is always trying to say their names. So, for the next few days, we worked on several different activities together with coloured blocks or jigsaw pieces and I would tell her the colour names. After a few days, she was repeating the words perfectly! I was so proud.
All of the children here have barriers in the way of their development and learning, yet, their ability and desire to overcome these barriers is truly inspiring