For the given scenario below, what type of Individual Care Plan should one give to the child below for her daily activities?
“Linda is an extremely unpredictable toddler. She started in my program when she was 15 months old. Three months have passed, and I still can’t figure her out. It seems like she never does anything at the same time of day. Her wants and needs always conflict with the schedule we use for the rest of our class. She loves to move so much that I can’t get her to focus on anything for very long. I know she’s too young to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but she certainly acts like she has it. Yesterday, I was helping her put on her socks and another child coughed. She turned her body around incredibly fast and started scooting toward the child. I barely had a second to let go of her foot so that she wouldn’t fall! And she is way too friendly with strangers. A grandparent visited the other day, and Linda was all over him from the second he came into the room. At least she doesn’t cry all of the time. Oh, she lets us know when she’s tired or hungry or wants something, but she doesn’t scream about it, thank goodness. She knows a lot of sign language and is talking more every day, so she usually uses language to tell us what she needs. She is such a smart girl! I just wish I could help her calm down, focus, and get on our schedule.
As an 18 month old child, I think the unpredictability is common with bright children because they are interested in everything. If she is using sign language or verbal language to communicate, you should be able to use her skills to help you figure her out. From what you have in the scenario, I would set up several things to help her. One, any transition will require advance warning as she seems to need time to do things like eating or getting ready for a nap. Abrupt changes would be hard. Anything which requires her to be still while she is dressed or diapered would require either two people, or removing her to an area where the distractions are minimized. To help her figure out the schedule, again I would use advance warning with maybe a countdown from five minutes to one and then begin the activity. She will need structure and consistency and her language skills will help her and you with providing that. She may need a color coded or picture chart so that she can see what comes next in her day with you interpreting and talking about what the color or picture means. Her attraction to a grandfather figure may suggest an intense need for attention, so I would watch the parents' interaction with her. If there isn't much physical affection for a child so young, maybe that could be part of the communication with parents.