SCHOOL READINESS / EARLY YEARS ASSESSMENTS
School readiness is determined on a variety of levels such as cognitive readiness, social readiness, emotional readiness and perceptual readiness.
- Social readiness refers to the fact that children should be less egocentric and sufficiently socially integrated.
- Children must be willing to share, ready to play with others and should show signs of identifying with the group.
- A positive self-concept is essential.
- Cognitive readiness means that children can understand one-to-one relationships, can trace shapes, understand cause and effect and have the ability to pay attention and to complete tasks.
- Emotional readiness refers to self-confidence and asking questions and learning to be less dependent on the mother/caregiver.
- Finally perceptual readiness implies the normal development of the child’s perceptual functions (visual and auditory perceptual skills).
Children who enter Grade 1 without developing vital readiness skills are ‘at risk’ for their future academic, social and occupational success.
Assessments for children under 6 years of age are considered to be ‘early years’ assessments, and the referral reasons for such assessments vary.
There are times when it becomes necessary for parents and educators to seek a professional and objective opinion about a child’s difficulties at this age; however, professional guidance is recommended. At the time of the parent consultation we can discuss whether an assessment is required, or whether it is better to wait until your child is a little older.