Early Interventions Pave the Path to Kindergarten


Xiao En will be starting kindergarten this year, and his mom worries that his tendencies to be rebellious and endless energy to mess around will cause him to be sent home. Thankfully, timely early intervention services prepared Xiao En for kindergarten, assuring his mom he has the tools to adapt.



Author: Nina Chu | Translation: Ian Sung |Photographer: Chih-Yin Wang


Rain dripped into Xiao En’s home from cloudy skies, where in immediate view was a door lock installed abnormally high up. Surrounding the room was a fridge tied shut by ropes and a closet also bound by ropes, as well as a tall white gateway blocking the stairs to the second floor. The living room was clean and tidy, contrasted by the four sides full of oddly secured furniture.


“Come in Xiao En. Let’s start the class.” said the special education teacher, conscientiously delivering the words in a clear, slow pace.


At the teacher’s request, Xiao En quickly found his wooden figure and bent the legs to allow it to sit up. Xiao En’s mom watched with eyes full of pride, as after half a year of in-home early intervention services, Xiao En made massive strides in his abilities to focus and be steady.




Xiao En was the family’s very first child - full of spirit and loved knocking over furniture, turning its contents inside out, and exploring all over. His innate curiosity drew him to anything & everything novel, always looking for something new, never looking back. He’s even learned to use the TV remote, but his mom didn’t allow him to watch TV alone and hid the remote. The persistent Xiao En never gave up, eventually finding ways to climb up high to press the TV’s power button.


At home, his mom’s words often went in one ear and right out the other. He would throw things around the house without tidying up, causing his parents headache after headache. While he didn’t listen, he was smart and had good speaking skills, but he didn’t like to have conversations. It wasn’t until the last possible second that Xiao En would verbally ask for help. His mom wondered, “Has the dad speaking Chinese, while I spoke Vietnamese from an early age confused him?” When chatting with her friends they said their kids grew up overseas in multilingual environments and never had much confusion. Friends and family reassured Xiao En’s mom that the kid was still young, and will naturally learn once he grows up.




A Fortunate Meeting At Su-Ao

The journey from home to the beach wasn’t long, and Xiao En loved dad bringing him to the beach the most. Unfortunately, his dad was often busy at work, and with a newborn little sister around, the mom couldn’t take care of her on top of chasing an energetic Xiao En around. On days without rain, his mom would take him to a nearby children’s playhouse. Seeing all the kids playing with their toys, Xiao En couldn’t concentrate, either knocking over toys or stealing other people’s toys. Nothing his mom said would get through to him.




On one headache-filled day, Xiao En’s mom met social workers from the Eden Social Welfare Foundation’s Yilan branch at the children’s playhouse. After a few in-home visits and assessments, they introduced her to important resources and early intervention services, arranging a special education teacher for weekly in-home visits.


The Difference Maker: In-Home Special Education

Half a year later, Xiao En’s mom - having had many discussions with the special needs therapist - made productive changes to the design of their home environment, created a dedicated classroom setup, and had Xiao En practice sorting & storing his toys. Together, they developed good habits for Xiao En, instilling the willingness to listen to instructions and the patience to sit and wait for his teacher. With repetitions throughout Xiao En’s days he got better at every exercise, improving both his life experience and that of his family.




At first, the special education teacher came once a week to teach classes in the living room. However, Xiao En was too easily distracted, so they switched to a specific room and established regular patterns. Nowadays, when it was time for class Xiao En dragged the teacher into the room, then patted the mat, indicating for them to sit. Xiao En’s focus and willingness to listen to instructions have both improved tremendously.


Since Xiao En will be starting kindergarten this summer, his special education teacher set goals with him to graduate from listening to in-home class instructions to his parents at home to his new teachers at kindergarten. Even though new residents had priority in the public education lottery, his mom was worried his tendencies to make a mess might warrant the school to send him home. Having received early intervention, his parents can be much more relieved.


Xiao En’s mom used to love learning before she got married, spending her weekends & holidays taking classes the Labor Bureau offered to immigrant workers, including computer technology, cooking, performative art, and more. When she got married in Yilan she wasn’t used to the rainy weather. Her bored son creating chaos at home didn’t help either. She was a capable mom who sewed curtains at home and taught Vietnamese at a nearby school. After giving birth to her daughter she no longer had the time to teach.




Xiao En Goes to School

Having lived in Yilan for a while, Xiao En’s mom got used to the county’s rainy charm. The fridge in their home isn’t only tied shut by a rope, but also is adorned by Xiao En’s artwork from church, putting his ability to concentrate on completing a project on display. Xiao En’s mom always had faith in her son, and loved him with an open heart, not caring what others had to say. Upon seeing her baby boy’s screening results, she immediately got to work securing a future for Xiao En. Xiao En readily received early interventions to ensure he had the habits and tools to attend kindergarten.


This very summer, Xiao En’s parents eagerly await seeing their son have fun in kindergarten.



translaged by Ian Sung


    伊甸園電子報 發表在 痞客邦 留言(0) 人氣()