You can download Laura's story here:
Laura English | Laura German/Deutsch | Laura Italian/Lingua Italiana | Laura Spanish/Lengua Española | Laura Chinese | Laura Arabic
If you print with the "short binding" setting these read much like a children's book.
Meet Laura. She’s 6 years old, she likes watching Spirit, swimming and splash pads. Laura has three older sisters and has been excited about starting Kindergarten for months. Every morning on the walk to school Laura and her Mom talk about the coming day. Laura really hopes each day that she will make her teacher smile and get a happy face on the wall.
Laura doesn’t realize that it is unusual to find school as hard as she does. When the teacher starts giving instructions Laura’s brain quickly gets overwhelmed and she only remembers parts of what was said.
Uh-oh. Laura’s done it again. In her enthusiasm, she only remembered one part of the instructions and started cutting up her worksheet before she completed all the other tasks. She’s not even cutting up her paper very well. Her friends know what is coming next, the teacher won’t be happy.
Laura’s teacher is furious. To her, it seems like Laura deliberately breaks the rules every day. Doing whatever she wants, not listening to any instructions, and clowning around with a big smile on her face. There have been three weeks of term and already Laura is being sent to the principal's office for the eighth time. The teacher suspects that Laura will be expelled from Kindergarten before this term is finished.
Laura sits outside the principal’s office hurt and confused. Every morning she starts the day enthusiastic and optimistic but before recess, she always ends up doing something wrong. Laura’s starting to think that maybe school isn’t for her, maybe she is a bad kid and maybe she’ll never enjoy school like her big sisters did.
Sensory Health Supports School Success
The principal of Laura's school realizes that Laura would probably benefit from an Occupational Therapy assessment. The assessment shows that Laura is dyspraxic - this means that understanding multi-step instructions and making a plan for action are really hard for her. Laura's Occupational Therapist works with her parents and her school to put in place the supports she needs. She also learns how to organize her actions through big exciting gross motor play, Laura's parents get to play too!
As Laura starts to feel competent in her own body on the big play equipment the teacher starts to notice she is more organized in the classroom, she waits until she really understands tasks and she asks for help when she needs it. Laura is an asset to her class, her enthusiasm for learning is infectious and she is incredibly kind to the other children.
Laura was at risk of being expelled from school because of unidentified differences in sensory integration and processing. At STAR Institute we see a lot of Lauras (and Georgies and Elizabeths too) and the thing is most of the time it wasn’t at all necessary for things to get as bad as they did at home, or at school, or in the workplace.
For more information on dyspraxia: Subtypes of SPD - Dyspraxia/Motor Planning Problems | "Sensory Based Motor Disorders: Dyspraxia" | Sharon Cermak on Dyspraxia
For support with sensory processing and school success, learn about STAR's School Readiness Program.