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Old 12.01.2021, 12:15
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Re: Worrying feedback from Kindergarten teacher

Psychomotorik and Logopaedie (which are the Swiss-German equivalent to Occupational, Art, Movement, Music and Speech therapy) are very mainstream and common in the Swiss school system.

The therapist has the training and skills to take a very 'holistic' approach - getting to know the child individually and doing some very generic testing then working on some strategies that can support the child's self-confidence and specific skills.

My sister is a researcher in developmental psychology in Australia, she says that around 80% of intervention is simply the positive of doing 'something' instead of doing 'nothing. Only about 20% is what could be potentially measured as 'good' therapy. It's very hard to actually measure a therapy and decide what is 'effective' compared to a different option. But the difference between doing 'nothing' and 'doing something' is key.

In my experience, going along with the teacher's suggestion sets up a very positive cycle anyway - the teacher is seeing your child in a group of children possibly more hours per week than you do - and they have their own experience and training that is very specific to children of that age. They generally want the best for all children (you need to trust this, otherwise, why send them to school?) - and they generally know what is going to help the child to be most successful in the school system.

As others have said, there is zero stigma for sending kids, it's very normal, and usually a first suggestion for any kids who stand out from the crowd - especially kids from non-Swiss/non-German backgrounds.

It's not just an opportunity to work on specific skills, it's also a 1:1 language lesson. For my third child the psychomotorik was actually very helpful at that age to get him to pay attention, follow directions and trust the adult in German. Unfortunately he had an earlier negative experience with a German speaking caregiver in Krippe, so he had some fear/anxiety when being given instructions in German. The psychomotorik helped him simply in having 'fun' with someone who spoke German to him.

I am also an experienced early childhood teacher. My experience is that parents do generally avoid or deny a first indication that their child's development is not 'typical'. Some of this is/may be cultural, language or other things that may be simply that the teacher does not 'click' with the child, but the first thing the teacher needs then is a second 'professional' opinion, and the psychomotorik or logopaedie is the right point of referral for them.

There is also the school psychologist, if it's more complex, but they can also do only basic testing and coordinate appointments between the teacher and parent, and then they will refer if needed to a specialist.

The advantage of using the system is that the school/Gemeinde pays. There are plenty of parents 'outside' the school system who pay for sport, music, art, tutoring etc, out of their own pocket. And from my sister's point of view, these are also 'interventions' which can help the child's success at school.

Eg. parents in my town often send kits to Judo if they are being bullied to build their self-esteem and strength., to football or 'pfadi' to support their social, team and language skills....
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