Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Top Tip Friday The why's and how's of crossing the road. Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013

This post is to create awareness amongst parents and children with specific learning needs ( I went to cross the road without looking, nine years old at that time and spent eight months of my life in hospital) and hopefully this post will prevent that happening to your children?

In these modern times it’s hard to imagine life without a car and if you don’t own a car yourself, friends or indeed neighbours will. We are all surrounded by vehicles these days – whether in the driveway or out on the road, around shopping centres or out walking. With young children, you need to always have a double take where traffic is concerned…. they simply don’t have the skills to feel or be safe around cars on their own, so watching and guiding them is important.

Up until the age of eleven and older with children with specific leaning needs (processing and coordination), children need active adult supervision to help keep them safe around cars and also roads and car parks. Repetition is the only way and make sure not to cut corners yourself (monkey see, monkey do). Children who seem to know all the road safety rules won’t always remember to follow them.

Keep yourself to the vulnerable side (nearest the traffic) whilst walking on the footpath and also when crossing the street…always holding your child’s hand when he’s near cars is a good routine, teaching your child about road safety, including how to be safe around parked cars and on footpaths and driveways.
Try to avoid complex junctions and staggered junctions if possible as you need far more vision…use pedestrian crossings and praise the ease as to the safety aspect and mention that they are as quick…this will again become ingrained and accepted.

Set your own car up by parking it on a quiet road or even in your driveway and practicing crossing from behind/in front of it. Use that as a way to help teach them in a safer environment…the more you practice the more the pattern will go in. Video and role play is a good idea with children who have specific learning needs, you could use model cars and make up a road network, draw a zebra or pelican crossing and even in role play, encourage its use.

Don’t forget your child will learn a lot about road safety by watching you, so use good safe practices around cars, roads, footpaths and car parks – remember the old green cross code look right…left and right again (depending on country and traffic flow) always stop, look, listen and think before crossing a road and use pedestrian or pelican crossings wherever possible. Describe what you’re doing each time, so your child can understand why it’s important and always remember the car has the right of way.

When you are out, ask your child where they think are the good places to cross the road and also risky places and remember always praise good effort and practice makes perfect.

Always make sure there is an adult present and use this for guidance purposes only

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