What does this word mean? Well, the clue is the word "idea". Ideation means having an idea in your head that you want to action. You may see the idea visually or you may think it in words or you may just get a sense of it. Either way, these are ideas.
Do you have ideas? Where do they come from? Are they triggered by what someone else is saying, by what you read, or by what you see? All good. Your brain is working.
Some children's brain's don't work well in this way. Some wiring in the brain is different and causes Dyspraxia. The ideation phase is one step in the praxic working of the brain. The next step is planning out how to achieve the idea. The third step is organising the physical actions and executing them. Some children have issues with just one of these steps, and other children have issues with 2 or all 3 of these steps.
Signs of a lack of ideation:
1. Lots of physical running around with no play or imaginative purpose.
2. Repeating of the same play pattern, over and over, with no extension or adaptation. A child may be able to stack blocks and yet not be able to do anything else with the blocks. Just think - how often do we as adults stack blocks with children. Often!! So they see and are encouraged to stack.
3. Enjoyment and choosing of activities that require no ideas or planning - watching T.V. or other screens, mechanised toys, wanting a large amount of time listening to stories. Passive activities.
4. Lots of crashing/smashing play - crashing cars and other toys.
5. Watching other children and then, at a later stage, imitating the actions, with no understanding of the purpose.
What to do?
Teach the child play sequences. Take note of how other children of a similar age, play contructively and aim to teach these to the child. Start from where they are at or what they are interested in. Extend and adapt any play they are repeating. For example: If a child only stacks blocks, make a garage alongside, explaining how you are doing it. Drive the car in and out. Make a road to go with it. Ask the child to make another garage. Give step by step instructions, if needed. And then over time, reduce how much you instruct or help.
Limit screen time.
Ban crashing games, except if part of purposeful play. (Which may be one crash in a sequence and then involve rescue and hospital play) Teach other ways to play with the cars or objects being crashed.
Discussions, including "What if we do......?", "I've got an idea. We could do this, or this. Then this might happen".
Help a child recall what he has done in play by going over it at a later stage. Reinforce how s/he organised and planned the idea.
Some children (people) have ideas but are unable to plan them or carry them out.
One of the early clues to possible Dsypraxia can be a child not following instructions, not because they didn't hear, and not because they don't understand but....................... This is the bit that can be hard to figure out. You are sure that they understand, you thought their hearing was okay, and yet nothing is happening. The child might be ignoring you.
By the way, if your child is ignoring you, there will be a reason - such as being engrossed in what they are doing (a good thing don't you think?), or they didn't hear, or you haven't got their attention, or that they can't stop briefly to attend to you. There are many such reasons, rather than wilfully trying to ignore you.
Anyway, main clue: the child appears to be ignoring you. So you then repeat what you said and still no response. So you reword the instruction in case different words will help with understanding. Trouble is, this actually makes it worse for them. If a child is having a delay in interpreting what you said, and you then reword, there is now a completely different set of words overlaying the first instruction which creates confusion. The child's brain is trying to process the first instruction and another is added. The instructions don't stand in queue but pile up in their brain.
Looking at it from the child's point of view, this delay in processing verbal information can be like hearing sounds that have no meaning and some time after, it suddenly clicks. The sounds suddenly change into words and have meaning. Then the child can do the required action. But when there are more instructions coming at them, they need to be able to hear and remember the next sounds while processing the first lot. Difficult for anyone.
Getting a child's attention first is always a helpful thing. I know, you can't do this everytime, sometimes instructions just need to be given from where you are. But it is helpful, because you then know that they are ready to listen. You may have interrupted them but this was going to happen anyway, and you can do it respectfully.
And remember to give the child time. When they are ignoring you and this happens often, it is probably that they have a slow proceessing time for auditory information.
This may well improve as the child matures. Or, as so often with Dsypraxia, processing times will be faster at some time and slower at other times, with no clues as to what makes a difference.
One of the things in the list last time about early clues to Dyspraxia was a child not being able to modulate their voice. Or they may appear to on occassion when the voice just happens to come out quieter - maybe they are sleepy or tired.
It really doesn't help for adult to tell the child to sssshh. That actually means stop and be quiet. But we want them to learn to speak quieter not stop! Maybe the adult says to speak quieter, but how does the child know what this means. This is the key question and means that the child needs to learn to listen to themselves first of all. They need to learn that sound comes in different levels.
A great way to do this is by singing. Have fun at the same time too. Choose a song the child likes and sing it very loudly, then very quietly. Tell the child "Let's sing loudly/quietly." Before you begin the song. No whispering though, because whispering is totally different in the way the voice box is used.
Once they can sing loudly and quietly, then you can move onto graduating the level of loudness. With singing very loudly, a little bit quieter, a little bit quieter, very quiet, etc.
Later on you can do this same exercise with sounds - animal sounds, vehicle noises, fun sounds.
And you can encourage them to notice environmental sounds and how loud they are.
Once they have learned to modulate their voice in this way, then you can tell them about speaking. So sometimes tell them that you are speaking very loudly, loudly, or quieter etc. And this leads into being able to ask them to speak louder, or quieter.
Make sure you give them attention and listen to them when they are speaking quieter though, otherwise the child may speak louder to get your attention.