Children begin to learn most of the things they need to know to adapt successfully in school, before the age of three. As a parent that is a scary concept, and makes us realise the importance of our children's very early years.
So what should we as parents do? South African-born, Queensland resident Marga Grey has recently published her first book Sensible Stimulation, which equips parents with some of the answers. In her book, Marga explains the necessity of proper stimulation for young children and she provides ideas and games for parents to use to stimulate babies and toddlers effectively. Marga touches on aspects such as discipline, self esteem, moral standards and parent. Essentially the book is a guide for parents, and highlights possible problem areas in children, providing the parent the understanding to seek help if needed and address problems through early intervention.
Marga's experience in this area comes from many years of experience as an occupational therapist. Born in Pretoria, before moving to Riebeeck-West near Cape Town as a child, Marga studied occupational therapy at the University of Stellenbosch. She met “the love of her life” as a student and married him as she finished her four year bachelor's degree.
She then spent almost 30 years as the wife of a farmer in Letsitele in the Limpopo province. Marga started her career as an occupational therapist working at a school for disabled children in her local district. Soon after her first child was born, she decided to start her own private practice, which she ran for almost 25 years. The practice provided therapy for children with learning disabilities and support for their families. Through the years Marga has assisted teenagers and young adults with various problem areas and presented numerous workshops and lectures to parents, teachers and other therapists on various aspects of child development and the use of specific techniques. “I realised that early intervention is the answer to prevent many learning disabilities and to help children overcome problem areas. I also became more interested in the young child from birth to three years. As a result I presented workshops for day mothers and subsequently wrote training manuals and trained care givers for a franchise of day care centres in South Africa.”
Marga also started research on the needs of young children in a day care setting and the quality of care provided by various day care centres in Limpopo, South Africa for her Masters of Science degree. Marga and her husband subsequently relocated to Australia, where she completed her degree and worked at a charity organisation for children with muscular dystrophy. She has also worked part-time at the University of Queensland. Drawing on her extensive experience, Marga decided to compile her knowledge and research into a book for parents to understand the necessity for proper stimulation of young children.
Having recently returned from a marketing tour in South Africa, where the book was published, Marga is currently working with children with learning disabilities, ADHD and autism spectrum disorders, at a private practice in Brisbane. Her work involves close contact with the child's parents, family and other adults in the child's life.