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Category Archives: Week 4

Jobs/Roles in the ECE Community: National/Federal Level

When I first started to read about this assignment, I was so excited to finally start mentioning some of my favorite early childhood organizations. So, I began the research days ago. I started with NAEYC, as I just know that this organization would be such a hot topic. It wasn’t until I got into the middle of researching the Council for Exceptional Children that I realized these organizations were national international organizations! (Stay tuned though for my next post highlighting these international organizations!) I had to start all over again, refining my focus on just those organizations or agencies that spanned across the Unites States. I’m so glad that I had this challenge of narrowing my focus, because I found some amazing organizations and agencies that operate here within the United States. While there were certainly a lot to pick and choose from, I narrowed it down to twelve, err, no six, nope … how about four? Continue to read on about these four fabulous early childhood national or federal organizations that appeal specifically to me and my professional passion.

NCCA

National Child Care Association

I absolutely love the idea behind this organization, as it strives to help families identify a licensed, high-quality early learning program or child care center. This is such an important factor for the learning and development of young children – high quality! When these kiddos are exposed to such a high level of quality, they will truly be able to capture their ideal learning and growth potential! I was also impressed that this organization has been successful influencing “the private sector at state and national policy and legislative tables” (National Child Care Association, n.d.). It also offers a lobbying team, conferences, resources, articles, and so much more! This is definitely an organization that has captured my interest as their passion for high quality child care or early learning is so contagious! I’d love to become involve in the lobbying aspects, as I believe that more federal legislation needs to be considered for optimal learning and growth for young children. The annual membership dues for an individual is a steal for $25 (National Child Care Association, n.d.)! If this interested you, feel free to explore their website in depth at http://www.nccanet.org.

NEA

National Education Association 

Ok, so this organization might seem a bit out of the ordinary. You may be asking yourself, wait … public education?!?! Does she know that we are actually studying early childhood education? Don’t get me wrong – we are definitely focusing on the little ones, however I really was interested in this association, as it strives to raise awareness about the importance of public education (which actually can include preschool). I liked their stance that public education is both a human right and a civil right – really, it’s an equal opportunity for all children. This supports my deep professional passion for including all children, regardless of ability, to receive a free and appropriate education. This association’s website is also stocked full of such amazing resources, like lesson plans, teaching strategies, advice, funding opportunities, and upcoming events. The individual membership dues run about $24 (National Education Association, 2014). Considering this organization? Find more informaiton at http://www.nea.org.

ZTT

Zero to Three

This nonprofit organization began in 1977 and is by far one of my favorite national organizations for early childhood education. Not only are there excellent resources, but this entire organization really embraces a collaborative effort by reaching out to families, parents, professionals, and even policy makers. Remember Bronfenbenner’s ecological theory? I feel that this organization spans across each of these levels, helping to make an even bigger impact on the learning and development of children. In addition, they also look at early childhood from so many different perspectives – social, physical, emotional, relational, and linguistically – to foster the awareness that a child’s development is truly interrelated. The website is chalked full of resources for a variety of audiences, including journal articles, research and even a public policy kit. I urge you to check out this organization, as they might have excellent resources for your issue/challenge (Zero to Three: National center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, 2012). See http://www.zerotothree.org for more information.

OEL

Office of Early Learning

Lastly, but certainly not least, I decided to explore the realm of federal agencies to see if there was any support for early learning and development. This committee or agency (I’m not really sure which type of group it is considered) actually works to support the United States Department of Education’s Early Learning Initiative to help improve the overall development of the learning and development of children. This federal committee really intrigued me, as they oversee different grants, like the Race to the Top. I am definitely interested in learning more about this federal organization (committee?) to help support different grant opportunities for early childhood education (U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). Are you interested too? If so, check out www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oel/aboutus.html

Federal or National Job Opportunities

Of course no research would be complete without looking up different job opportunities! In my last post, I explored various local and state possibilities, so I wondered is there anything out there remotely within my reach on a nationally level. With a bit of digging, I managed to find three different opportunities that actually interested me. Some are definitely within my reach, while others may need a bit more experience or education. Without any further adue, the three job opportunities are:

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This job opportunity resides within Washington D.C., so if I ever wanted to relocated from my home state of Pennsylvania, this might be the place I end up at! (How far do you think that commute would be every day?!?!) Anyway, before I get side tracked, a Senior Confidential Specialist (in Training and Development) primarily works with training adults. Basically, I would design, create, develop, deliver, coordinate, and evaluate an employee training program. Now, don’t get me wrong – working with children is such a joy, however I am definitely up to the challenge of working with adults. Besides, I absolutely love to design and create things, so this may just be up my alley. The job requirements calls for a minimum of a bachelor’s degree (check mark!), but a Master’s degree in preferred (coming up!). In addition, I need at least five years of experience working in creating, developing, and delivering training for adults. (Uh oh! This is definitely an area that I need to focus on and build up, as my years in this experience fall into a big fat zero!) However, I do have the strong communication and problem-solving skills, but I do think I need to gain more experience in curriculum and instruction design, as well as more knowledge about it too! Looks like I am well on my way for this job, but I still have some ways to go (National Education Association, 2014).

SPA

Ok, so maybe the above job didn’t quite fit my skills and expertise at this moment in the game, but how about a Senior Program Associate? This job really held my interest, as it involves a lot of technical support to the Birth to Three Institute. (Remember how much I adore the Zero to Three organization? It just so happens that this job is related to it!) So, basically, I would be providing a lot of technical assistance and training to different organizations and agencies, like Early Head Start, in regards to designated meetings and conferences. I would also provide administrative support, which just so happens to be something I am an expert at! Looking at the job requirements, I definitely have the minimum of a bachelor’s degree, as well as the collaborate and creative skills needed. In addition, I am a technological savvy (another skill needed), however I should be refined and enhance  my technology knowledge and expertise. Otherwise, I fit right into this job (Zero to Three, n.d.).

ERSA

Well, as long as we are shooting for a long-term job opportunity, we might as well add a Education Research Scientist/Analyst to the bucket list. I do desire to become an educator, not really a scientist; however exploring and diving into research articles definitely captures my interest. I love to see how methods are completed, as well as the results with the follow-up recommendations or discussions. Therefore, becoming an education research scientist doesn’t sound terrible, but rather exciting. I’d love to become part of a research team that helps to shape the future world of early learning! Although this job sounds great (with excellent pay and benefits, might I mention), there are a lot of requirements that I don’t quite fit into yet. The biggest one? A doctoral degree. I am going for a doctorate Master’s degree however, so I am a step closer – but I do need to gain more education before even considering this job. In addition, I need to have at least five years of experience related to educational science (how does one go about getting that anyhow?), as well as at least five years of research experience (United States Office of Personnel Management, 2014). Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for this job, but it sure is a nice goal to reach towards!

So, that is just touching the surface of the national or federal agencies/organizations that support early childhood education, as well as a few job opportunities on the national level. Stay tuned for my next post, which will explore international organizations (and maybe a few job opportunities too!).

Until then, your colleague-in-crime, Erin

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Posted by on March 28, 2014 in National Support, Week 4

 

Perceptions

This week, we began evaluating how we perceive ourselves as communicators, as well as identifying the similarities and differences between our self-evaluation when compared to how others evaluate us. We took a series of three tests and asked close friends, family, or even perhaps a colleague to take the same test to compare results. When I started to work on these questionnaires, I pondered who I could ask to give me an honest opinion about how I communicate. I was certain that my results would be much different than those of my friends or family, but I still wanted a good picture of how I communicate in different settings, situations, or with different groups of people. Therefore, I settled on Sam, who is a very good friend of mine. Sam and I have known each other for years, and our friendship has grown solid. Since we are so close, I tend to take out my frustrations on him during some of our conversations, so I figured that my verbal aggression would score high according to Sam’s perception. I also decided on Rita, a colleague. Rita and I converse together much differently compared to my family (as I tend to let my mouth run a bit looser in a much more laid back, secular setting). My communication would obviously be different according to her, right? Well, let’s take a look at the results …

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Looking at these results, the one thing that surprised me the most was that my communication style and skills remained the same across a variety of situations, settings, and with different groups of people. This shocked me for a various of reasons. For starters, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I rated myself about the same as my friend and colleague did. Since I often deal with low self-esteem, I tend to have an “inconsistent view” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012, 49) of myself, which ranges from thinking I’m a good communicator with my colleagues to thinking I am an ineffective communicator with my friends. When I saw these results, my self-esteem was encouraged, as I found out that my communication skills are perceived about the same through my eyes, my friend’s, and my colleague’s.

In addition, I was surprised that Sam rated my verbal aggression moderate, as I tend to raise my voice more with him than any other person. When I am frustrated or upset, I usually end up “blowing up” at him because I know that he can handle me. Knowing this negative trait about myself, I anticipated that Sam would also perceive that as well. Yet, I was startled to discover that he does not consider me as aggressive as I do. Rather, my verbal aggressiveness is moderate, which is almost identical to the results that both my colleague and I had.

Furthermore, when I asked Rita to complete these communication inventories, I was very curious to see how she viewed my communication ability as a professional. Sure, I could figure out how I communicate with my friends and family, but I wanted to know, How do I communicate as a professional? What do my colleagues and families take away after talking to me? I was surprised to find that my communication abilities are perceived just about the same across different situations with different types of people. This surprised me, as I began to realize that perhaps I am more of a competent communicator than I expected.

Looking at these results, I came to the conclusion that I am actually a better communicator than I realize. Since I am perceived about the same in my verbal aggression, listening skills, and communication anxiety from friends and colleagues, my effectiveness in communication is more than likely equivalent in a variety of settings. This encouraged me and helped to boost my self-esteem, challenging me to become an even more effective, competent communicator with everyone I encounter.

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Completing these questionnaires, comparing the results with a friend and a colleague, and reading through the learning resources allowed me to gain a number of insights that will ultimately impact my professional work and my personal life. They are as follows:

1. As I learned through my own personal results, an effective communicator will more than likely be perceived about the same across a variety of situations and within different groups of people. I believe that the more reliable and stable one’s communication abilities are, the more he or she will be able to be competent in communication. This insight is important for my professional work through the realization that I need to maintain a consistent set of communication skills with all families and children. If one family perceives that I communicate much differently with them as compared to another family, this may make them question the relationship and trust I have established with them. This lesson is also crucial within my personal life as well. If my family sees me communicating completely differently with my friends (or vice versa), both groups may wonder who the “real me” . In order to be a effective communicator, I need to consciously be aware of how I am emitting my communication skills within different contexts and with different groups of people.

2. Before looking at the results from my friend and colleague, I anticipated vastly different results because I thought I communicated different within a professional  and personal setting. However, I grasped the idea that one person can alter the way they communicate with different groups of people (for example, a simple vocabulary with children verses a more complex one with adults) without changing the way they are perceived as a communicator. Just because I interact differently with my friends does not mean that I change my entire ability to communicate. An effective communicator is able to engage in self-monitoring, which is the “ability to watch your environment and others in it for cues as to how to present yourself in a particular situation” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012, p. 55). This is a crucial lesson to learn for my professional work, as I need to be aware how to adapt my communication when working with children verses adults without changing the way I am perceived as a communicator in general. This is also imperative for my personal life, as I strive modify my communication skills pending the group of people I am with (friends or family), yet I am still able to be seen as the same Erin with both sets of people.

3. As we interpret and perceive other individuals, I have discovered that this impacts your own self-perception as well. For example, if I determine that a person is richer than I am based on first impressions, I may alter how I communicate with them. I may not be as bold in discussions or be more shy than usual. On the other hand, if I am in a higher authoritative power than someone else, I may be more domineering and bossy when communicating with them. I have learned that how I perceive others will impact how I perceive myself, as I often engage in the social comparison theory, comparing myself to others (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012).  This lesson taught me that I need to “look beyond first impressions” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012, p. 42). As I work to put aside my initial perceptions and cast aside any comparisons between myself and the other individual, I will be able to embrace more effective communication among friends, family, colleagues, children, their families, and others.

4. Lastly, I gained the insight that a person’s self-efficacy can vary among different types of groups. I have discovered that how I approach a situation and present myself differs among friends, family, professionals, and children. For example, if I am in the presence of my parents, I tend to present myself in a humble fashion, knowing that my parents are wiser and more knowledgeable than me. If something comes in to question, I tend to trust their judgment rather than my own, even if I think that I am correct. However, when I am having a conversation with a family, I present myself in a professional manner that emits a sense of control, yet respect. My self-efficacy in this situation is much different in comparison to that of my parents (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012). This insight taught me that I need to work on my self-efficacy in both personal and professional situations.  I need to present myself in a positive manner  in all settings and situations (well, if it’s appropriate) to raise my effectiveness in communication.

All of these new lessons allowed me to gain a better perception of how I communicate, how others perceive me, as well as equipped me with new insights on how I can enhance my communication ability with friends, family, colleagues, children, and their families.

Reference:

O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication: An introduction. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Communication, Week 4

 

Sharing Web Resources – Part 2

As I continued to evaluate the website Zero to Threethere have been several new insights I have gained, new information I have learned, and new ideas I have discovered along the way. I have found that my knowledge about early childhood education has grown by leaps and bounds through this fantastic resource.

Specific Information Relevant to My Current Professional Development

While this website have an enormous about of information, there were two particular sections that very well to my current professional development:

  • School Readiness Interactive Tool (click here to access this resource)
    This interactive tool is an excellent resource to help caregivers, parents, and families learn how to shape and guide early learning for children. This resource breaks down the early childhood years into three categories: Birth to 12 months, 12-24 months, and 24-36 months. Within each age category, there are four different groups: language and literacy, thinking skills, self-control, and self-confidence. With a click on each of these groups, there are video clips, parent-child activities, frequently asked questions, and (coming soon) related resources. Since I currently have a three year old, I explored the 24-36 month section. Below is just a snippet of what I found
    :
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    In the Language and Literacy section, it talked about teaching language and literacy through everyday moments. One of the suggested parent-child activities was to go pretend shopping. In the Self-Control section, one of the tips was to respond to tantrums in a way that helps teach self-control. An activity is to play red light, green light to help improve self-control skills. One of the frequently asked questions was how to shop with an active two year old (Zero to Three, 2012).Overall, I found this resource to be very relevant in my current professional development, as it covers significant learning areas in a child from birth to three years old. Furthermore, I can utilize a lot of the activities within my daily activities and lesson plans, with follow-up recommendations to families. This resource connected well with me, as it will be one I use on a regular basis in my personal and professional development.
  • Developmental Screening, Assessment, and Evaluation: Key Elements for Individualizing Curricula in Early Head Start Programs (click here to read this article)This in-depth article covers developmental screening, assessment, and evaluation in early childhood education. It begins with definitions of the above terms. It is then followed by an approach and guideline to screening, assessment, and evaluation, which includes using multiple resources, involving the family, remaining culturally sensitive, and ensuring that the staff is well-trained. This article also discusses what the avoid and how plan for curriculum and ongoing assessment. A list of resources and reviews of screening and assessment tests are included in the appendix.

    Considering my background in special education, I am hoping to bring this into my everyday work environment. However, instructing other staff members how to accurrately and appropriately screen, assess, and evaluate young children for suspected delays can be a challenge. When I came across this resource, I was impressed by its depth and coverage for how to apply developmental screenings, assessments, and evaluations for young children. This resource is relevant in my current professional development, as it will come in handy as I work with more children from various backgrounds and development levels. In addition, as I begin to take on the role of administration, I will utilize this resource to help staff members under my leadership to learn the proper way to screen and assess a child with developmental delays.

Ideas/Statements/Resources that Made Me Think In a New Way

As I explored this website, there were a few sections that really put a new light on some issues within early childhood education. While I had previous thoughts and ideas related to certain issues, the way Zero to Three presented information challenged me to see things in a new way.

  • Play (click here to learn more about play)
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    While I am beginning to see how significant play is in the lives of young children, the Zero to Three resources shed a new light on just how crucial this issue is. 
    On the Move is a booklet that shares the significance of play during the first three years of a child’s life. There are suggested activities to incorporate into daily playing, tips on what toys to buy, and what to do for children with special needs. This resource helped me realized the the environment that a child is playing in is important. If it is too cluttered or has distraction, play may not be as beneficial. I never considered the physical environment as a factor in play, however now I can see how important it is to create a child-friendly environment for play. To read more from this booklet, please click here.
    Playtime True and False really helped to dispel a lot of myths I carried about play during early childhood. This power point presentation explained that play happens everywhere and doesn’t have to be organized. While I have somewhat grasped this concept, I was able to gain a new view on how we as caregivers and parents need to utilize every moment we have, as children are constantly learning. In addition, this presentation also emphasized that it is important for children to receive outdoor play, as it addresses more gross motor skills. I typically considered play as an indoor activity, however this resource showed me that it is vital for children to get outside to stretch, run, and play. A final thing I learned about play is that sharing is a complex skill. As children are play, professionals often urge them to share their toys. However, the trait of learning may not be developed yet in young children, so they may not actually know how to play. I was fascinated by this fact, and I have found that this new view on play has changed what I expect from children. To view this power point presentation and additional resources on play, please click here.
  • Social Emotional Development
    The section on social emotional development (click here to access this page with plenty of resources) provided a new light on different aspects that influence young children. Specifically, there was an article about the male influence on young children and the positive effects that this brings. This helped me to see that it is important to encourage both parents (if there are two parents) to actively participate in their child’s learning and growth. (To read this article, please click here.) In addition, I also gained a new insight about music and the impact that it leaves on the quality of life. (This article is found here). The social emotional development resource page contained excellent resources that showed me the different factors that shape this developmental domain in young children.

Neuroscientists, Economists, and Politicians: Their Support

The Zero to Three website contained valuable information on how neuroscientists, economists, and politicians support the field of early childhood education. Below are just some of the resources that this website shared:

  • Since maltreatment in early childhood education leads to high rates of disorganized attachment and developmental delays, developmental neuroscientists have documented how early intervention and child welfare policies can help reduce or reverse these adverse effects of maltreatment. (Full article is located here).
  • Child abuse and neglect should become a public health priority, as scientists have discovered how abuse and neglect could produce negative implications on the brain, often lasting into adulthood. If public health made this issue a prior, the adverse effects of child abuse and neglect could be properly addressed, producing more optimal results for the child and the society at large. (Click here for full PDF article.)
  • Trauma carries significant long-term effects on children. Emotional regulation and other developmental areas are negatively impacted, adversely influencing a child into adulthood. Developmental psychologists have documented the research about the negative implications expose to trauma brings and have identified different protective factors that could help counteract the negativity this issue brings. (Find the full article here.)

Through reading about these research findings and different contributions from neuroscientists, scientists, and psychologists, I was able to further understand how important the role of these individuals plays in the field of early childhood education. While educators can apply their experience-based knowledge, they usually are not able to provide the researched-based findings. They must rely on neuroscientists and economists for this information. Utilizing this information, politicians will hopefully be able to see that further investment is needed for these young children. I am now able to understand that neuroscientists, economists, and politicians play a valuable role in supporting early childhood education to advance funding and more research about the development of young children. Pairing this with the knowledge from educators, more children will be able to reach, which will optimize their learning and development.

New Insights

I am amazed that I never stop learning through reading from the Zero to Three website. There are always new insights about the issues and trends in early childhood education that I gain each time I visit this website.

  • When I explored the public policy section, I learned about the different types of systems are are used to build up a high-quality early childhood program. In addition, I also discovered how the Congress and administration can further enhance the young lives of children through legislation and policies. I also gained new insights about the state and community involvement in early childhood education. Through this section, I learned that public policy is a significant factor in the issues and trends in this field and carry a heavy influence both directly and indirectly in the lives of children.
  • Another insight I gained is not particularly an issue or trend, however it is related. The Zero to Three website has a special section for grandparents. I was curious about this section, so I decided to browse through the resources. I was shocked to discover the large influence that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren. So often we tend to focus on parents and caregivers that grandparents are sometimes forgotten. However, it is important to remember that they impact their grandchildren in unique ways. This section has several resources specifically geared towards grandparents, including how they can work with their adult child to parent the young child. This new insight challenged me to encompass all of the people who influence a child during development, as each person is significant. If there is not a smooth connection between a parent and a grandparent, the child may feel (or even receive) the consequences from this. As an early childhood professional, it is crucial to stress the importance of positive interactions between all generations that will leave a good influence on the learning and development of young children.

Overall, this website continues to challenge and shape my personal and professional growth. I am excited to continue to explore the numerous resources that Zero to Three has to offer and apply it to my life journey.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Early Childhood Resources, Week 4

 

My Connections to Play

Hi! If you came to visit my blog for My Connections to Play, I have it on its own page. You can access it through two different ways:

1) On the top of the page, you will see four different tabs: Home, Early Childhood Resources, My Connections to Play, and Relationship Reflection. Click on the third one, My Connections to Play, to read the content.

2) Simply click here: https://littlelaughter.wordpress.com/my-connections-to-play/

Comments, if you choose to leave any, can be left directly on that page, or on this post if you wish.

Thanks for stopping by!

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Connections to Play, Week 4

 

Childhood Stressors

Blue. Not breathing. No heartbeat. In this moment, chaos ruled. When my son, Ephraim, was born, he had 0 APGAR scores, which basically meant he was dead. After given 2-3 minutes of CPR, he was revived, but only left to fight a long road ahead. He spent the next three weeks in the NICU, relearning many characteristics that typical newborns have naturally. Around a month old, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. From the moment Ephraim entered this world, he has only known chaos, which has presented numerous stressors on his young life.

While I can focus on several different areas that have affected Ephraim’s life cognitively, physically, and socially, I have choosen to focus on a large struggle and stressor on him: eating!

When Ephraim was born, he was unable to handle breast feeding initially. He was placed on nutrients through an IV that went into his belly. Around two weeks old, we began a trial process of starting him on a bottle. While he took it with some ease, he still had a lot left over in his belly. Therefore, he was put on an NG feeding tube until he could master the bottle.

When he came home, he was reluctant to accept a bottle. When he did take a bottle or breastfed, he would be slow to latch on and fed very slow. This began to place a stress on him, as he grew to dislike feeding. When he would see a bottle, his entire body would tense up and his head would turn away. Not only was this a stressor for him, but I began to dread feeding times as well. With both of us frustrated and stressed, feeding times became overwhelming at times.

Around six months old, Ephraim was barely accepting a bottle. It would take over an hour to feed him eight ounces of formula. When we got to the point where very few people had the patiences to feed him, it was time to consult a specialist. Upon our first trip to the GI doctor, Ephraim was immediately placed on a new formula for babies with sensitive tummies. When I switched bottles and placed him on the new formula, I began to see a small improvement. Feeding was still a major stressor in his lifes, but we were actively seeking outside support and professional advice to help this become less stressful.

Unfortunately, his story doesn’t end here. While eating was a slow process, he then began to have severe acid reflux, which resulted in spitting up or throwing up almost daily. Around his first birthday, he was lower on the charts for weight gain. Therefore, he was placed on a higher caloric formula to help him gain a few more ounces. However, over the next year, his eating continued to decreased. Despite changing bottles numerous times, offering sippy cups, and introducing solid foods, he still threw up daily. This was becoming such a huge stressor on his life that eating was now beginning to take place while he was asleep. (He would suck the bottle while he was half asleep.) However, this didn’t always work, as he would sometimes wake up coughing, covering himself and me in a bath of formula up-chuck. He was so stressed out over his inability to eat properly that he turned his head away everytime the bottle was presented. If he were to take anything by mouth, he would get so upset that it would often be thrown up. Eating was a huge stressor in Ephraim’s life that didn’t seem to be getting any better.

About two weeks to his second birthday, eating was taking a negative toll on his body. He spent almost half of his day trying to eat, but barely took about 12 ounces in. He finally got to the point where he refused all food and liquids. This stressor on his life had now entered significant chaos, and outside intervention was required.

Upon hearing that he had been taking in very little nutrition, his GI doctor and rehab doctor decided it was best to admit him to an inpatient facility for intense feeding therapy. When he was admited on October 19, he barely accepted a 4 oz jar of baby food a day and was not taking in any liquids. His weight was barely hanging in there at 26 pounds (just about three times his birth weight at his second birthday.) He spent the next three months working every day with multiple therapists on learning how to eat. He learned how to accept food from a spoon, and then he began to increase his food volume very slowly. He also began to work on oral motor skills and started to accept some textured foods. By January, about three months into this intensive hospital stay, he was successfully eating about 10-12 ounces of pureed food for each meal, meeting his daily calorie intake. Eating became much less stressful for him, and he came to enjoy sitting down for a meal with someone.

After his discharge in January, Ephraim suffered with a small bout of acid reflux. With a change in medication, he resumed his new eating skills. I came to love feeding Ephraim. Rather than turning away and refusing food, he actually opened his mouth and accepted his food. His weight, however,, began to drop which became disconcering. Although his eating was not as much of a stressor anymore, he has lost 2 pounds. His GI doctor became increasingly alarmed that he was actually declining on the progress chart, rather than climbing the chart with his age range. He was then placed on a caloric powder substance to increase the amount of calories he recevies a day. Fortunately, he has managed to gain about a pound and a half over a few months. With the intense therapy that he continues to receive as an outpatient and his calorie additive, eating for Ephraim has now become successful and pleasent.

Since eating was a huge stressor for Ephraim, causing major chaos in his life, he now struggled to eat any textured foods. He will refuse lumpy or grainy foods. He will not accept any liquids from a cup or bottle, but rather takes it thickened by a spoon. He received feeding therapy twice a week to help him grow more tolerate of textured foods and accept some liquid from a cup. To help him cope with this stressor, he has adapted to accepting all foods by spoon. Since feeding was so traumatic for Ephraim during the first two years of life he has become resistant with any textures or cups. While I continue to actively pursue additional resources to help Ephraim get over this stressor, I suspect that he will struggle with feeding issues for a good majority of his childhood.

Malnutrition is a huge stressor in the development in the lifes of children in Africa. Malnutrition is a result from poor food absorption or intake. Malnutrition can stem from the poverty rates, the economic situation in Africa, and even the climate change (http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm). 1 in 5 children in Africa will suffer from chronic malnutrition, while 1 in 10 will have severe malnutrition. As many as 50 % of the children have lack of calcium, iron, and zinc. 1 in 5 children in Africa have stunted physical growth as a result from undernutrition (http://food4africa.org/).

When malnutrition occurs in a child, their development is is profoundly affected. They may struggle with more sicknesses during the year, significant increasing major disease symptoms. They can have issues with paying attentiion and retaining information. Malnutrition can cause delayed or issues in physical growth and has even resulted in death (http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm). When children don’t receive the nutrition they need, their overal physical, cognitive, and mental development are negatively impacted, rendering them helpless in this situation.

However, there are numerous efforts working to help reduce hunger and malnutrition among children in Africa. The SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition) Movement, which includes about 30 countries, is working to improve the nutrition for everyone, especially children and women. This program is working directly with the people by trying to support breastfeeding and increasing vitamin suppliments among children. In addition, they are taking indirect methods, like increasing farming practices, to help reduce malnutrition. Countless people and government agencies, including UN representatives, Head of States, and politicans are working together to fight against malnutrition and to help increase the lives of children and adults http://allafrica.com/stories/201209281286.html).

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2012 in Childhood Stressors, Week 4

 

Words of Inspiration and Motivation

The Passion for Early Childhood:

My passion is to make sure all students were taught in environments and ways that truly nutured their ability to grow and develop to their fullest potential.

Teachers have to figure out who they are and find their voice.                                                                                                                                                      – Louise Derman-Sparks

I’m not here to save the world. I’m here just to make a difference …
                                                                                                                                                      – Raymond Hernandez

It’s not about you. It’s what’s best for this child.
Renatta M. Cooper

When I think of the word passion and the meaning to the word passion, what comes to mind are what are my values, what are my beliefs, what are the ideas that lead me to action, what do I do so naturally that perhaps seems natural to me but may be challenging to others? What’s in my heart?
Leticia Lara  

Reference:

The Passion for Early Childhood [Course Media]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.             edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackbo ard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_1342559_1%26url%3D

Janet Gonzalez-Mena

The equitable approach is to honor diversity and seek to understand what culturally sensitive care means for each family to be served. To meet such a goal, professionals have to establish close communication with families and work together with them toward positive outcomes for their children’s identity, sense of belonging, and cultural competence.

Difference cannot be negotiated until understanding is reached.

Reference:

Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2001). Cross-cultural Infant Care and Issues of Equity and Social Justice. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 2(3) doi: 10.2304/ciec.2001.2.3.8

Jean Marc Gaspard Itard

Here is a subnormal boy who has lacked civilizing experience. If I give him this experience, he will become normal.

The isolated and simultaneous action of our senses exerts a powerful influence upon the formation and development of our ideas.

Reference:

Lieberman, L. M. (1982). Itard: The Great Problem Solver. Journal Of Learning Disabilities15(9) Retrieved from http://ldx.sagepub.com/

 

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in Inspirational Quotes, Week 4