Podcast: Child Development Screening Part Two
Part two of our child development series is here! Emma and Stephanie talk about social and emotional development and why it’s important to pay attention to this area early in your child’s life.
Listen to part one for background before this episode!
Teen parents connect in GRADS
The ASQ is one of many tools that the GRADS program uses to build confidence in teen parents; it works to empower them and make them the experts on their babies’ development. From a homeschooled teen in a small town to a confident Vancouver mother, Celeste tapped into GRADS and NFP to build her skill set and support network and to offer her son a healthy start. These students are a testament to the value of stable, positive investment in young parents.
Back to (pre-)school partnerships
Over the last year and a half, the Bothell Family Co-op Preschool has partnered with Help Me Grow to expand use of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The expansion includes working with preschool teachers and families to allow ASQ results to be part of the parent-teacher conversation, and for the results to inform and improve practices in the classroom. Since the trial run was so successful, we are excited to expand this service to other affiliated co-op preschools within the Shoreline Community College’s Parenting Education Program this fall.
Co-op Preschools Provide Optimal Environment for Parent Engagement
The cooperative preschool model brings parents and skilled educators together to provide a rich learning experience for children. Parents assist in their child’s preschool once a week and attend meetings on child development, kindergarten readiness, emotion coaching and more. Parents are active partners in their children’s learning and development. Educators are poised to help reframe developmental screening—once seen as a strictly diagnostic tool—as an educational strategy for optimizing child development that is suitable for all children.
The preschool teachers have unique insight into co-op families’ lives, and are trusted sources of information. To support this valuable dynamic, WithinReach offers its ASQ to preschool teachers to bring to their students’ families. The ASQ can spark important conversation with parents about their child’s development. Teachers are trained to present the tool and empower parents to observe their child’s skills. In addition to parent education, the results can inform how teachers plan their curriculum.
Help Me Grow
WithinReach’s Help Me Grow team equips teachers to present the ASQ and utilize the results. Teachers direct families to WithinReach’s free online ASQ, where parents complete and submit it. A WithinReach Child Development Specialist calls each parent to discuss their results, along with any community resources to foster child growth, e.g. Play & Learn groups or additional evaluation. With parent permission, WithinReach staff sends a copy of the results to the preschool teacher. WithinReach’s unique role involves lending parents a fresh ear, triaging families to community resources, and informing teachers of each child’s developmental status so that everyone can work together to create a positive learning environment.
We are excited about this partnership, unique population, and opportunity to expand access to developmental screening in a new and creative way.
For more information about the Help Me Grow program, call our WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or visit Parenthelp123.org
I Am Five: Help Me Learn and Grow
Animals All Over: This activity helps to engage your child’s gross motor skills. You will need pictures of animals. Turn the pictures of animals face down. Take turns with your child choosing a picture. Act out the animal you picked together. For example, you will jump for a kangaroo or run fast for a cheetah. This helps your child use their large muscles in their body when they are acting like different animals.
Role Plays: This activity works on your child’s personal-social skills. Collect some items that your child can use to create a pretend restaurant, doctor’s office, or another setting. Have your child take turns playing different roles with another person. This activity promotes creativity in your child when using pretend play items. When role playing with your child, try asking them more questions to help them think further about their role. For example, when playing restaurant, say to your child things like, “I really like French fries. Can I get some French fries with ketchup?” or “Does this restaurant have milkshakes? What kind of milkshakes do you have?”
Congratulations to Ginelle Nault: Recipient of the Unsung Hero Award
Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Ginelle Nault, recipient of the Unsung Hero Award from Strengthening Families Washington – Department of Early Learning . This award recognizes our everyday heroes and honors the important role caregivers play in children’s lives. We were proud to nominate Ginelle for this award, and are thrilled that she is being recognized for the work she has done to strengthen her family and her community.
You may remember Ginelle from our 2013 Healthy Connections luncheon, where she conquered major stage fright to speak in front of our 500 guests. She spoke passionately and honestly about finding the help she needed to connect her daughter, Chloe, to early intervention through our Help Me Grow program, a program that connects families to the resources they need to make sure their kids are growing and developing on track. By providing a free child development screening (Ages and Stages Questionnaire), as well as activity suggestions and community resource information, Help Me Grow empowers parents to check on their child’s development.
Ginelle came to our program seeking support for Chloe after trying every other avenue she could think of, and our staff was able to connect them to the Birth to Three Early Intervention program at Providence Children’s Center where Chloe received further evaluation, diagnosis and eventual help from speech language and occupational therapists.
Following Chloe’s autism diagnosis, Ginelle and her husband have demonstrated tremendous resilience, a commitment to expanding their knowledge of Chloe’s development, and an outstanding commitment to building her social-emotional competence. Thanks to her parents’ unwavering support, Chloe not only receives help from speech language and occupational therapists, but has also participated in multiple intensive studies through the University of Washington. The improvements in Chloe’s developmental progress are truly remarkable.
In addition to the support she has provided her daughter, Ginelle has been a committed Help Me Grow program champion, helping other families access the services that so positively impacted Chloe’s trajectory. Ginelle appeared in a promotional video for Help Me Grow that was intended for a small, one-time audience. Due to Ginelle’s remarkably open and relatable testimony, thousands have seen the video and learned about Help Me Grow.
If you would like to learn more about Help Me Grow and the other ways WithinReach works to make the connections Washington families need to be healthy, join us at our 2014 Healthy Connections Luncheon on March 12, 2014.
I Am Four: Help Me Learn and Grow
Written by Help Me Grow Vista, Keri Foster
As a parent, have you ever wondered, ‘Is my child on track for preschool?’ Developmental milestones are key skills that children learn at predictable times; knowing where your child is at in reaching these milestones is a great way to make sure they’re making progress towards school readiness. That’s why the Help Me Grow Washington program at WithinReach provides families with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), a free, easy to use, doctor recommended tool for checking in on your child’s developmental milestones.
At age 4-5 , the main thing children need from play with parents/caregivers is to have fun with them! It is important not to turn play into a “lesson”. The best way you can play with children is to provide an interesting environment, have time to play, and follow your child’s lead. Here are some fun activities to do with your child ages 4-5 years old.
My Own Story Book: This activity uses your child’s language and communication skills. Begin by encouraging your child to tell you a story and write down what they tell you. Encourage your child to draw pictures after telling you their story. When your child is done, show your child their story and read it back to them. This activity helps your child use their language skills to describe their pictures to you.
Count and Wait: This activity applies their problem-solving skills. When you are waiting for something to happen, count out with your child how long it takes for it to happen. You can try this when riding in the car and waiting for the light to change or when waiting for a train to pass on the railroad tracks. This simple activity helps your child learn to be more patient and will help him/her with waiting in the future in situations when you are not around. This activity also helps your child with their counting!
You’ve Got Mail: This activity helps with your child’s fine motor skills. Start with letting your child open the junk mail. They can use their fingers to open the mail, they may even try to tell you what the mail says! Help your child write letters to family members or a friend and show them how to put them in the mail. This activity helps your child control their fine motor skills when putting the letters in the mail slot. Take them to the post office and show them how you put the stamp on and mail the letter.
Help Your Two Year Old Learn and Grow!
Written by Help Me Grow VISTA, Keri Foster
Help Me Grow Washington is a free program dedicated to helping you understand and support your child’s development. Complete a doctor recommended Ages & Stages Questionnaire, an activity based survey that looks at your child’s ability to complete simple activities in five areas of development. Here are some other fun activities to do with your child ages 2-3 years old. For more activities like this visit our Pinterest page.
I am two.
In the second year, don’t be surprised if your child is frightened of falling in the toilet! Certain concepts such as size, space, and distance are still abstract. However, your child is grasping the idea of categorizing and sorting objects into understandable groups. Encourage development through play by trying out these fun activities.
Counting and Grouping: This is an activity that exercises your child’s problem-solving skills. Start with giving your child a piece of cereal. Tell your child, “Here is one piece of cereal.” Give your child another piece of cereal and tell them, “Here is another piece of cereal. Now there are two pieces of cereal.” Do the same thing with using balls and blocks. Then group the cereal, balls, and blocks in twos. Tell your child, “See, there are two cereal pieces, two balls and two blocks. Let’s count them.” Through this activity your child will begin to learn the concepts of quantity and how things can be grouped together.
Being a Little Parent: This activity helps develop personal-social skills. You will need plastic dishes, baby blanket, hair brush, and a plastic baby doll or stuffed animal. Begin with showing your child how they can use the spoon or fork to feed the baby doll. Show your child how to use the brush to “brush” the doll’s hair. Lastly, show your child how to use the baby blanket to cover the baby doll during “nap time”. This helps your child practice pretend play and imagination skills using real life objects.
Picture Book Game: This is a fun activity that helps strengthen language and communication skills. You will simply need a few of your child’s favorite picture books. Show your child the pictures in the book. To see if your child understands and can identify pictures, ask a question such as, “Where is the dog?” Model how to label items you see by pointing and saying the names (“ball”, “car”, etc.) or using a phrase such as “I see the dog”.
Help Your One Year Old Learn and Grow!
I am one.
By 12 months your child is likely into declaring, “me” and “mine.” They also are into opposites, probably in the form of whatever you are suggesting at the time! This is because they are learning that they are their own person, understanding their world around them, and how it relates to them. You can encourage social development through these fun activities that involve personal-social, problem-solving, and language/communications skills!
Clean Up, Clean Up: To work on your child’s personal-social skills, first gather a bin/box and child’s toys. Ask your child to help you clean up their toys, show them how to pick up each toy and put it in the bin. You can encourage your baby to help you by singing a song such as, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere, clean up, clean up everybody do your share.” This activity encourages your baby to help others, while teaching them that clean up after play is important.
Copy Cat: This activity expands your child’s problem-solving skills. You will just need you and your child. First, choose an action and try to get your child to imitate you. For example, clap your hands. When your child claps, say “look, you can clap too!” Try other actions such as touching your nose or sticking out your tongue. After each one, say, “you try!” Be silly and have fun! Your child will enjoy this repetitive activity for hours of fun.
Choices, Choices: This is an activity that engages your child’s language and communication skills throughout the day. Start your day by giving lots of choices to your child and continue to throughout the day. Ask your child, “Do you want bananas or strawberries?” while holding up each one to show them. You can do this with lots of things including toys, food, or clothes. This helps your child’s emerging language skills by encouraging your child to use verbal words. It also helps your child make connections between objects and words.