Meeting the needs of children and families


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  • Here are some facts about Down Syndrome:Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.Quality educational programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the community enable people with Down syndrome to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.
  • My personal experience, my son was born with down syndrome. He was identified at birth and was diagnosed based on physical characteristics. I gave birth at 10 pm and in the morning during the doctor’s visit, she told me that my son has down syndrome and they based it on the following characteristics: he has small ears, a straight line on his hand, small head, a large space between the first toe and second toe. Thank God that my son has no heart problem. They did the karyotype test and we waited for 3 days for the result and it was confirmed that my son has Trisomy 21.
  • Language is very important in order to communicate. In this scenario, it appears that Jack has less speech and throws tantrums and frustrated because he might not be able to communicate. One of the characteristics of down syndrome is hearing loss. I would suggest to Jack’s parent to have an audio test, so that they will know if he will need a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Introducing sign language is very helpful for the child to communicate. Speech therapy is another way to develop and improve his speech. If Jack will be indentified as hearing impaired, I would suggest to his parents to send him to a signing school because it will be better for him. The social worker can help them which school.In the school, using simple words, sentences or simple signs and sentences for Jack until he will be familiar. Constant repetition in using the words is one strategy.Using adaptive play materials such as stabilizing, enlarging, enhancing and simplifying is another way to help Jack develop his physical, speech and cognitive skills. Another characteristics of down syndrome is low muscle tone. His parents did not mentioned about this scenario, but I would suggest that using adaptive play materials will be helpful for Jack. For example: His parents can attached velcro to the blocks to become stable so that Jack will not be frustrated when he plays. He can also enlarge the toy by adding materials to make the toy accessible, like putting knob handle to the puzzle, so it will be easy for Jack to pick-up. Putting plastercences to the utensils for easy grasping. When playing in the water table, adding food color/soap to make it appealing to Jack. Lastly, by simplifying the toys like reducing the size of the puzzle by covering the other parts to make it simple for Jack. All these strategies will also be applicable in the child care centres and schools.Using prompting and cuing is very helpful for every child. Prompting in communicating, routines, play and other activities. For example: If Jack is hungry, and he cannot say the word milk, an adult can say or sign milk? And he might say yes. Here are the different levels of prompting that can be used in school and at home: Full physical (hand-over-hand); partial physical; modeling; gestural and positional. As Jack’s become familiar with the prompting and cues , it is necessary to fade until he can do the thing without prompting.Reinforcement is another strategy I can suggest. Social reinforcement is very good to help with their self-esteem. Reinforcement will encourage him to learn more to talk, sign, do the routines with less frustration. Maybe using tangible reinforcement by giving his favorite toy or activity will help his behaviour.Lastly, teaching the task analysis using simple words and picture sequence will be very helpful for Jack, his parents and teacher too. For example: hand washing . First, put your hand on the faucet and turn on. Next, wet your hands, put hand under the soap dispenser, using the other hand push the soap dispenser, rub both hands with soap, rinse the hands with water, take a paper towel to dry hands, with the paper towel turn off the faucet, take off your hands. Using pictures posted on the sink will guide the child what to do first and end.All these strategies will be helpful to all the children with or without special needs. All these suggestions I learned from our class. I am sharing my experiences and knowledge I learned from school.
  • Class room layout is another strategy which is applicable to children with and without special needs. A proper classroom layout will help the child where to go for the activity and where to find the things needed. For example: If Jack wants to hang his coat, he knows where his cubby is because it is properly labelled, child size and height, and it is visible. Another example, if Jack wants to move from one area to another, he can access without any problem. For example if Jack is painting and he needs to wash his hands after, the sink is located near the art area. The furniture, shelves, bathroom, and other materials should be child size and safe.Proper layout will help both the teachers and children become productive and learning will become smooth. Jack parents can also apply these strategy at home with his family. If the house is more organize, especially where Jack’s will be playing or working, then it will help him.Another strategy I can suggest will be the direct and indirect guidance strategy. Here are some of the positive guidance strategy both the teacher and Jack’s parents can apply: Deliver I-Messages, Active Listening, Divert and Distract (younger children), Substitution (preschoolers), Negotiation, Setting Limits and Affirmations.In using active listening, the adult should acknowledge the child’s feelings. If the child is non verbal then the “guessing game” is applied. Interpreting the baby’s crying, expressions and body language and giving names to the feeling and accept all feelings as valid. For example: Jack was crying because he was frustrated he cannot open the box. Then the adult will say to Jack: “ It sounds like you were upset”. “That must be frustrating”. An example of I-message: “It scares me when I see you jumping on the slide because you could fall and get hurt”.Negotiation is the process used for helping children deal with their own conflicts in the problem-solving philosophy. (Guiding Young Children, Fourth Edition, p187). There are several steps to follow in negotiation. Once the teacher or parent know by heart then it will be an effective tool.Using the positive guidance strategies and knowing who owns the problem , the teacher will know what specific or combination of strategy to use. Using both active listening, negotiation or setting limits together in a particular scenario.Children gets frustrated and sometimes throws tantrums when they cannot express their ideas or feelings. Using non verbal like smiling, touching, holding, patting will communicate acceptance and trust and opens dialogue, enhances growth. (Guiding Young Children, Fourth Edition, p97).I hope that I will be able to help Jack and his parents with all the suggested strategies I shared with them. I learned all these from my teachers and other personal experience.
  • Since Jack’s parents are new to Toronto, they might not know the agencies and resources both from the government and charitable institutions where they can avail of some financial help. I would like to introduce to them the financial benefits of Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Tax credit.Ontario tax credit is one government aid for family with child/children with disability where in Part B (Basic limit for child care expenses) of the Child Care Expenses Deduction section of the income tax mention about the amount the family can claim for the disability. Ontario Disability Support Program also helps the family for dental and drug benefits. Financial aid is based on the family income. If the child is wearing hearing aid, the family can claim for the ear mold and hearing aid expenses to ODSP. In my experience, my son Ryan is wearing a hearing aid and the hearing aid centre helped us on the process on claiming the fee through ODSP. It is better if somebody will refer the family to the hearing centre because in my previous experienced we paid for the hearing aid. It is a very big help to the family because hearing aids are very expensive.Ontario Disability Support Program also have the dental and drug benefits. When the child goes to the dentist for check-up, cleaning, and others, just present the card to the receptionist before the procedure and the basic procedures are covered. Prescription drugs are also covered by ODSP.I think this will be a great information for Jack’s parents and they will have an idea what to do and where to go.
  • Another agency where Jack’s parents can avail of financial support is from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. His parents should contact the agency so that they will assign a councillor to help with their family. The councillor will visit the family and she/he will assist Jack’s family. The financial aid will depend on the severity of the child’s disability.The family can join the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto to be able to connect or associate with other parents by sharing their experiences. The family can participate in the programs offered for the child. Attending seminars and conventions will help the parents acquire more information and skills in taking care of the child. Exposing the child to different programs will help them develop physically, mentally and socially active and teaching them to become independent.
  • Since Jack has a very little speech introducing him to sign language will be a good way for him to communicate. In this way he will not be frustrated because his family will be able to understand him. I can recommend to Jack’s parents to avail these programs from Silent voice and Bob Rumball because they are proven to me to be very helpful. My son Ryan was born with Down Syndrome and hearing loss, now he is 10 years old and he communicate through sign language, some words and gestures.The family communication program is very helpful for the child and the family member because the teacher(hearing impaired) will come to your house and have 1 hour session with the family teaching American Sign Language. The child will be able to communicate to the family members and vice versa. Other members of the family can also join the session and it is convenient for the whole family because it is a home visit where the teacher will come to your own place. Silent Voice also offers various programs like summer camp and some expenses are subsidized. Silent voice charge $100.00 for the ASL family home visit program but the family can request for subsidy depending of the family income.Bob Rumball Early Years Learning is the only drop-in playgroup in Toronto for the hearing impaired and hard of hearing children. Parents will be able to connect with the staffs and other parents and share their experiences and learn new ways to stimulate their child. The staff will communicate to the children in sign language. They also have a sign language lessons to the parents while the children are playing in the other room and it is free.
  • Saturday Speech, Drama and Social Skills Club is private class, but in groups. Taking the child on one-on-one speech therapy session is very expensive. In this case, the child will get to develop their social skills as well as their speech. The fee is $670.00 which the parents can claim it to the income tax or claim it from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.My son Ryan was in Saturday Speech program for almost three years and I can see a great development. They have singing, role playing, music and a 15 minutes one-one speech therapy with Tina the Speech Language Pathologist. She will teach how to teach your child to pronounce the word. Some techniques she used to help the child. It is very helpful to both the child and the parents.The Access 2 Entertainment card allows persons with a disability to receive either free admission or a significant discount for their support person at member movie theatres and attractions across Canada. In this way Jack’s parents can take him to movie theater, Science Centre, other attractions for his socialization, physical and cognitive development. This Disability Travel Card is intended for people with disabilities who require the assistance of a support person when traveling. The Card offers it’s holder discounts to the support person in attendance with them when traveling with participating partners Via Rail, Greyhound bus lines and Coach Canada. Jack’s parents can take him ride the GO train for experience and fun. Using the card the family can travel with discount. Visiting places with the family for entertainment, education and pleasure will help Jack’s development.(
  • In preparing and making this assignment on Meeting the Needs of Children and Families , I had experienced some challenges and I also have some strengths were I am happy and proud to share. Taking this subject as part of the program is very helpful for me and I learned a lot. My knowledge about Inclusion with Special Needs has increased and broadened. This subject is very interesting and informative and the Connectability website that was introduced by Chris (our teacher) is very good resource for us students as well as parents.This assignment enable me to incorporate all my knowledge I learned from the whole course and apply it to the needs of the families. All the things I learned from this subject was applied to this assignment.Taking care of a child with special needs is not easy. It requires patience and courage. Having strong faith in God and strong family support is very important. Having a good teacher in the child care centre and school will help the child’s development. Having knowledge about inclusion with special needs will help in setting up the program appropriate for a particular needs of the child. This course is very important and helpful to me especially in my specialized field placement. This semester I am working with the hearing impaired children and my knowledge in American Sign Language has help me. I learned ASL through the Silent Voice family program. Topics like teaching strategies, and adaptive play materials are great ideas to teach to all children.The learning outcome of this course was I was able to learn all the different characteristics of the environment that support the principles of inclusion such as the adaptive materials, using visual communication, having a good layout will support in curriculum planning for a particular child. For example: using picture sequencing , sign language and task analysis for children who are non verbal. The role of the teacher in responding to the identified needs of the individual children is to help and guide the child according to their needs. The teacher should study, observe and learn what the child’s special needs and be able to accommodate and teach according to the child’s strengths. As a global citizen and a future early childhood educator I will be able to support the family by advocating their needs. For example: if the family needs an itinerant teacher for their child, I will be able to help them. As an early childhood educator, I will volunteer in the Down Syndrome association if they have some campaign going on. I can also volunteer and help in the charitable organization. By doing these action I will be able to support the family locally and in national level. Imparting my knowledge and ideas to the child by supporting their needs through teaching is one way of global The strengths I have in this assignment is based on my personal experience. My experiences contributed a lot in making this assignment because I have the resources and agencies that I can share information with to the other families. I did not have any challenges in this assignment because I find it I am sharing my personal experience to Jack’s family .
  • Meeting the needs of children and families

    1. 1. ECEP 233Junnifer Villanueva
    2. 2. A family has a 5 year old boy named Jack. He is in thekindergarten program. Jack was born with DownSyndrome. He has very little speech and appears to bevery outgoing and friendly. The family are new toToronto.It seems that the family needs some services for Jack’sspeech and social development. It appears that hisparents need financial and moral support.
    3. 3. What is Down Syndrome?Down Syndrome is a geneticcondition that causes delaysin physical and intellectualdevelopment. It occurs inapproximately 1 every 800 livebirths. Individuals with DownSyndrome have 47chromosomes instead of theusual 46.
    4. 4. Three Types of Down Syndrome1. Non-disjunction Down Syndrome(also known as Trisomy 21 ).2. Mosaicism Down Syndrome (2-4% of cases)3. Translocation Down SyndromeHow it is diagnosed or detected?Down Syndrome is usually identified atbirth and diagnosed based onphysical characteristics and mustbe confirmed by a chromosomestudy called karyotype.
    5. 5. Characteristics of Down Syndrome A flattened appearance to theface. A smaller head,proportionately. An upward slant to the eyes. A narrow slit to the eyes. Pronounced bags or foldsunder the eyes. A small, depressed nose. Small ears. A small mouth. A large or protruding tongue. A short neck Large space between the firstand second toe. A single deep crease at thecenter of the palm. Poor muscle tone (hypotonia) Loose joints(hyperflexability) Weak reflexes
    6. 6. Myths vs. Facts Myth: Children with down syndrome are born to women over 35. Fact: Women under 35 years of age give birth to more than 80% of childrenwith disabiliites. Myth: Children with Down Syndrome all look alike and have passive , lovingpersonalities. Fact: While individuals with Down syndrome do have some physical features incommon, they resemble their families in appearance and temperament muchmore than they do each other. Myth: Children with Down syndrome dont live very long. Fact: Approximately 30 - 40% of individuals with Down syndrome are bornwith heart defects and some have congenital - anomalies. Many of these defectsare now correctable by surgery. The majority of individuals with Downsyndrome are expected to live an average life span. Myth: Children with Down syndrome will never grow up to be independent. Fact: Parents and society are coming to understand the aspirations of personswith Down syndrome to participate in all aspects of community life: education,recreation, employment, social and family life.
    7. 7. Meeting the needs in the child care centreIt appears that Jack needs speech, physical and cognitivedevelopment and here are some of the strategies I cansuggest that might be helpful for Jack and his family inschool and at home. Speech and sign language development. Using the adaptive play materials. Using prompting, cuing and fading strategy. Reinforcement Task analysis
    8. 8. Continuation of meeting needs in the child care centre Classroom Layouts Using the Direct andIndirect GuidanceStrategies
    9. 9. Agencies and Resources Ontario Tax CreditYou and your family maybe eligible for otherOntario tax tolearn more. Ontario DisabilitySupport ProgramThe Ontario DisabilitySupport Program helpspeople with disabilitieswho are in financial needpay for living expenses,like food and housing.
    10. 10.  Ministry of Children andYouth ServicesToronto Region477 Mount Pleasant Road3rd floorToronto, Ontario M7A 1G1Tel.: (416) 325-0500TTY: (416) 325-3600Fax: (416) Down SyndromeAssociation of Toronto Telephone:(416) 966-0990 Fax:(416) 966-3962 Email: Website: Service Area: Toronto
    11. 11.  Rumball Family Resource Centre/Ontario Early Years Centre:The Ontario Early Years Centre at theBob Rumball Centre for the Deaf is a freedrop-in playgroup which provides a funand interactive environment where Deaf,hard of hearing, and hearing parents andcaregivers connect with one another andlearn about new ways to stimulate theirchild’s development. Children agesbirth to 6 years will learn through play,developing social skills and emotionalsecurity. Staff communicate in AmericanSign Language and English.Website: Communication ProgramA Deaf teacher will come to a home toteach a hearing family with a Deafchild American Sign Language andprovide information about the DeafCommunity/Culture.Cost:Families are charged a registration feeof $100.00. Subsidies are availableupon request.Website:
    12. 12.  Saturday Speech, Drama and SocialSkills ClubYonge & St. Clair area48 Chopin Blvd., Thornhill ON L4J 8Y6 Each participant is seen individually forSpeech Therapy while the remainder of thegroup is busy dancing, singing, acting outstories, cooking, playing co-operativegames, dressing up, role playing… Fee: $ 670.00tgasee@hotmail.comTel. No. 905-326-9616 Easter SealsAccess to 2 Entertainment Card Disability Travel CardFor all Travel Card inquires please contact usat 416-932-8382, or toll free number is 1-877-376-6362 x 224 Fee: $20.00 (good for 5 years)
    13. 13. Bibliography Inclusion of Children with Special Needs – Reading Package Part One by Chris Cadieux Class hand outs Personal images of my son Ryan and Jeffrey Reynolds, Eleanor, Guiding Young Children, Fourth Edition, Mc Graw Hill, 2008,2001, 1996,1990.