Class 1- Discussion – Current Trends in Early Education
Peer post 1: For this changing time; the trend that we can find in ECE would be health, safety, and nutrition. As it comes to health and safety; our main priority has been keeping our children self-protected by this COVID 19 pandemic. In the beginning; medical officials made it urgent that we wash our hands continuously, stay 6 feet apart, and even make sure we have the proper masks. When it comes to nutrition; it is important that the educational system is able to provide a nice variety of meals for children. When we lo0ok at how these trends impact the ECE field; we can see that they can benefit or hinder their growth and development. If children are being sent to school sick or under the weather; they are risking the safety and well-being of others. As for nutrition; so of these children are depending on school meals to help fuel them for the day because they may have a hard time having access to the right nutritional needs due to family situations.
As of right now; with my job; I work with children with autism. It is important to make sure that these children are at their best so they are able to work their program and succeed. Families are asked to make sure their child has the right food to be used as motivators for certain programs. Additionally; if a parent is giving their child nothing but candy and sweets; the child might not be focused on working their intended programs because of the sugar intake. As for maintaining their health and safety; we are teaching them the importance of handwashing after every activity that deals with their hands. Activities like finishing up on the potty, washing their hands before and after they eat, and also sanitizing any toys or surfaces that they have taken part in.
For me, the trends that are important to stay on top of are making sure the children are safe and healthy while also maintaining a balanced diet. When working with young children; I feel as though it is important to make sure that we are educating children on the proper foods that need to have while allowing them to treat themself to a “bad” food every now and then.
Peer post 2: There are various trends when it comes to health, safety and nutrition for young children. The most prominent trend has been mental health in children. According to the website www.cdc.gov they define children’s mental health is reaching developmental childhood milestones, learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems. Common mental disorders in children include ADHD. It is the most common type of early childhood mental disorder among children. When it comes to safety the most important safety issues is Bike safety and outdoor play. Children must be wearing a helmet at all times to protect from possible injury and always have a parent supervising as they are riding. Childhood obesity is the current trend in early childhood nutrition that continues to be a concern today. According to the cdc the obesity rate for children ages two five years of age is 13.4 percent. Families must make better choices when it comes to eating healthy and preparing healthy meals. The trend that impacts me the most is children’s mental health. I feel that this subject is not taken seriously enough when it comes to young children. As a mom with a son with ADHD it has been extremely difficult to see my son go through his struggles and for the doctors to not take it seriously. Children as well as adults can struggle with mental health and it is important for families, doctors, and educators to recognize the signs of a possible disorder.
Class 2- Discussion – Does it work?
Peer post 1: In reference to IDEA, yes, the purpose of the IDEA act was to ensure that intervention services are provided to children who have developmental delays, which is a federal law to protect children and families, that their state follows through with this act. IDEA and Help Me Grow (helpmegrowmn.org) Does IDEA work, yes if there are systems in place, and also education and resources for families to be aware of how they play a vital role in their child’s education?
I do have to say we as early childhood educators can do more to help our families understand the importance of how they as parents are a key role in their child’s IFSP/IEP, and from the start of a referral. It should not stop at early childhood; this also needs to continue throughout their years as they continue in public schools to help families through the process.
One of the difficulties, finding resources in all languages and continuing to support families in their first language, as it is if you are not an ELL, it is very overwhelming and can be sensitive to families when their child has been identified they have a delay, so then what are we doing to be responsive to all of our families and making sure will implement equitable systems. I found this really great information sheet for families on what is an IEP in 14 different languages, Special Education and Your Child: FAQs for Multilingual Families | Colorín Colorado (colorincolorado.org) this is taking that extra step to making sure your families are understanding the process when their child has been referred to be assessed to seeing if they qualify for services.
We had a family that was unsure of the process of a referral, also the process once they have been assessed what is next when they get invited to an evaluation meeting, we shared these videos for the family in their home language, again this is a way to bridge families to resources, and also feeling valued as a parent, the resource we used was PACER, they advocate for families and also empower families to understand their child’s IFSP/IEP, what resources are out there, what can they do to help support their child, PACER provides videos for families to learn more about the process, in Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. PACER Center – Spanish, Hmong & Somali Translated Information focusing on family issues
Peer post 2: The IDEA law ensures that children with disabilities will receive free public education in the least restrictive environment possible. In my experiences many families with young children do not really know about this law. Working even in a school district I have had middle or high school teachers that had no clue their child could receive services at such young ages. I feel in order for parents to make use of these tools and improve their child’s education they need to know more about this law. Our team has an absolutely amazing set of special education teachers and therapists. They do a fantastic job of providing teachers and parents with the proper resources necessary to help each child succeed. Despite staff being so helpful there are areas where some sort of change needs to happen. In my experience there are long wait times for children to be evaluated. Even if children already have a diagnosis from a doctor or different diagnostician, they still must be revaluated at the school. This could take months. I have also seen classrooms and educators struggle because a child needs 1:1 assistance, but there is no aid available. This isn’t fair to the child, the other students, or the educators. If children require 1:1 assistance, there’s need to be enough funding to hire on the needed help. When do educators have time to help support the families when they can’t even get the support they need in the classroom?
Overall, the law is helpful, but it definitely could use improvement.