Volunteer Spotlight: Jenifer Mulholland

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Name: Jenifer Mulholland

What area do you volunteer in: Jane Justin School

What do you do when you volunteer: Work with the kids in reading and math and became the treasurer of JJS PTO

What made you want to volunteer at CSC: CSC has had a major impact in my family’s life.

What has had the biggest impact on you since volunteering at CSC: Seeing the children progress over the years is really special to me.

What is your favorite classroom to volunteer in: Red Room!

Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer here: Do it! What you get back in seeing what the place does for the children is something special.

 

“The school is beyond grateful for all the help and support we have received from Jenifer Mulholland these past four years. A good volunteer is like gold for an organization and we hit the jackpot over here at the Jane Justin School! Our school is better because of her time and expertise.”   –Jenn Pilkenton

“Mrs. Mulholland is really funny and helps us read so we can learn.” – Red Room Student

Volunteer Spotlight: Ashley Marsh

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Ashley Marsh is a TCU student majoring in Child Development with a minor in Speech Language Pathology.  Ashley was born and raised in Plano and is interested in a career working with children who have learning differences and behavioral disorders.  She heard about Child Study Center’s exceptional Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program from a classmate.  Ashley volunteers in ABA as a Facilitator two afternoons a week.  Ashley finds volunteering very rewarding.  She enjoys seeing the children progress and has learned a lot. Pia, one of our Behavior Technicians, put together this fun little song about Ashley:

Look at this girlIsn’t she neat?Wouldn’t you think her attitude is great? Wouldn’t you think she’s the girl The girl who does everything?   Look at her love Stories untold How many kinds do you think her arms can hold? Lookin’ around here you’d think Sure She’s does everything   She does homework and projects of plenty She’s still learning and listening galore You want essays written? She’ll write twenty Is she busy? No big deal She wants more   She wants to be where the kiddies are She wants to see, wanna see ’em playing’ Walkin’ around in those—what do ya’ call ’em?—oh, Crocs.   Flippin’ your binder you don’t get too far Ashley is needed for playing, teaching Bowling a ball towards—what’s that word again?–Pins.   Up where kids play Up where kids learn Up where kids stay all day on the swing Wanderin’ free She volunteers At part of our ORG What would we giveIf we could haveHer volunteering? What would she do To spend a day Working with kids? Bet ya the staff They understand And that they appreciate her Bright young woman Eager and willing Ready to serve   And she is ready to know what the people know She’ll ask her questions And get some answers What’s a token and why does it—what’s the word?—earn?   When’s it your turn? Wouldn’t you love Love to volunteer at our org? At C-S-C Wish you could be Part of our org   At C-S-C Wish you could be Part of our ORG

Thank you, Ashley for volunteering here and making a difference in the lives of the children we serve!

PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: Autism Treatment

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PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: STRATEGIES and TECHNIQUES

MONTHLY TOPIC:  Autism Treatment

IMPORTANT POINTS: Once a child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), caregivers often have lots of questions. What is the next step? What type of treatment does my child need now? What will they need in a few years? Parents may feel overwhelmed by the information and have trouble accessing services.

Typically treatment is focused on the presenting symptoms and may include increasing communication skills, addressing behavior problems, decreasing repetitive behaviors and interests, and working on enhancing social skills (eye contact, interactive play skills, and social responses to others). Services may be provided in-home or school-based. Families are encouraged to work with their child’s providers to develop an appropriate treatment plan and make adjustments as needed.

 

LINK TO MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.asatonline.org/for-parents/learn-more-about-specific-treatments/

http://www.asatonline.org/research-treatment/clinical-corner/considerations-when-choosing-a-behavioral-science-provider/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/autism-spectrum-disorder/basics/treatment/con-20021148

PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

autism spectrum disorder image   PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS:STRATEGIES and TECHNIQUES MONTHLY TOPIC:  Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) IMPORTANT POINTS: Diagnosing autism often includes two steps: 1)     Developmental Screening

  1. The child’s pediatrician will ask parents about the child’s language, behavior, and overall developmentduring routine child visits
  2. Screening specifically for ASD should occur at the 18 month and 24 month well-child visits. Additional screening should be completed if the child is a risk
  3. If concerns arise the pediatrician will recommend a more comprehensive evaluation to be completed by a specialist, like a Developmental Pediatrician or Child Psychologist

2)    Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation

  1. This is a thorough review of child’s behavior and development and an interview with parents
  2. This can include hearing and vision screening, genetic testing, developmental testing, and other direct testing with the child
  3. Data is obtained from multiple sources and a comprehensive understanding of the child’s skills are obtained in efforts to make an accurate diagnosis

LINK TO MORE INFORMATION: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml#part_145438 http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/screening.html

Parenting Tips & Topics: Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder

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PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Behavioral Feature Observable 6 to 12 months Observable 12 to 30 months
Response to others’ social input

 

  • Poor eye contact
  • Poor eye contact
  • Infrequent or delayed responses when name is called
  • Inattentive to others pointing or eye direction cue
  • Infrequent playful imitation of others’ actions
  • Shows little interest in other children
  • Poor eye contact
  • Infrequent or delayed responses when name is called
  • Inattentive to others pointing or eye direction cue
  • Infrequent playful imitation of others’ actions
  • Shows little interest in other children
Social Interaction

 

  • Passive
  • Limited facial expression during social interaction
  • Infrequent smiling at others with eye contact
  • Infrequent attempts to point out or show objects or events of own interest
  • Limited facial expression during social interaction
  • Infrequent smiling at others to show enjoyment
  • Rarely initiates social smiles to share enjoyment
  • Infrequent attempts to point out or show objects or events of own interest
  • Limited facial expression during social interaction
  • Infrequent smiling at others to show enjoyment
  • Rarely initiates social smiles to share enjoyment
Communication & Play

 

  • Delayed babbling
  • Limited exploration of toys and objects
  • Low variety of speech sounds or gestures when trying to communicate
  • Delayed language development
  • Limited variety of play with toys
  • Infrequently coordinates eye contact with gestures and speech sounds to communicate
  • Low variety of speech sounds or gestures when trying to communicate
  • Delayed language development
  • Limited variety of play with toys
  • Infrequently coordinates eye contact with gestures and speech sounds to communicate
Sensory & Motor

 

  • Tenses hands, arms, legs, or mouth
  • Low muscle tone or “floppy”
  • Poor motor coordination or motor delay (sitting, crawling)
  • Seeks firm pressure on body
  • Intense interest in shiny or moving things
  • Tenses hands, arms, legs, or mouth
  • Poor motor coordination or motor delay
  • Seeks firm pressure on body
  • Intense interest in shiny or moving things
  • Tenses hands, arms, legs, or mouth
  • Poor motor coordination or motor delay
  • Seeks firm pressure on body
  • Intense interest in shiny or moving things

**Source Kennedy Krieger Institute research studies

LINK TO MORE INFORMATION:

PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: STRATEGIES and TECHNIQUES – Developmental Delays

Developmental Delays

 

MONTHLY TOPIC:    What is a DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY??

IMPORTANT POINTS: Children learn many, many new skills following their birth. They learn to smile, roll over, sit up, walk, talk, and the list continues. The expectation is that these skills emerge in a roughly predictable timeframe. The timetable for skills to emerge is referred to as DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES. Keep in mind that children do not develop skills at exactly the same rate and may reach skills weeks or more apart, though both could be on track developmentally. When skills do not emerge as anticipated, parents and caregivers became concerned and further evaluation of if a developmental delay is present is needed. Here are recommendations for how to proceed if you are concerned that your child has a developmental delay.

1)     Talk to your pediatrician and seek developmental screening.

2)    If warranted, (based on the results of screening) obtain a more in-depth developmental evaluation.

LINK TO MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Assessing-Developmental-Delays.aspx

http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/milestones/

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/Pages/default.aspx

PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: STRATEGIES and TECHNIQUES – ‘TIS THE SEASON

 

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MONTHLY TOPIC:    ‘TIS THE SEASON

IMPORTANT POINTS: The holidays are a wonderful time to be with loved ones and to enjoy family traditions. With relatives visiting, possible travel, breaks from school and therapies, and other changes to the everyday routine, this time of year can also become taxing and overwhelming for everyone, including children with special needs and their families. Here are a few tips to lessen the stress during the holiday season.

  1. Use picture schedules and calendars to show your child what the day to day plans will be.
  2. Continue to use positive behavior strategies, such as sticker charts or a token system. Reward appropriate behavior and provide consequences for disruptive issues. BE CONSISTENT!
  3. Stick to typical bedtimes and evening time routines when possible.
  4. Try to avoid over-booking the day and schedule. Pick the best activities for you and your family.
  5. Plan for free or quiet time during the day and stick to the nap schedule if you child still naps.

 

LINK TO MORE IDEAS:

https://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/assets/files/resources/disabilitiesholidays.pdf

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-the-pieces/201412/5-keep-cool-travel-tips-parents-children-autism

https://handsinautism.iupui.edu/pdf/How_To_Visual_Schedules.pdf

happy holidays

 

PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: HELPING YOUR CHILD’S BEHAVIOR

 

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PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: STRATEGIES and TECHNIQUES

MONTHLY TOPIC:  HELPING YOUR CHILD’S BEHAVIOR

IMPORTANT POINTS:

  • Your child will benefit from a consistent and structured behavior plan at home and at school. An effective plan includes:

o   Specific behavioral expectations (e.g., when you are angry, keep your hands to yourself and ask an adult for help);

o   Clear consequences (e.g., immediate reward/praise for appropriate behavior or time out for inappropriate behavior); and

o   Follow through on the part of the caregiver (e.g., the consequence must be implemented immediately and consistently).

  • When developing a behavior plan for your child at home and at school, it will be useful to focus on one or two specific behaviors at a time to avoid overwhelming the child with new expectations and to ensure that consequences can be implemented consistently.
  • The following guidelines should be used in order to manage your child’s behavior:
    • Make consequences immediateConsequences must be given immediately if they are to gain effective control over appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Remember to give equal (or greater) attention to appropriate behaviors in order to reinforce good behavior.
    • Make consequences specific Verbal and social consequences (praise and criticism) should refer to the behavior at issue (e.g., “I like it when you do what I ask you to do”). With punishments the consequence should also be specific and should be suited to the behavior.
    • Be consistent This refers to consistency across settings, over time, and between parents/caregivers. If a behavior is punished in one setting (e.g., at home) it should be punished in all settings (e.g., the store). The way you handle a behavior should be consistent across settings because you want your child to know that specific behaviors will be responded to with certain consequences (positive and negative) every time.
    • Do not “give in”– “Giving in” basically gives a message to your child that “disruptive behavior gets you what you want,” which reinforces that behavior and does not encourage more appropriate behaviors. It is recommended that disruptive behavior not be rewarded; instead, ignore the behaviors, use time-out, or take away a privilege for the behaviors. Only reward appropriate behavior (e.g., working quietly, complying with and adult’s command, etc.).

LINK TO MORE IDEAS:

http://www.parents.com/kids/discipline/setting-limits/getting-kids-to-follow-the-rules/

http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/how-to-be-a-parent/parenting/

PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: GIVING EFFECTIVE COMMANDS

 

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PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS:

STRATEGIES and TECHNIQUES

MONTHLY TOPIC:       GIVING EFFECTIVE COMMANDS

IMPORTANT POINTS:

  • First, make sure you have your child’s undivided attention – this may mean turning technology off; getting close to your child; and making sure you have eye contact with him or her.
  • Give one command or step at a time, and then ask your child to repeat it back.
  • Use a neutral voice that tells your child the specific behavior you are requesting (e.g., “I need you to wash up for dinner now”). It is important NOT to use a question (e.g., “Do you want to stop what you are doing and wash up now?”) because you need them to do what you are requesting.
  • Break down large tasks, (such as room cleaning, homework, book reports, etc.) into many small steps. Have your child do one step before giving him/her the next one.
  • Some children need to have a time limit on each step (e.g., using a timer).
  • Give frequent, specific compliments to your child about the actual behavior such as, “I like the way you put the dishes in the sink”; “You did a great job working on that hard problem”.

LINK TO MORE IDEAS:

http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2014-9-30-how-give-effective-instructions

http://www.livestrong.com/article/1001814-give-effective-commands-children/

 

Parenting Tips & Topics: Back to School!

PARENTING TIPS & TOPICS: STRATEGIES and TECHNIQUES

MONTHLY TOPIC: BACK TO SCHOOL

IMPORTANT POINTS:

  • One to two weeks before school starts, have your child go to bed near the time they will when school starts.

o   This will get them used to this bedtime.

o   Keep in mind that children need 8-10 hours of sleep.

o   Turning off electronic devices an hour before bed can make it easier to fall asleep.

  • Prepare your child ahead of time for what the school day will be like. For example, telling them step-by-step what to expect:

o   We will have breakfast at home (or at school); you will be riding the bus (or will be driven by parent); there will be learning time then you will have lunch/playtime; you will go to aftercare at your school.

  • Set some guidelines for your child’s morning routine. Many families find it helpful to keep the TV and electronic devices off until the child is dressed, eaten, teeth brushed, and has supplies ready. Then screen time can be a motivating reward.
  • Preparing clothes and school supplies/book bags the night before can make the morning time run more smoothly.
  • Creating a place in your house for each child to do homework can make this transition easier.
  • Having a schedule or routine when the children come home from school is important. This should include snack time, short break, and a place set up for where they will do homework.
  • Finally, considering creating a special way for your family to celebrate the end of summer AND the beginning of the new school year. Some examples may include: having a play date; family cookout; pool time; or movie night.

LINK TO MORE IDEAS:

http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/back-to-school-blues/

http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/back-to-school/back-to-school-tips-for-parents/