Exceptional Children's Department, Scotland County Schools
Program Specialist Tip of the Month
1. Great website for Evidence Based Practices (EBP). The website's name is AFIRM-Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules. You can sign up for free. To get their latest updates, simply "like" their Facebook page. Just follow this link to sing up. http://afirm.fpg.unc.edu/afirm-modules
2. If you are preparing to take the EC Praxis, the website below has free test prep and practice testhttp://www.teacherstestprep.com/praxis
Occupational Therapy Corner--Karen Hunter, Lead Occupational Therapist
We all know handwriting is a part of a child’s life from a very early age (too early sometimes), but how can we assure that our students have the foundational skills to be successful? The first point I want to make is that expecting success with handwriting without these foundational skills/readiness will not produce a successful writer. It is much more beneficial to encourage/build skills than to insist a child “practice” bad writing skills. Also, as parents and educators we need to be very careful about insisting on amounts of writing that are not developmentally appropriate. So what are some activities to help with handwriting, hand strength, increased fine motor coordination….
· Cutting activities
· Play-doh tasks( manipulating, getting small hidden items out of it, etc.)
· Using tongs to pick and sort small items
· Using thumb and index finger (pincer grasp) to pick up small items
· Pegboards (small and large pegs)
· Craft activities-weaving, lacing, stamping, finger painting, modeling clay
· Tearing and folding paper
· Using spray bottles with colored water (could practice prewriting shapes and letter formation)
· Practice prewriting shapes in different medium
· Using chopsticks to eat or pick up small items
· Hole punches of different sizes-make confetti
· Legos and all building blocks
· Mr. Munch-cut a slit in a tennis ball and use tongs to “feed” Mr. Munch
· Stringing beads of different sizes
· Nuts and bolts
· Dressing boards, will assist with making child more independent as well!!
· Wind up, squeeze toys
· Counting, sorting and manipulating coins on a surface and in hand
These are just a few ideas, there are MANY activities that assist and are fun! If you are interested or need more information please feel free to contact me at email@example.com Next month I will have some ideas regarding working on “handwriting” without using pencil and paper.
The Speech Room--Christina Dietrich, Speech-Language Pathologist
We are ecstatic to have many tiny Scots being born to Scotland County Schools’ staff (parents and grandparents). However, with all the excitement around expectancy and new life comes anxious reality and truth to the saying, “Too bad babies don’t come with an owner’s manual.” No matter how many times a parent has a new baby; they find each child to be definitely distinct and different from the rest. Here are some great resources for you to keep and share with other new and repeating parents. The free handouts titled “Communicating With Baby: Tips and Milestones From Birth to Age 5” (https://identifythesigns.org/communicating-with-baby-toolkit/ ) are part of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Identify the Signs Campaign and were developed in partnership with Read Aloud 15 MINUTES ( http://www.readaloud.org/index.html ). Feel free to share this information with other families and friends and especially share away on social media. Being a speech therapist, I often incorporate these handouts with the baby gift for expectant parents and you may like to do the same. It is important to note that children develop at their own pace and these flyers show the average ages when most children have developed these skills. A child might not have all skills until the end of the age range; however, never shove any concerns to the back of your mind nor apologize for being overly concerned about a child’s development. --- Let the experts worry about that!
In NC, we have excellent, “at no cost to the family” access to the speech-language pathology experts. So, where do you find them? For all NC children ages birth – 3, families are able to contact the State’s Infant-Toddler Program (ITP), also known locally as the Sandhills Children Developmental Service Agency (CDSA). Our local CDSA covers the following counties: Anson, Montgomery, Richmond, Scotland, Moore, Hoke, Lee, and Harnett and can be contacted at 910-295-3133. Their website clearly states, “Children aged zero to three with certain levels of developmental delay or established conditions, and their families, are eligible for the ITP. No family is denied services because of the inability to pay. Anyone with concerns about a child may refer him or her to the ITP. Contact your local CDSA to refer the child, and staff will walk you through the process. ” (http://www.beearly.nc.gov/ ) *By the way, you DO NOT need a doctor’s referral!
As for all NC children ages 3 – 5 years of age, “Each local school system has an Exceptional Children’s Program that is responsible for conducting screening and evaluations for children starting at age 3. If you are concerned about your child’s development, including speech, please contact your local Exceptional Children’s Coordinator to gain assistance.” (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/earlylearning/ecprogram/families/ ) You may reach Scotland Counties EC department by calling the central office at 910-276-1138. Now that you know there are so many resources available to families and children --- sitting back and waiting is no longer an acceptable excuse. Early intervention is.Christina Dietrich, MA CCC/SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Scotland County
From the School Psychologist
In a recent article in the National Association of School Psychologists Communique,
(Volume 46 Issue 5, pp. 8-9), Scott Poland and Richard Lieberman discuss the research on bullying and suicide prevention. In the article Bullying and Suicide Revisited: What Schools Can Do Now Poland and Lieberman give the following best practices for Bullying Prevention:
· Implement a school-wide program where all staff cooperates toward the common goal of reducing bullying.
· Survey students to determine the extent and nature of the problem and to solicit student recommendations to reduce bullying.
· Recognize that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth attempt and die by suicide approximately four times more often than their heterosexual peers, and the greatest protective factor for these students is parental acceptance. Excellent resources are available from the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (www.glsen.org).
· Implement a Gay–Straight Alliance program at your school.
· Implement programs designed to reach bystanders and to gain a commitment from them to take action to stop the bullying instead of standing by and allowing bullying to take place. Bystanders need to be trained to provide emotional support for the victim.
· Involve parents and provide training, especially on reducing cyberbullying and taking charge of their child's technology and social media.
· Teach digital citizenship to all students beginning in primary grades.
· Teach staff to recognize bullying and to take immediate action to stop bullying when it occurs. Ensure that staff members do not try to make the bully and victim work it out. The bully and victim should be separated and the bully given consequences and the victim given support.
· Make sure staff let the bully know that they and other staff will be watching and consequences will increase in severity if the bullying continues.
· Ensure that victims know the importance of letting staff know if bullying continues.
· Increase staff supervision in areas where bullying occurs the most.
· For more in-depth information, review evidence-based bullying prevention programs listed on the U.S. Department of Education website (https://www.stopbullying.gov).
Estate of Montana Lance, et al., vs. Lewisville Independent School District, 743 F.3d 982, 995–96 (U.S. 5th Cir. 2014).
Estate of Stephen Patton, et al., vs. Bickford et al., Floyd County School District, No. 2012–CA–000598–MR (Ky. 2013).
Lieberman, R., & Cowan, K. (2011). Bullying and youth suicide: Breaking the connection. Principal Leadership, 12(2), 12–17.
Myers vs Blue Springs School District et al., No. 10-00081-CV-W-BP (U.S. 8th Cir. 2012).
Rossen, E., & Cowan, K. C. (2012). A framework for school-wide bullying prevention and safety [Brief]. Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center. (2011). Suicide and bullying: Issue brief. Retrieved from http://www.sprc.org/sites/default/files/migrate/library/Suicide_Bullying_Issue_Brief.pdf
Stop bullying (https://www.stopbullying.gov)
The Jason Foundation (www.jasonfoundation.com)
Bystander Revolution (http://www.bystanderrevolution.org)
March 13 & 15 EC Monthly Meeting 3:30-4:30 in PD1
March 15 AU Coaching Team meeting 2:00-3:00 in the Board Room
March 15 Last day for schools to accept EC referrals
March 16 Last day to conduct meetings prior to April Headcount
March 23 Employee Health Fair at Scotland High Schoool
March 29 Headcount rosters picked up from schools
Save the date: May 1 Special Olympics