NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

May 2016

Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments

NC Department of Public Instruction

Office of Early Learning

May Quote

The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

-Robert M. Hutchins


Student Pictures Submitted by NC ELSSP-VI Staff

Professional Development Submitted by Lin Causey

Additional Professional Development Submitted by Elizabeth Wilde

TVI Lesson (Going on a Bear Hunt) Submitted by Christina Tuton

Early Childhood Development Submitted by Bethany Mayo

Staff Birthdays

Director's Spotlight Submitted by Bethany Mayo


Professional Development Opportunities

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Event Name: Webinar (Live): Croghan Foundation Early Childhood Webinar Series - Diagnostic Assessment Strategies for Autism Spectrum Disorder, May 25, 2016: This webinar will present the various diagnostic assessment strategies early childhood professionals use to diagnose ASD. It will include a review of the diagnostic criteria along with a discussion of specific measures and associated assessment strategies used to diagnose or rule-out ASD. Participants will also discuss differential diagnosis – highlighting differences between ASD and other common concerns in early childhood. Register Now


Event Name: 19th Annual (virtual) Birth to Three Institute (vBTT)

Summary: The 19th Annual (virtual) Birth to Three Institute (vBTT) was a live-streamed professional development opportunity for early childhood professionals working with pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families to enhance the quality of services for expectant parents, infants, toddlers, and families.

Contact hours: Varies

Fee: Free


ECAC and the NC Deaf-Blind Project are pleased to bring you two free webinars! For more information, contact ECAC: 1-800-962-6817, 327 or 317.

Becoming Your Child's Best Advocate!

Thursday, May 12th

7:00 - 8:15 pm


Event name: Using Motivational Interviewing in Home Visiting
Date and time: Monday, May 23, 2016 at 2 p.m. EDT


Event Name: Engaging Families to Focus on Intervention Strategies

Date and Time: Thursday, June 23 at 11:00 am EDT

Contact hours: 90 minutes

Fee: free

Summary: Young children with disabilities have better outcomes when their families are actively involved in supporting their child’s learning. This session will help Early Interventionists, private therapy providers, and other professionals working with young children with disabilities think about their interactions with the child's family and how those interactions strengthen a family’s ability to support their child’s learning.



Event Name: Webinar (Live): Croghan Foundation Early Childhood Webinar Series - Early Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-based Practices, June 14, 2016: This webinar will provide a review of evidence-based early intervention for young children suspected of having ASD. An examination of foundational evidence-based practices for early intervention will be presented, with an emphasis on general developmental progress across a variety of domains. This will include specific criteria providers may use to select and implement evidence-based practices. Register Now


OEL's Summer Institutes titled "Effective Teaching Practices Supporting the NC Foundations of Early Learning and Development- Emotional-Social Standards"

Foundations Train the Trainer Summer 2016 PD (Modules 1-11) (Williamston, NC)

June 13, 2016 - June 16, 2016

Foundations Train the Trainer Summer 2016 PD (Modules 1-11) (Sylva, NC)

June 13, 2016 - June 16, 2016

Foundations Train the Trainer Summer 2016 PD (Modules 1-11) (Greensboro, NC)

July 11, 2016 - July 14, 2016


NC DPI Summer Institutes 2016

Additional Professional Development

*The Perkins School for the Blind will have three days of training with Ellen Mazel June 28-Jun 30, 2016 (on site at Perkins).

*Christine Roman-Lantzy is teaching an eight week training course on line from July11-September 4, 2016

*The American Conference on Pediatric CVI will be held in Omaha, Nebraska July 8-9, 2016. This is open to all professionals, not just pediatricians.

Going on a Bear Hunt

Written by Christina Tuton

On March 8th I had the opportunity to observe another VI teacher in the program during her “Going On A Bear Hunt” lesson. The lesson was a great learning experience to add a “bear” theme to my collection. The beginning of the lesson started with reading and tactually exploring the APH book “Going On A Bear Hunt.” This book is a wonderful attention-getter book for our age group population, which also incorporates the beginning of exploring tactual maps. After reading the book, the TVI had a bear print tracking activity. (This was made using a bear paw prints stamp.) The child visually and tactually traced the bear prints across the page. The TVI had a fine motor activity, where the child drew a circle (bear’s face) and drew a face on the bear. After the literacy component of the lesson, we were off to the playground to incorporate some gross motor, pre-telescope, mapping, and orientation and mobility into the lesson!! The TVI had created an obstacle course similar to the book. The child used a pre-telescope device to preview the playground to “find” the obstacle course and bear. Both the TVI and the child mapped out their plan to find the bear. First they needed to walk the bridge (yoga mat), then jump in and out of the hole (hula-hoop), and finally they needed to crawl through the tunnel (plastic kid’s play tunnel) to reach the bear! After the lesson, I brainstormed about other activities to incorporate to make this bear theme more accessible to all populations of students.

Additional Ideas:

-make a tactile graph of obstacle course

-use a non prescribed telescope to “find” the bear on the playground, or a non prescribed magnifier to “find” the bear on a map

-create a sensory/sound experience during the book reading, such as sweep broom back and forth for the swish of the woods, have a small container of water for the “glub, glub” of the pond/splish splash of the river, plastic bag of mud for “squishy squashy”, stomp your feet for the bridge sound effects

- create a sensory bin of sand and/or grass with various items to find, such as a toy bear, small flashlight, piece of fur similar to the feel of bear skin, etc.

Hope these ideas help you as this lesson inspired me.

Happy Hunting!

Early Childhood Development

• Neural circuits, which create the foundation for learning, behavior and health, are most flexible or “plastic” during the first three years of life. Over time, they become increasingly difficult to change.

• Persistent “toxic” stress, such as extreme poverty, abuse and neglect, or severe maternal depression can damage the developing brain, leading to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health.

• The brain is strengthened by positive early experiences, especially stable relationships with caring and responsive adults, safe and supportive environments, and appropriate nutrition. • Early social/ emotional development and physical health provide the foundation upon which cognitive and language skills develop.

• High quality early intervention services can change a child’s developmental trajectory and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. • Intervention is likely to be more effective and less costly when it is provided earlier in life rather than later.

- The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

919-962-2001 • phone 919-966-7463 • fax • web • email

Gymnastics Tot Class

The Bryce Martin Foundation is now offering gymnastics classes for children with visual impairments. Please see the information below. Check out their website to find out about all the wonderful things they offer and to find out more about this fantastic foundation. Great resource for families and professionals!

Bryce Martin Gymnastics Tot Class-

Wednesdays at 3:15pm

@ Gymcarolina Gymnastics

9321 Leesville Road, Raleigh, NC 27613

(919) 848-7988

2016 Foundation Activities. Bryce Martin Gymnastics Tot Class-Wednesdays at 3:15pm @ Gymcarolina Gymnastics. 9321 Leesville Road, Raleigh, NC 27613

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Where: Outside at the Manteo Wellness Park and Trail (beside the Dare County Center)

950 Marshall C. Collins Drive Manteo, NC 27954

What: StoryWalk® encourages you to take a walk along the Manteo Wellness Trail’s front loop while reading a fun children’s story and interacting through physical activities. The stories used for the StoryWalk® are pulled from the collection mailed through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Dare County. Story boards are in Braille as well as print.

When: Open all year (no open/close hours as it is part of a walking trail).

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.


May Staff Birthdays

Elizabeth Wilde May 7th

Sue Caruso May 9th

Annette Zaiontz May 26th

Director's Spotlight

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Dee Martin

Dee Martin is this month’s Director’s Spotlight. She will be retiring at the end of May and leaving her peers, students, and families with endless contributions to reflect on and to continue to share with others. Dee has shared a brief tribute; For the past 40 years I have had the good fortune to have a full career working with infants and toddlers with high risk conditions and their families, with the past 23 years specific to the needs of young children with visual impairments as a member of this incredible team ELSSP-VI. This career fully met my passion, experience and educational preparation! I have supported families in meeting the developmental needs of their children, cried with them, rejoiced with them and helped prepare them for taking the next step. I work with the best of the best! You, the team members of ELSSP-VI are awesome; I have never known such a group of vested, creative, energetic and enthusiastic folks! I could not have had a better life experience! As I retire I look forward to family time with my husband, my son and my cute dog; outdoor adventures (can I see all the National Parks?); catching up with ignored relatives; gardening; reading; leisurely mid day lunches at fun restaurants and more! Thanks Dee for being the Director’s Spotlight and for dedicating 40 years to children and families.


Last month's newsletter had a picture of a precious little girl (Reagan) playing with a tambourine. Her teacher was incorrectly identified as Lori Blaney. Her ELSSP-VI teacher is actually Lori Bartram.

Photo/Video Credits