Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.
Mission Statement - Office of Early Learning
Happy New Year!
-Sarah Ban Breathnach
Highways and Byways
Something To Think About
Read, Read, Read....
Staff Development and Save the Dates
Teachers Did You Know...
Resources and Opportunities for Families
Where Are They Now?
Happy Birthday to:
19 - Elizabeth Hopkins
22 - Sharon Moore
5 - Kristin Alapisco
10 - Neena Malsoky
12 - Beth Whitfield
26 - Roxanne Dearman
29 - Renee Barnes
Something To Think About
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Read, Read, Read...
Staff Development and Save the Dates
We are excited to share we have started a new Community of Practice in the ELSSP-HI.
ELSSP-HI CoP members will improve coaching skills in natural learning environments by sharing information, discussing experiences and insights, and assisting each other in finding solutions to challenges while developing "tools and frameworks that become part of the common knowledge of the community."
What are Communities of Practice?
* The SKI-HI Institute of Utah State University and NTAC defines CoP as "groups of people who share expertise and passion about a topic and interact on an ongoing basis to further their learning"
* Shared Concern or Passion: Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
* Communities of Practice typically "solve problems, discuss insights, and share information" while developing "tools and frameworks that become part of the common knowledge of the community."
* Communities of Practice can help promote the spread of best practices and develop members' professional skills.
Mark your calendars......
Our first CoP meeting will be a gotomeeting January12th from 3:00 - 4:30. We hope to "see" you there!
Assessment Committee Meeting ELSSP-HI
Tue, Jan 10, 2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST
Teachers did you know.....
You can get into the Myrtle Beach Ripley's Aquarium free with your teacher id........
"As I reflect on where I've been and where I'm going, I am excited. I plan to make a difference in 2017; to my family, to my friends, to new people I will meet and to the children and families with whom I have the privilege of working."
"I ran across a quote that read something like, "Make this year a year of finding, of fulfillment, of joy, of peace, and of purpose." and I thought about how we each work so incredibly hard to help bring these things to the families we serve. Knowing that a lot can happen in a year, I hope that we each can make 2017 the best year ever!"
"I am a work in progress and that's ok." (in reflection of implementing NLE practice)
"In general, I have learned to try and not judge any person or situation. To think deeper. What has this person been through? What has their life experience been? What has brought them to be the person they are right now? I may not know or find out the answer to those questions, but I know everyone has had a unique journey. A journey that could have been very difficult. I truly believe that all people want to be good and do good. Sometimes a difficult life and a lack of love, guidance, and support prevents people from being all they can be. So when I go into a family's home and they aren't doing all I expect them to do, I sit back and think about those things and more importantly I want to be the person who can support, guide, and empower them, because I may be the only person who ever has.
Resources and Opportunities for Families
NC Infant-Toddler Program Assistive Technology Policy
Pages 10-11 address the use of AT funds for hearing aids, fm systems, etc.
February 4, 2017
The SPARKLE training program is a very unique training program designed for families of children and youth who are deaf-blind. Is is designed to be used at home, whenever it is convenient for you and at the pacing that works best for you. This program is also designed to help you apply what you’ve learned to better address your child’s developmental and educational needs.
Submitted by Niki Minervini
Our story is not as simple as getting a diagnosis and entering into the world of hearing loss. Prior to Dante we had 2.5 years of struggle in getting our older, non-verbal daughter, Davina, diagnosed as well. It wasn’t until Dante was born, and he too failed his newborn screening, that doctors decided to get serious. .
When I had Dante, we were dealing with a world of issues. He was induced a little early because he was not properly growing in-utero and the doctors said he would have a better chance if he was born earlier. So we planned for his birth, but we did not plan for the whirl wind that came along with it. Dante was born tiny, and had problems with his Antiglobulin tests-apparently my blood type invaded his body. It was test after test, and bad news after more bad news. After all the craziness with blood tests and everything had calmed down, we were hit with another bump in the road when we were told that he failed his hearing screening. When you have a baby, all you want to be told is how perfect that baby is, not all the things that are “wrong” with him. Although part of me expected that result after all we have gone through with his sister’s hearing tests, it was still devastating, to say the least.
Shortly after he was medically cleared for sedation, he was sent for an MRI and ABR because all of his early ABR’s were giving us abnormal results. The doctors could not pin point where is level of loss was, if there was a real loss at all. When we finally got both Dante and his sister’s results, it was actually quite a relief to finally know what our babies were hearing, and what they weren’t.
Dante and his sister, Davina, were both diagnosed with a severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss due to Enlarged Vestibular Aquaduct Syndrome or EVAS, but both of their auditory nerves were intact, making them good candidates for Cochlear Implants. They were the first people in our family to have a hearing loss from birth, so it was confusing to us at first. There was so many steps, and so much to do, and it was all new to us, so we were a little overwhelmed.
He was fitted for hearing aids right away. We knew from the beginning that he would not get much benefit from the aids, but we pushed him to wear them daily, as we knew it was just the first step! Plans to have Dante implanted with Cochlear Implants began to take off, and we knew we were on the right track for his progress.
After almost a year of struggling with aids, and molds every other week, we could barely keep up with how fast he grew, we were taking the steps for his surgery. Dante turned one year old on October 20, 2015 and just one week later we went in for his bilateral surgery. We chose for him to have one surgery instead two (like Davina) because we felt that one recovery time vs two would be better with him because he was still so young.
Where Are They Now? David
Submitted by Keila Armas
My son David was identified at birth through the Newborn Hearing Screening with a bilateral profound hearing loss. He started using hearing aids at the age of 6 weeks. The hearing aids were not of much help so he was eligible for cochlear implants. He received his first implant at the age of one and the second implant at the age of two. I, as a single Mother, was devastated and exhausted with all the information and medical terminology involved. My biggest concern was if he would be able to develop enough language to be able to speak with me, his friends, and communicate with my family who lives in Guatemala. That meant that he needed to be bilingual.
I saw a light at the end of the tunnel when early intervention started services with us. David was only 2 months old when Renee Barnes, Teacher of the Deaf and Nancy Collado, Spanish Interpreter started working with us. Meeting other families through the early intervention program and knowing that I wasn’t the only one in this situation helped. David was also enrolled in a bilingual daycare at the age of 3 months. I slowly started seeing progress and it encouraged me to keep putting into practice the strategies, techniques, and suggestions given during our weekly sessions.
As other agencies like BEGINNINGS, CDSA, CHAC, CARE Project, etc. entered our lives I began to receive more resources and guidance. Now my son is almost seven years old. He finished kindergarten with the overall highest levels in math and reading! He is bilingual and is reading in English and Spanish. He has participated in public speaking events. He is a very happy, outgoing, well rounded first grader.
I know there is still a lot of work to be done because there are new goals to reach and every day is a new experience. I am a very proud mom and I know that all of his success is because of all the people who were involved with him. I never will stop thanking all of them for helping us and, of course to God that was and is always with us.
Director's Spotlight-Andrea Cagle
Hello, my name is Andrea Cagle. I have been employed by the state of N.C. for the last twenty two years and have worked with children and families since I was seventeen years old. I started off working in a child care setting until graduating from UNCG with a degree in K-12 education for children with hearing impairments. I then worked for a time as a teacher’s assistant and later as a fourth grade teacher at the Central N.C. School for the Deaf. An opportunity became available to go back to school to get my master’s degree working with children birth to three so I returned to UNCG and completed the program. Afterwards I found myself back in a classroom, this time in Siler City at a development day program working with children with and without disabilities. Teaching was great and I learned so much by hands on experience and working with wonderful people. A job opening at The Developmental Evaluation Center in Greensboro became available and I worked there for five years as an Infant Toddler Specialist administering intermediate assessments to help find and qualify children for early intervention services. It was fascinating to work with professionals from different developmental specialty areas and to see how they all work together to enable a child to learn. I have been with ELSSP-HI for fourteen years and have my dream job.
My family life is my top priority and I have been very blessed. Both of my parents live close by and am able to see them weekly along with my father- in- law who lives beside us. I grew up in a family with three sisters (poor dad) and love them all. Brian, my husband of twenty six years, is the best. We have two children, Tanner who is 19 and Brinley who is 15. I always wanted to be a mom and could not ask for better kids. Love, love, love them! Our dog Izzy completes the family. My favorite things to do are anything with my family. Church is where I gain my strength and peace to take me through the week. I love to travel and to see new people and places. Going to Southport and living on beach time brings me peace and joy; hope to live there someday. Being outdoors makes me happy. Love going to antique festivals, antique stores, and vintage stores, basically anywhere that has old stuff!