Systemwide Solutions to Improve Early Intervention for Developmental–Behavioral Concerns

11/2015

by Kevin P. MarksAdriane K. GriffenPatricia HerreraMichelle M. MaciasCatherine E. RiceCordelia Robinson

“Birth to Five: Watch Me Thrive!” (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ecd/child-health-development/watch-me-thrive) seeks to systematically increase early detection of developmental–behavioral problems among at-risk children, from birth through 5 years. This initiative represents a coordinated effort to increase early screening and detection rates across the health, education, and social service sectors. Although the earliest detection of children who need extra developmental–behavioral support is a laudable goal, these efforts will be for naught without appropriate supports to document follow-up and enrollment into services. To meet the challenge of what happens next, our nation must address its capacity crisis. The leadership issue across sectors is to build the capacity to increase and improve access to evidence-based services that are tailored to child and family needs.

This initiative is the stated promise of early intervention (EI) for ages 0 to 3 years, early childhood special education (ECSE) for ages 3 to 5 years, and other high-quality early learning programs. In 2011 and 2012, 2% to 3% of US children received EI under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; https://ideadata.org/) Part C, and 5% to 6% of children received ECSE under IDEA Part B, Section 619.1 Twelve percent of children are diagnosed with any developmental disability between 3 and 10 years and 16% between 11 and 17 years.2 Mental health disorders emerge in 21% of children between 9 and 17 years.3 Although it can be challenging to reliably identify infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with the more prevalent mild disabilities and disorders, red flags (eg, positive or concerning screens) may be identifiable. Alas, the chasm between percentage identified and served is unacceptable given the assortment of interventions or supports proven to improve outcomes (http://www.ectacenter.org/topics/effective/effective.asp).4

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics

Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/11/04/peds.2015-1723

What’s the Latest With the Flu? A Message for Caregivers and Teachers

9/24/2015

The 2015-2016 influenza season (flu) is here. As you know, influenza infection can be serious, resulting in hospitalization or death of some children every year. Influenza immunization is the best strategy to reduce infection and spread. Therefore, it’s critically important for everyone to get vaccinated for seasonal influenza now. This important approach puts the health and safety of everyone in the child care setting first.

Annual influenza vaccine is recommended for all people 6 months of age and older. The best way to protect young children from getting infected is for all family members and people who take care of the child to get immunized. This is called “cocooning”, and it is especially important for adults who care for infants younger than 6 months, because these children are too young to get vaccinated.

Pregnant caregivers are at higher risk of severe illness from influenza. Flu shots may be given to pregnant women at any time during pregnancy. The vaccine will protect expecting mothers and their unborn babies, and will help protect their newborn baby in the first few months of life.

This Season’s Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine includes either 3 strains (trivalent) or 4 strains (quadrivalent). These are the strains that are anticipated to circulate around the US this flu season.

The trivalent vaccine protects against 1 strain from last year and 2 new strains. These are:

  • Influenza A (H1N1)
  • Influenza A (H3N2)
  • Influenza B

The quadrivalent vaccine protects against the 3 strains from the trivalent vaccine and adds a different influenza B strain (the same as last season). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend one vaccine over another this season. Just be sure everyone gets immunized!

Prepare Ahead to Prevent the Spread of Germs

Once flu starts circulating, it can be challenging to keep germs from spreading. While you can catch the flu any time of the year, the virus is most common in the US between October and May and usually peaks around January, February, and March.  It is also hard to know whether children or caregivers actually have the flu. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.

Policies in your child care center can limit the spread of the influenza virus and should focus on hand washing; cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting surfaces and toys; and excluding children and caregivers who are sick. Any child with respiratory symptoms (cough, runny nose, or sore throat) and fever should be excluded from their child care program. The child can return after the fever has resolved (without the use of fever-reducing medicine), the child is able to participate in normal activities, and staff can care for the child without compromising their ability to care for the other children in the group.

Take Steps NOW to Help Your Program Prepare

  • Encourage all staff, children, and parents to get the flu vaccine now. Everyone needs a flu vaccine each year!
  • Get on the list to receive details about the AAP influenza webinar to be scheduled for November 2015. E-mail DisasterReady@aap.org for information and a calendar appointment.
  • Complete the free AAP/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention online course “Influenza Prevention & Control: Strategies for Early Education & Child Care Providers”.
  • Help families and community leaders understand the important roles they play in reducing the spread of flu. Review the new handout “Influenza Prevention and Control: Strategies for Early Education and Child Care Programs” and plan to distribute a customized letter to parents about influenza prevention and control practices in your program.
  • Examine and revise your program’s written plan for seasonal flu.
  • Invite a pediatrician or child care health consultant to provide influenza prevention education to your staff.
  • Use posters and handouts to educate caregivers and staff about proper hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette.
  • Update family contact information and child records, so parents can be reached quickly if they need to pick up their sick child.

Additional Resources:

  • AAP Preparing Child Care Programs for Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza
  • AAP Preventing the Flu: Resources for Parents and Child Care Providers
  • AAP Caring for Our Children National Health and Safety Performance Standards
  • AAP Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide
  • CDC Fact Sheet No More Excuses: You Need a Flu Vaccine!
  • CDC Flu Information – Free Print Materials
  • Head Start Emergency Preparedness Manual: 2015 Edition
  • Public Health Emergencies Chapter on Page 27
  • Influenza Prevention and Control Appendix on Page 65
  • Families Fighting Flu Web Site
  • Prevent Childhood Influenza Web Site

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, HealthyChildren.org

Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org:443/English/news/Pages/Whats-the-Latest-with-the-Flu-A-Message-for-Caregivers-and-Teachers.aspx

Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice

6/2014

Reading regularly with young children stimulates optimal patterns of brain development and strengthens parent-child relationships at a critical time in child development, which, in turn, builds language, literacy, and social-emotional skills that last a lifetime. Pediatric providers have a unique opportunity to encourage parents to engage in this important and enjoyable activity with their children beginning in infancy. Research has revealed that parents listen and children learn as a result of literacy promotion by pediatricians, which provides a practical and evidence-based opportunity to support early brain development in primary care practice. The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP recommends that pediatric providers promote early literacy development for children beginning in infancy and continuing at least until the age of kindergarten entry by 1 advising all parents that reading aloud with young children can enhance parent-child relationships and prepare young minds to learn language and early literacy skills; 2 counseling all parents about developmentally appropriate shared-reading activities that are enjoyable for children and their parents and offer language-rich exposure to books, pictures, and the written word; 3 providing developmentally appropriate books given at health supervision visits for all high-risk, low-income young children; 4 using a robust spectrum of options to support and promote these efforts; and 5 partnering with other child advocates to influence national messaging and policies that support and promote these key early shared-reading experiences. The AAP supports federal and state funding for children’s books to be provided at pediatric health supervision visits to children at high risk living at or near the poverty threshold and the integration of literacy promotion, an essential component of pediatric primary care, into pediatric resident education. This policy statement is supported by the AAP technical report “School Readiness” and supports the AAP policy statement “Early Childhood Adversity, Toxic Stress, and the Role of the Pediatrician: Translating Developmental Science Into Lifelong Health.”

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/06/19/peds.2014-1384.abstract

ZERO TO THREE 28th National Training Institute (NTI) | 2013 NTI Program | powered by RegOnline

12/11 – 14/2013
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country
San Antonio, TX

ZERO TO THREE’s annual multi-disciplinary training event for early childhood professionals

The NTI is carefully developed to meet the learning and networking needs of those working with infants and toddlers in Child Welfare, Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, Mental Health, Parent Education, and Pediatrics.

Source: ZERO TO THREE

Available at: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1185937

ZERO TO THREE 28th National Training Institute (NTI) Registration and Information

12/11/2013 – 12/14/2014

JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country
San Antonio, TX

The NTI is carefully developed to meet the learning and networking needs of those working with infants and toddlers in Child Welfare, Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, Mental Health, Parent Education, and Pediatrics.

NTI’s variety of programming allows you to design your own professional development experience by crafting an  NTI agenda that meets your specific needs. Be informed and enriched by the NTI’s five general sessions, 80 breakout sessions, robust, interactive Pre-Institutes, and a multitude of networking and other continuing education experiences.

Source: ZERO TO THREE

Sensory Integration Therapies for Children With Developmental and Behavioral Disorders

Sensory-based therapies are increasingly used by occupational therapists and sometimes by other types of therapists in treatment of children with developmental and behavioral disorders. Sensory-based therapies involve activities that are believed to organize the sensory system by providing vestibular, proprioceptive, auditory, and tactile inputs. Brushes, swings, balls, and other specially designed therapeutic or recreational equipment are used to provide these inputs. However, it is unclear whether children who present with sensory-based problems have an actual “disorder” of the sensory pathways of the brain or whether these deficits are characteristics associated with other developmental and behavioral disorders. Because there is no universally accepted framework for diagnosis, sensory processing disorder generally should not be diagnosed. Other developmental and behavioral disorders must always be considered, and a thorough evaluation should be completed. Difficulty tolerating or processing sensory information is a characteristic that may be seen in many developmental behavioral disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, developmental coordination disorders, and childhood anxiety disorders.

Occupational therapy with the use of sensory-based therapies may be acceptable as one of the components of a comprehensive treatment plan. However, parents should be informed that the amount of research regarding the effectiveness of sensory integration therapy is limited and inconclusive. Important roles for pediatricians and other clinicians may include discussing these limitations with parents, talking with families about a trial period of sensory integration therapy, and teaching families how to evaluate the effectiveness of a therapy.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/6/1186

Trends in the Use of Standardized Tools for Developmental Screening in Early Childhood: 2002–2009

6/27/2011

Findings from a new study show that pediatricians’ use of standardized screening tools increased from 23% to 48% between 2002 and 2009, which is good news considering the importance of developmental screening in early identification, evaluation, and intervention. However, the percentage remains less than half of respondents who work with children under the age of 3, suggesting that additional research needs to be done to identify barriers to the use of standardized screening tools in practice.

Source: NECTAC Enotes/Pediatrics

Full citation: Radecki, L., Sand-Loud, N., O’Connor, K. G., Sharp, S., Olson, L. M. (2011). Trends in the Use of Standardized Tools for Developmental Screening in Early Childhood: 2002–2009. Pediatrics. Published online June 27, 2011. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-2180. Abstract is available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/06/23/peds.2010-2180.abstract