Back in October, I had the opportunity to speak at the Utah Head Start Association Conference for the Second year in a row. I always have the BEST time speaking at these events and was so excited and honored to be asked back again this year. I PROMISED I would post my presentation and am just barely getting around to it!! This year I presented on the ever important topic of Helping Children with Autism Succeed in the Classroom. This can be useful for educators, parents, peers and really, anyone who will come in contact with any child with Autism. (Which is pretty much…anyone!)
The Teal Pumpkin Project is something that has become more near and dear to my heart over the past few years. First of all, my sweet nephew has a nut allergy. His Mama has to watch whatever goes in his mouth. I never realized how hard a food allergy was, until, I had to completely cut out dairy from my diet. My son was diagnosed with MSPI (Milk, Soy, Protein Intolerance)while I was nursing. This meant I had to cut out anything with dairy, whey, strong soy products and anything with dairy proteins in them. It was TOUGH! I never realized just how hard it could be to cut out a main food group! So now, I appreciate food allergies SO much more and am excited this year to be participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.
As an Early Childhood Special Educator, I get asked quite frequently about color blindness. Often parents are concerned about color blindness because of a child being slightly delayed in learning colors. Color blindness is not as common at it may seem. However, studies show that approximately 1 child in each classroom has color blindness.
So, lets talk a little more about color blindness. What is a person actually seeing when they are color blind? Black and White???? No, it is VERY rare for someone to have “Monochromasy Color blindness” or complete lack of any color sensation. Most of the time, it is a weakened sensation of a certain color a certain color group. Actually, there are few different types of color blindness. To find out more about the types of color blindness and the prevalence check out this Website for complete details.
You may not even know that at your child’s 18 month Well Child Check your doctor will have you complete an Autism Checklist/Screener called the M-Chat. ( The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised (M-CHAT-R™) ) Yep! Its true. Most of the time, your pediatrican will quickly review the scores and only talk to you about it if there is a concern. (Note: Most pediatricians use the M-CHAT but not all).
So, what is the M-Chat? And what does it involve?
The M-CHAT is a “Scientifically validated tool for screening children between 16 and 30 months of age that assesses the risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” The great thing about the M-CHAT is that it was created to be administered to parents/guardians and then read and interpreted by a pediatrician.
Teaching Disability Acceptance to young children is a HUGE life skill that has unbelievable benefits. Research has shown that children who are taught about diversity early in life have higher self esteem, greater empathy, excel in education among many other things! One great way to teach disability acceptance is through children’s books! (Let’s face it- the amazingness of children’s books is non-stop!) Here is a list of 10 of the most awesome books that teach how we are different and the importance of disability acceptance!