NOTE: May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
By Amy Holbert, chief executive officer of Family Connection of South Carolina
Family Connection of South Carolina is pleased to join the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the American Speech Language and Hearing Association in celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month.
Family Connection of South Carolina is excited to announce a new communication tool launched earlier this month in the spirit of this year’s theme, “Communication at Work!”
Family Connection of South Carolina—in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education—launched a family-centered, early language and literacy communication service for parents of preschoolers.
“Text2Read” (T2R) is a free mobile-based program offering practical information about child development and low-cost language and literacy activities for young children. The service is a confidential, easy-to-use resource for parents to help prepare their child for kindergarten and to become ready to read.
Promoting Children’s Mental Health Awareness
Linda Gilkerson and Pamela Epley
Linda Gilkerson, Ph.D., LSW, is a professor at Erikson Institute where she directs the graduate training programs in infancy and infant mental health.
Pamela Epley, Ph.D., is an associate clinical professor and director of special education at Erikson Institute.
ED: We are celebrating Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in May. Could you tell us what efforts you have been involved in to improve the quality of early childhood programs and services to better address young children’s mental health?
Infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) is synonymous with healthy social-emotional (SE) development and robust early learning, including the ability to regulate and express emotions; form close personal relationships; and explore the environment and learn in the context of family, community, and culture. Over the past years, we have worked with Illinois’ Early Intervention (EI) system to increase its focus on children’s SE development. We’ve done this by promoting relationship-based services, more systematic screening of SE development, and the addition of SE Consultants.
Kristen Kushiyama, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
Most schools in the United States shut their doors almost two months ago and switched from traditional classrooms to distance learning environments.
Families moved to adapt to at-home school settings while also having to shift their own work schedules and environments. Teachers, many of whom also had to account for their own children’s schooling, raced to prepare learning packets and modify in-classroom instruction to support their students from afar.
U.S. Department of Education grant-funded centers started to release resources and materials specific to helping support families, educators and service providers during a pandemic.
By Office of Special Education Programs
We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback we got on our first release, OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Autism, and are excited to present OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance. For this Fast Fact, we present data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 on children identified with a primary disability of emotional disturbance. Data presented includes that collected through Part B child count, educational environments, discipline and exiting data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618.