Thursday, September 19, 2013

How Everything Fits Together, or Can: The Early Childhood Comprehensive System

This handy, dandy visual portrays  the collaboration and partnerships the comprise on overall comprehensive system to ensure that children are healthy and ready to learn in early childhood.

Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grants help states and communities to build and integrate early childhood service systems that better meet the needs of children and families. Since 2003, 49 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Republic of Palau and the commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Mariana Islands have participated in the program.

On Middle School Is Too Late: Developmental and social risk factors show up in early childhood


More on the importance of early identification of mental and behavioral health problems comes from a study cited in on an article on the Washington Post website. -gw

• Over 70 percent of students diagnosed with mental illness and behavioral health problems by middle school exhibited warning signs by second grade. 
• Almost 25 percent exhibited red flags during pre-kindergarten years, including developmental and health issues, adverse social factors and exposure to trauma. 
• Twenty-five percent of the children studied had documented traumatic experiences in their records. 
Yet it is not until middle school that mental and behavioral health problems are identified, according to educational records of children referred to the Center for Children’s Advocacy, a Connecticut nonprofit that provides legal support for abused and neglected children.

On Back to Basics: Infant mental health defined

OK, what's infant mental health again? Here is  the definition of infant mental health developed by ZERO TO THREE’s Infant Mental Health Task Force.
"Infant mental health" is defined as the healthy social and emotional development of a child from birth to 3 years; and a growing field of research and practice devoted to the: 
Promotion of healthy social and emotional development;
Prevention of mental health problems; and
Treatment of the mental health problems of very young children in the context of their families.

Zero To Three's Early Childhood Mental Health page is a great place to start finding resources for both parents and professionals. -gw

Thursday, August 29, 2013

On the Infant Toddler Temperment Tool: Handy tool for understanding adult and child similarities and differences

The Infant Toddler Temperament Tool (IT3) was developed for the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, an Innovation and Support Project funded by the Office of Head Start. The Infant Toddler Temperament Tool includes a short online survey that allows parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers to recognize and explore their own temperament traits and those of a child for which they provide care. The IT3 generates results which support parents and caregivers in understanding how adult and child similarities and differences in temperament traits may affect “goodness of fit.” Along with these results, the IT3 generates simple best practice tips adults can use to foster the unique temperament of each child within their care.

Infant Toddler Temperament Tool (IT3)

Handy tool. -gw

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

On an Unhealthy Diet's Impact On Externalizing and Internalizing Problems of Your Children: Study results

The last of the nachos and cheese

Here are the results of a study looking at impact of diet on early childhood mental health. -gw
Higher intakes of unhealthy foods during pregnancy predicted externalizing problems among children, independently of other potential confounding factors and childhood diet. Children with a high level of unhealthy diet postnatally had higher levels of both internalizing and externalizing problems. Moreover, children with a low level of postnatal healthy diet also had higher levels of both internalizing and externalizing problems.
Maternal and Early Postnatal Nutrition and Mental Health of Offspring by Age 5 Years: A Prospective Cohort Study

Monday, August 19, 2013

On Looking At the Numbers for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation: Oklahoma in 2012 as an example

Increase of children with puzzling behaviors

It seems helpful to see how other states handle the task of early childhood mental health consultation. It's helpful to look at their numbers. How many centers are served? How many referrals? How many hours of service are provided per referral -- that sort of thing. For example, the average time devoted to each referral in Oklahoma during 2012 was 11.11 hours. That seems quite substantial, enough time that actual behavioral change can occur and be supported -- a reduction in the challenging behavior of the child by changing the behavior of the caregivers and altering the environment. -gw