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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County
Enrichment for The Under 5 Set
May 20, 2011
Intro
Childs Play

Preschools, Childcare, Under 5 Enrichment Classes
The impact of speech-language disorders on learning

This Week
Maker Faire!
Summer Movie Chatter
The impact of speech-language disorders on learning continued
Click to view our Business Directory
  Intro

(Icons/Graphics) Preschool_EnrollNow.jpgWe would like to list every preschool, daycare center and home preschool/childcare program in this newsletter, however there are too many! The reality is that childcare is a large part of the economy in Santa Cruz County -last time I checked it was collectively the 4th largest segment, measured by dollars spent.  The good news is that there are many choices and many fine, caring, providers experienced in working with our little ones in these formative years.  As a parent who wants/needs childcare, you are selecting a "partner" in the early education of your child, so it's okay to interview, question, visit, ask for references, talk philosophy and practice etc.

In addition to choices among structured programs, some parents choose to stay at home, joining playgroups and signing up for special enrichment classes for the under 5 set.

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Please visit our Preschool and Childcare category for introductory information, and if you are a provider not listed, let us know!  Read what a provider says about their program.  Arrange to visit different schools to find the right one for your family values and each child's unique qualities and needs.

We are pleased to bring you two articles on 1) the importance of child's play and 2) the relationship between speech and learning by two local practitioners with solid years of experience.  Carol Murphy MA, CCC-SLP, BCET is a licensed and credentialed Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Educational Therapist practicing in Aptos at Speech, Learning and Psychology Services.  Carolyn Farrell, MA, MFT practices at Art Therapy Counseling in Felton and offers individual counseling, Art Therapy, and parent support groups.

Simcha Preschool is presenting a carnival, totally child-oriented this Sunday. Music by Oren and the Hiccups!

As usual, the choices are delicious! Have fun,  Parmalee

  Childs Play

Does this scene feel familiar to you? "Hazel, dinner is ready," a very pregnant Mom calls to her 5 year-old from the kitchen. The silence of no running feet is noticeable. A few minutes later Mom's voice is louder, higher pitched, and a little more impatient sounding. The middle name is added, "Hazel Marie, stop playing, and come eat." Dad stops the salad making process and says, "I'll go see what she's up to." Dad goes back to Hazel's room. Body in motion, and without stopping to see what Hazel is doing, Dad glides into to Hazel's room, scoops her up playfully, and says, "Hey, your mother called you for dinner, let's go." Back in the kitchen Mom asks, "What was she doing?" Dad's replies, "Nothing, just playing."


Hold on there Mom and Dad! What Hazel is doing, what we call playing, is one of the most important activities of her life! She is potentially, processing her world, expressing feelings of all kinds, solving problems, and rehearsing for life. According to many child developmental theorists Hazel is developing her cognitive abilities; she is learning how to think! She is laying the foundation for moving on to the next cognitive, and emotional level, and perhaps even setting the path for her cognitive style in adulthood! You have undoubtedly heard this information before. It is all valuable knowledge to have. It all sounds very academic doesn't it? And it leaves out another important aspect of child's play. Along with allowing all of the above mentioned vital benefits of free play time for children, when we play with our children we get to know them. We also send the message that we want to know them, they are important to us, and we love them. What could be more important? Let's see how this could happen for Hazel.


(Site Photos) GirlwithDoll.jpgLet's be the ladybug on Hazel's comforter as we watch and listen to the scene as Dad really does see what Hazel is up to. Instead of repeating the request for Hazel to come eat, Dad goes into Hazel's room and sits quietly on the end of the bed where Hazel has carefully arranged all of her dollies and stuffed animals. As Dad watches silently he notices Hazel is lovingly feeding each one of her babies a bottle filled with fake milk, then seemingly carelessly tossing each of them on to the floor? Dad does not interrupt the process; he notices the intensity on Hazel's face, and the determination in her body language, as she systematically feeds and tosses. A few minutes later, as the last of her babies are "cared for" Hazel realizes that Dad is with her. She smiles at him and says, "Sometimes they can't be on my bed." Dad reflects back Hazel's words and emphasizes the "your bed', with the same importance Hazel had expressed.


What did Dad find out about Hazel? By watching, listening, and respecting Hazel's play for just a few minutes Dad was privy to Hazel's way of processing her mixed feelings regarding her soon to be born sibling. Even though Dad might not know what Hazel was communicating and processing with her play, by observing her demeanor he could tell that it was important to her. What did Hazel's Dad just "tell" Hazel? Dad thinks my feelings and thoughts are important. Because he took the time to be with Hazel, and assume that her play was valuable, Dad sent the "I love you" message to Hazel.


Many of us did not grow up having this kind of experience, but what a gift to be able to give our children! If you would like to know more tips for communicating love, acceptance, and value to your children through play, let's talk.

Carolyn Farrell, MA, MFT practices at Art Therapy Counseling in Felton and offers individual counseling, Art Therapy, and parent support groups.

 

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  Preschools, Childcare, Under 5 Enrichment Classes
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  The impact of speech-language disorders on learning

An Interview with Carol Murphy MA, CCC-SLP, BCET by Michael F. Shaughnessy, EducationNews.org Senior Columnist, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico

Michael: The field of learning disabilities has made great progress over the years, including better assessments and the use of MRI brain imaging, allowing for earlier and more definitive identification of a child's learning disabilities. Michael F. Shaughnessy, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico

1) Carol, the field of "learning disabilities" has been with us for many years. What do you feel are the current issues in identification?

The field of learning disabilities has made great progress over the years, including better assessments and the use of MRI brain imaging, allowing for earlier and more definitive identification of a child's learning disabilities. Further, research into specific programs or therapeutic strategies for intervention, have greatly enhanced the ability to more closely match the learning profile of students, thus reducing the unnecessary and time consuming attempts to find the appropriate remediation tools.

However, as I see it, there is often a disconnect between educational and clinical assessments, diagnostic identification and qualifying for assistance. Since I live in California, I can be specific to my state, although most other states follow similar patterns.

First, in CA, in order to be considered as having a learning disability, there must be a processing disorder coupled with a discrepancy between the student's measured cognitive skills and academic achievement.

Secondly, even though many districts are employing the Response to Intervention model before moving to assessment, a process which can provide earlier needed research-based assistance, those services may not necessarily match the student's learning skill pattern. Thirdly, the educational regulatory mandate for qualifying for special education services often takes precedent over understanding a student's learning style. Thus, a rich and diversified team assessment may never be thoroughly utilized to provide teachers with the research-based classroom tools necessary to help a struggling student.

In the world of private practice, the laws and regulations that govern practitioners and providers often are not the same as in the public schools and practitioners working in both environments can be confused. Children who receive private assessments often get them from a sole service provider who is regulated to assess only in particular domains, although their scope of practice can typically be broader than in the public schools. Nevertheless, many private assessments are often lacking in their description of areas pertinent to learning. Unregulated tutoring businesses often use only the test which accompanies their program, never really assessing a student at all.

Lastly, although 80% of all learning disabilities are language based, it is still routinely the practice that many students never receive a full speech-language assessment, even in the private sector. Additionally, since the educational mandate is for qualifying a student, not necessarily identifying or diagnosing, many times the speech-language assessment, or other assessments, can be lacking the comprehensiveness necessary to fully describe a student's learning skills.

Continued at the end of the newsletter >>>>>>

 

9600 Hwy 9
Ben Lomond
336.5188
TyroleanInn.com
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Maifest at the Tyrolean Inn

Saturday, May 22, 3-10pm

Dance to the rhythm of the Al Gruber Band ~ Enter the Beer Stein Holding Contest (recent winner was a mother of twins!) ~ Win the Pretzel Count ~ Children's Entertainment  ~ Do the Chicken Dance ~ Have fun in the Bounce House ~ Get creative with Arts & Crafts

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  This Week

Event Calendar(Ads) SantaCruzParentCamp.jpgBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

CAMP AND CLASS CALENDAR

 

 

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Corner

 

 

 

 

 


Bayside Baptist Preschool, Open House 5/21

 

Simcha Preschool, Carnival & Concert 5/22

 

Kirby Beach Cleanup 5/22

 

Tara Redwood, Summer School Open House 5/25

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 Maker Faire!

(Event Calendar Logos) MakerFaire2011.jpgMaker Faire is a two-day, family-friendly event that celebrates the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It's for creative, resourceful people of all ages and backgrounds who like to tinker and love to make things. So much to see, you will need 2 days to see it all!

...for example...

 

(Special Event Page Graphics) MakerFAire_Mousetrap.jpgLife-Size Mousetrap
The Life Size Mousetrap is a fantastically hand crafted, 16 piece, 50,000-lb. interactive kinetic sculpture set atop a 6,500-square-foot game board. This giant Rube Goldberg style contraption comes complete with a Vaudevillian style show, original Musical score by the one woman band Esmerelda Strange, Sexy Mice can-can dancers, clown workers, acrobatic hi jinks, and other spectacular scenes dedicated to the pursuit of spectacle-laden fun!

 

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Coke Zero & Mentos Fountains EepyBird.com
See the original Internet sensation LIVE! Geysers of soda shoot over twenty feet into the air in this spectacular mint-powered version of the Bellagio Fountains, brought to you by the mad scientists of EepyBird.

Saturday and Sunday Get the details here!

Carnival, Children's Concert & Silent Auction
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  Carnival, Children's Concert & Silent Auction
Simcha Preschool
Date: 06/03/2012 from 10:30am to 1:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Carnival, Silent Auction and Kids' Concert featuring "Linda Arnold"!
City: Aptos Phone: (831) 479-3449 view all details >>
     
Preschools & Childcare
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Artichoke Festival
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  Artichoke Festival
Castroville Artichoke Festival
Date: Every day (Jun 2-Jun 3)
Details: Artichokes fried, sauteed, grilled, marinated, pickled, fresh, and creamed in soup and much more!
City: Monterey Phone: 831-633-3465 view all details >>
     
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  Summer Movie Chatter

(Products/Books) Movie_KungFuPanda_KaboomofDoom.jpgKUNG FU PANDA: THE KABOOM OF DOOM
The third of DreamWorks' animated hits to be franchised, following in the footsteps of Shrek and Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda 2 has Jack Black returning to voice Po, with Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman also on voicing duties. If it hits, expect Kung Fu Panda 3 to follow in 2014...
June 3

(Products/Books) Movie_GreenLantern.jpgGREEN LANTERN
Ryan Reynolds takes the first of a pair of leading roles in comic book movies - with X-Men spin-off Deadpool in the offing - as he steps into the title role of Green Lantern. Also on board are Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Tim Robbins and Angela Bassett, and it's Martin Campbell that's calling the shots. If it's the Campbell who delivered the two best Bond films of recent times - as well as The Mask Of Zorro - that's been turning up to work, then this really could be a treat.
June 17

(Products/Books) Movie_CarsII_WorldGrandPrix.jpgCARS 2: WORLD GRAND PRIX
After some confusion when it had been suggested that the Cars sequel was being knocked back six months, it turned out that wasn't the case at all, and that Pixar's second consecutive sequel is revving up on the grid for June 2011. It's an interesting one, this. Cars is generally regarded, with some justification, as Pixar's weakest film. Yet, in terms of the amount of toy sales it generates, with revenues heading into the billions, a sequel became inevitable. This time, Lightning McQueen is heading off to race around the world, with Mater in tow. Rumours suggest that John Lasseter has taken a hands-on role with the film in the last few months, too.
June 24

(Products/Books) Movie_Transformers2011.jpgTRANSFORMERS 3
Michael Bay is getting the old crowd back together - Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel - to run about while big robots smash seven shades out of one another around them. Joining in the effects carnage this time are Frances McDormand and John Malkovich, although the identity of the Transformers themselves are primarily kept between Michael Bay and his hard drive right now. Bay is currently resisting plans to make the film 3D one way or another, but whether it is or isn't, this is going to be one of the very biggest films of the summer.
July 1

(Products/Books) Movie_HarryPotterandtheDeathlyHallows.jpgHARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART II
Warner Bros executives will be weeping once this one is out in the world, as it brings to an end the studio's most lucrative film franchise of all time. It's the eighth and final movie outing for Harry Potter and his Hogwarts cohorts, with David Yates calling the shots behind the camera for the third time. Expect this to make a scary amount of money, and expect Warner Bros' balance sheet to never quite be the same again. Unless it can persuade J K to write a few more books...
July 15

(Products/Books) Movie_Smurfs3D.jpgTHE SMURFS 3-D
It wouldn't be summer without some kind of talking CGI creature picture, and this time it's The Smurfs who are being digitised for a big screen outing. Raja Gosnell, who put together the first Scooby Doo movie, is at the helm, and once again humans and CGI characters will interact with, er, no doubt, very convincing results. Promisingly, Hank Azaria is on villain duties.
August 3

(Products/Books) Movie_SpyKids4.jpgSPY KIDS 4: ARMAGEDDON
The original Spy Kids trilogy delivered three big hits, and hopes are high that the fourth will follow in their path. Unsurprisingly, the film's going to be in 3D (the third one was as well), and this time it's a new bunch of Spy Kids who are being recruited for action. That smells to us like there are plans for further films beyond this one. It's not been confirmed yet if Robert Rodriguez is going to direct.
August 19

 

  The impact of speech-language disorders on learning continued

2) Carol, I have trained diagnosticians and school psychologists and have also suggested that they administer the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test AND and Expressive Language Test. Why are these two realms important?

As I stated initially, research has shown that 80% of all learning disabilities are language based with students first being referred for a speech-language problem in preschool or even earlier. Classrooms are linguistically based and language driven. The key features of language- phonology, semantics, syntax, morphology and pragmatics intertwine and interact with each other all day in every situation. Oral language is the foundation for written language and they have a reciprocal relationship to each other- we talk about what we read and write, and write about what we discuss. We communicate and become literate through this ever evolving process.

The US Department of Education Statistics in 2007-07 showed learning disabilities accounted for half of all documented disabilities, with speech-language disorder a close second. However, if the first identified problem was more often than not in speech-language, I believe that what is happening is that the qualifying criteria, or diagnostic name, is what changes, because the fundamental speech-language problem just doesn't go away. Therefore, the student's oral speech and language skills can outwardly improve, but the underlying language deficit remain.

To further complicate matters, the 2000 US Census indicated that we have 167 different languages spoken by 47 million of the 281.4 million people who live here, with the new census probably expanding on these statistics. In California, after English, the second most prevalent language is Spanish with over 64 other languages. The standard California Class C driver's license examination is available in 32 different languages, but the street names and most signs are in English. These statistics underline the challenges which face many students when it comes to learning and further impact the students with underlying learning disabilities. We are no longer just testing native English speakers for learning problems.

A comprehensive Speech-Language evaluation should routinely be done on every student suspected of having a learning disability. Considering that most assessments for special education are in English only, the challenge is to document a language-learning disorder in both languages. When English is not the primary language, steps should be taken to utilize bilingual personnel and for the testing to be as complete as possible taking into account the dominant language of the student being assessed. Nonverbal, non-oral assessments must accompany the oral and verbal assessments.

3) Many teachers complain that students with learning disabilities seem to have low frustration tolerance and are impatient. How should this be addressed?

To me it makes perfect sense that low frustration tolerance often accompanies learning disabilities. If 80% of learning disabilities are language based and language drives a classroom, a student with LD is in a daily 6-hour situation where he or she must obtain information through their weakest modality. That student must process what is being said, remember what was presented, figure out what it means, translate that information to written material or the learning of basic skills, and do it all in a time sensitive and rapidly evolving environment. I think it is almost unreasonable that educators would expect the students not to be frustrated.

Allowing extra time, providing frequent check-ins with the student, providing many visual aides such having outlines or charts of presentations, calling on them last so they have peer models, and chunking down information is all crucial. However the single most important thing an educator can do for LD students, and really for all students, is to slow down their presentations, and for most that means their speech rate.

4) Are there students that have both a learning disability as well as a speech or articulation impediment? ( am I being politically correct here?)

For the purposes of discussing learning disabilities, it is important to provide a distinction between a Speech Disorder and a Language Disorder. A speech disorder typically refers to the mechanics of talking- voice, fluency and articulation. A language disorder typically refers to those more cognitive processes responsible for vocabulary, sentence structure, and pragmatics (eye gaze, turn-taking, and other non-verbal language skills). The difference is crucial because a student can seemingly improve in how they articulate sounds or use their voice, or become more fluent, however underlying cognitive language problems may be more subtle or at least not as noticeable, but are the weak areas that often make learning hard.

A student can have both a speech problem and a language problem, or can have one or the other. Making that diagnosis and distinction is important, particularly in the schools where the failure to develop speech and language skills normally can interfere with written language learning.

5) Let's talk inner ear infection for a few minutes- is there any relationship between otitis media and otitis externa and learning disabilities or language disorders?

Otitis externa is an inflammation of the outer ear and otitis media is an inflammation of the inner ear. Both can cause discomfort and pain and both need to be treated medically. The more prevalent condition, otitis media has often been identified as the culprit in a student's difficulty in learning or in late language development. What is very important to remember, but is often undocumented, and sometimes not even known, is that there can be fluid in the middle ear, sometimes for long periods, without any infection or even pain. The fluid in the middle ear can cause hearing loss. Often a student has allergies which lead to this condition.

Several long term meta studies over the course of the last few years show that the long term effect of otitis media do not impact a child's language development and that there is a resolution by age 7. (Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v53 n1 p34-43 Feb 2010) Another earlier review of literature on the relationship of otitis media and leaning disorders revealed that the incidence of otitis media was twice as common in learning disabled as non-LD students. (Journal of Learning Disabilities, v16 n5 p272-78 May 1983)

However, what is not as clear is what happens to a child who enters kindergarten with intermittent hearing loss because of the accumulation of middle ear fluid which may or may not result in an infection. I think middle ear fluid coupled with allergies may be a topic of interest to many who work with students with learning disabilities and language disorder.

6) How can speech therapists best work with students with learning disabilities?

I often think that the services of the Speech-Language Pathologist are often underutilized, particularly in the public schools where caseloads remain high and there is a tremendous need for more therapists. However, therapists must see language in its broader sense and how it impacts everything a student does all day. Speech and language evaluations must describe what a student can do as well as what a student cannot do, and particularly in the public school, not just test for qualifying purposes.

Above all, therapists must see themselves as vital consultants to teachers and parents on how best to communicate with learning disabled students and how to help them maneuver the language world of learning.

7) What do parents need to know about speech and language problems and their relationship to learning disabilities?

As has already been noted, 80% of learning disabilities are language based. Parents need to look closely at their child's speech-language development. Even though children can be quite talkative, that does not mean that they use language effectively, that they understand at age appropriate levels, or that their language is successful in an educational setting. One of the most recent studied aspects of language development that has great impact on later academic achievement, particularly in the area of reading comprehension, is narrative ability.

Narrative skill or the ability to explain events in a logical, sequential manner, not just a listing, but in a more cause-effect mode, is the basis for reading comprehension. Beyond phonics and phonemic awareness of the sounds needed to acquire basic reading skills, an ability in narrative impacts a student's learning to understand what he or she is reading, the very reason we learn to read in the first place.

Oral narrative language development is important because the very act of telling stories or relating experiences requires that a student use all of the language components, (semantics, pragmatics, syntax, and morphology) together to communicate a meaningful coherent explanation or sequence of events, whether to themselves or another about what is happening in class or what they have read. Narrative is much more than just telling stories.

Both the California English Language Arts Content Standards and the new Core Curriculum Standards adopted by most all of the states in the US, list narrative as a goal. Telling sequential stories or making explanations, is a standard starting in kindergarten, even for English language learners, that only expands as the student progresses through the grades. The Core Curriculum Standards website emphasizes the need for students with disabilities to be encouraged to meet those standards with the necessary guidance and support. (http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards)

8)What have I neglected to ask?

Thank you for this opportunity to talk about learning disabilities and the impact of speech-language disorders on learning. It has been my passion for forty years. I continue to be intrigued and excited about the ever changing landscape of research with the developing strategies and programs. I am hopeful that this interview will help parents and educators see speech and language in an academic world and help them understand the relationship between talking and learning in a broader context.

Carol Murphy MA, CCC-SLP, BCET is a licensed and credentialed Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Educational Therapist practicing in Aptos.  Her associate, Kate Murphy, MA, ET, is a School Psychologist and Educational Therapist with extensive training in behavioral interventions. You can reach them at Speech, Learning and Psychology Services, 234-4181.

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