New Developmental Screening Tool Implemented at our Centres!

We are pleased to confirm that we are now ready to implement our new developmental screening tool and phase out the use of the Nipissing District Developmental Screening tool we had been using for over the past decade.

Almost everyone on our team (except those who were sick that day) spent a Saturday in December undergoing a full day of training on the implementation and administration of the new Ages and Stages Questionnaire. We have invested in training all of our educators and purchasing the latest screening tool in order to ensure that each and every child in our care realizes their full potential and that we are able to provide appropriate supports to our children. The tools are based on the latest available research and are being updated as research continues. The tools are called the AQQ-3 and ASQ:SE-2:

  • ASQ-3 deals with the following developmental areas:

  1. Communication: Your child’s language skills, both what your child understands and what he or she can say. 

  2. Gross Motor: How your child uses their arms and legs and other large muscles for sitting, crawling, walking, running, and other activities. 

  3. Fine Motor: Your child’s hand and finger movement and coordination. 

  4. Problem Solving: How your child plays with toys and solves problems. 

  5. Personal-Social: Your child’s self-help skills and interactions with others  

  • ASQ: SE-2 deals with the following developmental areas:

  1. Autonomy: Your child’s ability or willingness to self-initiate or respond without guidance (moving to independence). 

  2. Compliance: Your child’s ability or willingness to conform to the direction of others and follow rules. 

  3. Adaptive Functioning: Your child’s success or ability to cope with bodily needs (sleeping, eating, toileting, safety). 

  4. Self-Regulation: Your child’s ability or willingness to calm or settle down or adjust to physiological or environmental conditions or stimulations. 

  5. Affect: Your child’s ability or willingness to demonstrate their own feelings and empathy for others. 

  6. Interaction: Your child’s ability or willingness to respond to or initiate social responses with parents, other adults, and peers. 

  7. Social-Communication: Your child’s ability or willingness to interact with others by responding or initiating verbal or nonverbal signals to indicate interests, needs, or feelings.   

What is different about the ASQ is that the assessment is completed by you at home. Studies have shown that parent-completed screeners like ASQ are very effective at pinpointing child progress. Information parents give about their children is usually highly accurate.  We will be providing you with a questionnaire to complete at home shortly, if we have not already done so. Each questionnaires will take only 10-15 minutes to complete and we ask that you please provide us the completed questionnaire within one week as questionnare used and the results will be based on the exact age of each child. 

I have already started using the ASQ with my 3 month old at home and it's great! The great thing about ASQ is that it’s strengths-focused—the emphasis is really on what your child can do. It’s the perfect way to keep track of milestones and celebrate them as your child grows and develops.   Regular screening provides a fast and helpful look at how your child is doing in important areas like communication, social skills, motor skills, and problem-solving skills. Screening can identify your child’s strengths, uncover new milestones to celebrate, and reveal any areas where your child may need support. It helps you understand your child’s development and know what to look for next. 

Our educators are available to answer any questions you might have and you can always reach out to the Directors with any questions or concerns. We have attached more information on the ASQ for anyone interested in learning more:

  1. ASQ for Parents

  2. What is ASQ-3?

  3. What is ASQ:SE-2?

You can also visit: https://agesandstages.com/about-asq/for-parents/ 

BRAINS: JOURNEY TO RESILIENCE

In a world where human brains inch across snowy landscapes, where perils lurk in every shadow, one community will rally behind a struggling brain—and just might change the world in the process. Learn about the resilience scale in this scientifically rigorous (and cinematically epic) video created by the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative in consultation with the FrameWorks Institute and the Harvard Center on the Developing Child.

Click here to watch the video!

5 Steps for Brain-Building Serve and Return

Child-adult relationships that are responsive and attentive—with lots of back and forth interactions—build a strong foundation in a child’s brain for all future learning and development. This is called “serve and return,” and it takes two to play! Follow these 5 steps to practice serve and return with your child.

A Guide to Executive Function

Executive function and self-regulation skills are like an air traffic control system in the brain—they help us manage information, make decisions, and plan ahead. We need these skills at every stage of life, and while no one is born with them, we are all born with the potential to develop them. But, how do we do that? The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard created this Guide to Executive Function to walk you through everything you need to know (<— click here to open) about these skills and how to develop and practice them throughout life.

Watch this video for a brief overview: https://youtu.be/efCq_vHUMqs

Ever wonder how much sleep your child should be getting?

This article in Maclean's offers a summary of newly published guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

Parental warning: Don’t lose sleep over new guidelines on how much shut-eye your kids should be getting.

The recommendations range from up to 16 hours daily for babies to at least eight hours for teens. They come from a panel of experts and give parents fresh ammunition for when kids blame them for strict bedtimes.

The guidelines released Monday are the first-ever for children from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They encompass recommendations the American Academy of Pediatrics has made at different times for different ages.

According to the guidelines: Adequate sleep is linked with improved attention, behaviour, learning, mental and physical health at every age covered. And insufficient sleep increases risks for obesity, diabetes, accidents, depression and in teens, self-harm including suicide attempts.

The recommendations are based on a review of scientific evidence on sleep duration and health.

Recommended daily/nightly sleep duration is:

— 12 hours to 16 hours including naps for infants aged 4 months to 12 months. Younger infants aren’t included because they have a wide range of normal sleep patterns.

— 11 to 14 hours including naps for children aged 1- to 2 years.

— 10 to 13 hours including naps for children aged 3 to 5 years.

— 9 to 12 hours for children aged 6 to 12 years.

— 8 to 10 hours for teens aged 13 to 18 years.

___

Online:

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: http://www.aasmnet.org