EIS In Touch With Families
The Happiest Toddler on the Block Spring 2005
Review by Dr. Harvey Karp, M.D.
Published by Bantam Dell 2004
In his second book, Dr. Harvey Karp focuses on the years between one and four. He describes typical child
development and some of the behaviours applicable to each of the age groups. Some of the issues covered by
Dr. Karp include temper tantrums, biting, sleep and eating concerns, and separation anxiety. Positive
approaches to assist children through these stages are outlined here.
Other points of interest include a chapter titled Gentle Diplomacy: Ways to Set Up and Enforce Limits. Here
2004 was a busy year for
Early Intervention Services Considering a Developmental
Dr. Karp discusses when to use strategies such as ignoring, loss of privileges and time-outs. Another chapter
titled Respect and Rewards guides parents on how to praise their child's compliant behaviour in order to
Assessment for your child?
promote cooperation between themselves and their preschooler. We completed three major When a parent is worried that their child might have an autism spectrum disorder, the
office renovations to waiting lists for an assessment in a child development clinic can be very discouraging.
By Nancy Headdon, Early Interventionist, Markham Office improve space for staff Many hospital-based clinics have waiting lists of a year or more.
and families receiving
office-based services. EIS Some parents decide to seek an assessment elsewhere rather than wait. For parents
who choose to take this option, there are many factors to
served 1,328 children last
Traffic Light Treat consider. Private assessments can be expensive, especially
4. Using the round cookie cutter the child year (a 10.2% increase over
if you do not have extended health coverage.
makes a circle with the cheese. 2003) and we served a
Ingredients for one: 5. Child puts the pepperoni on the top monthly average of 952 Parents should be as informed as possible before choosing
-3 Ritz crackers cracker to represent the red light. children. a private practitioner. Even if you are considering a
-pepperoni slice 6. Child puts the round yellow cheese on the clinician who is covered by OHIP, there are some
-half a cheese slice middle cracker to represent the yellow light. We also received additional important points you should know.
(cut diagonally) 7. Child puts the slice of cucumber on the funding through the
-thin slice of cucumber bottom cracker to represent the green light. Provincial Early Learning First, who can legally make a diagnosis of autism? Any
8. Eat! and Child Care initiative medical doctor can make the diagnosis, although many do
Utensils and supplies:
that allowed us to hire two not feel they have the adequate experience or the time
3" x 6 ½" rectangle of black
poster board Traffic Light Song temporary full-time and required to do so. The ideal is a developmental paediatrician, who is a paediatrician
(sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, with additional training in child development. A registered psychologist with the
paper plate one temporary part-time
Little Star") relevant training and experience is also able to diagnose autism.
round cookie cutter Early Interventionists.
knife (for caregiver only) Regional Council approved
Twinkle, twinkle, traffic light The other types of professionals that might be involved with your child, such as a
these positions as speech language pathologist, behavioural therapist, early interventionist or teacher will
Directions: On the corner, shining bright. permanent in February of
Red means stop and green means go. be great sources of information about your child's development, but they are not able
1. Child washes hands. this year.
Yellow means go nice and slow. to make a diagnosis of autism. These profeesionals can discuss their concerns with you
2. Black poster board (longest side up) is
Twinkle twinkle, traffic light. and explain what the benefits of a developmental assessment might be.
placed on the paper plate.
On the corner, shining bright. We continue to develop
3. Child places crackers on the black poster
and improve our services Current research strongly supports multi-disciplinary assessments, which are completed
board to resemble lights on traffic lights.
from The Mailbox Feb/Mar. 2004 in this ever changing and by a team of professionals who have clinical experience with autism. If you are
fast growing environment considering a private assessment with a psychologist, ask if he
and look forward to a or she works with any other professionals such as a speech
language pathologist and an occupational therapist.
productive year in support
EIS In Touch With Families is a newsletter for families who receive service from York Region’s
Early Intervention Services. For more information on any aspect of this newsletter please contact
of your needs.
continued on page 3
W 8 4 8 4 9
Linda Leveiller-Wheeler at 905-830-4444, Ext. 2075 or toll free at 1-877-464-9675, Ext.2075. Dan Beale
For more information about York Region’s Children’s Services, go to: Manager, EIS
www.york.ca Community Services and Housing Department
Family and Children’s Services Division
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Active Learning Developmental Assessment continued
An effective approach with multi-disabled children Also be aware that the younger the child is, the more difficult it can be to provide a definitive diagnosis. It is
important that the child is seen on more than one occasion for observations and formal testing. Also, there are
In late September I attended an Active Learning with others to fulfill their own needs, allowing many tools available to help clinicians to complete the assessment; however, a diagnosis of an autism spectrum
Conference in Burlington sponsored by the them to gradually react relevantly to instructions disorder must be made based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM IV) criteria.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind. This and education and making them as independent
conference provided information on another as possible. Call several different practitioners and ask them questions about their assessment process and their area of
approach to working with multi-disabled children.
specialty. Talk to other parents and ask for their experiences.
These are some of Dr. Nielsen's suggestions
Dr. Lilli Nielsen is a preschool teacher and when developing the child's environment for If you do choose to wait for an assessment in a child development clinic, call agencies that provide services
psychologist with her PhD thesis on spatial learning: (such as Intensive Behavioural Intervention) to children with autism to inquire about placing your child on the
relations of congenitally blind infants. She has
waiting list even if he or she does not yet have a formal diagnosis.
authored many books and professional articles in * Observe the child. Assessing the child's existing
her 40+ year career, and lectures around the world. skills and preferences (strengths) is the first step By Karen Dillon, BSW, Social Worker
Dr. Nielsen is a highly respected expert on the in programming. Paediatric Developmental Assessment Clinic
education of those with multiple severe disabilities. * Provide the child with more activities and Markham Stouffville Hospital
Her approach is called Active Learning. objects that are similar to the ones he or she
enjoys. This encourages the child to explore,
All children learn through play and need to be introduces new experiences and broadens his or
encouraged to explore their environment and
objects in their environment. Dr. Nielsen believes
her base of knowledge.
* Provide the child with opportunities to Markham Office Offers Parent Workshops
that all very young children learn by being active, practice and/or to compare. Children need to be
rather than through passive forms of stimulation. able to repeat an action many, many times in The purpose of parent education workshops is to provide a forum, where parents can gather, learn about a
She believes that interactions during which the adult order to learn. particular topic, and be supported by other parents. The workshops run from September to May in the
performs most of the activities (e.g., hand over * Provide activities at a slightly higher Markham Early Intervention Services office, located at 144 Main Street, Unit 10.
hand), or refrains from waiting for the child to developmental level to provide a challenge for the
initiate his/her part of the interaction, fails to give child. All workshops are hosted by EIS with a "special presenter". Cost is $5.00 per family per workshop. To
the child an opportunity to learn to initiate. Instead * Do not interrupt a child by talking when he or register call Cathy Horlick at (905) 294-0762, Ext. 221.
the child may become passive or unable to perform she is actively engaged in play. Pick your moments
any skill without being prompted. to talk. Parents have said...
* Slow down when interacting with the child. Be
Children with multiple disabilities should be viewed willing to wait. "I was able to learn from other parents' problems and solutions."
as children who are just as eager to learn as are "...a relaxed atmosphere and open discussion."
children without disabilities. Parents of a child with Dr. Nielsen has designed numerous pieces of "The information was very valuable."
disabilities are just as eager to see their child learn as equipment for Active Learning. LilliWorks is the
the parents of a child without disabilities. exclusive provider of this equipment. Upcoming workshops:
The philosophy behind the Active Learning is an approach which has been Focus on Fathers - Wednesday, April 6th - 7-9 p.m.
approach of Active proven to be highly effective for multi-disabled A father of a child with special needs will discuss how fathers
Learning is that, if given individuals. The approach is popular in Europe can have a significant impact in the lives of their children.
opportunity to learn from and is being used in the United States and
their own environment, Canada. A goal for 2005 is to train York Region Picky Eaters - Wednesday, May 4th - 7-9 p.m.
children will achieve skills Early Intervention staff in Active Learning. A dietician with the York Region Health Services will give
that become part of their suggestions on how to provide nutritious meals to children
personality. Therefore it is By Linda Leveiller-Wheeler who are "selective eaters".
natural for them to interact Supervisor, Early Intervention Services
We welcome ideas for future topics.
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