Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

Newsletter of the ACT Chapter of Early Childhood Intervention Australia Inc.
President’s Report - Term 3 Newsletter 2012
It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Spring issue of Early Bird as Pam Cording, our President, is overseas enjoying an extended holiday. A number of ACT ECIA members were fortunate to travel to Perth in August for the ECIA Biennial National Conference ‘Pathways to Participation; Engagement and Choice for Families and Children’. The last ECIA Biennial National Conference was in Canberra in 2010 so I know for some of the ACT participants it was a joy, and far less stressful, to be a participant in WA without the worry of being the organisers. This year’s conference was also the first Asia-Pacific ECI conference with participants from neighbouring countries including: New Zealand, India, Solomon Islands, Singapore and China. A stand out for me across the entire conference was the shared commitment to ensuring the best outcomes for children and families no matter the size of the program, the type of support provided, or the limitations of resources and facilities. Everyone came with a great sense of wanting to share and learn from each other. We were all moved by Javed Abidi, from India who spoke of his country having 100 million people with a disability, including 25-35 million children, with only 35000 professionals to provide support. The Conference was also the ideal vehicle for the national launch of the Position Statement on the Inclusion of Children with a Disability by the National Presidents of ECIA and ECA Denise Luscombe and Margaret Young. Once the conference proceedings are published we will have links and information to share. Here in the ACT this ECIA committee continues to be committed to providing workshops to support parent/carers of children with developmental delays and professionals working with children and families. Please contact us if you have suggestions for possible workshop or presenters. We are currently investigating presentations on Emotional Well Being and Music .

Early Childhood Intervention ACT Inc PO Box 717 Mawson ACT 2607 Phone: (02) 6290 1984 [SHOUT] email: ecia_act@shout.org.au
Committee: President: Pam Cording Secretary: Carol- Anne Karas Treasurer: Annemarie Banks Committee Members: Jill Corcoran Cathy Radisich Maryanne Pease Sandy Leitch Liz Holland Sue Davies Sue Finn Jean Walker

MEMBERSHIP
Have you renewed your membership? All memberships are due for renewal in January each year. A membership form is provided on the last page of this newsletter. Membership entitles you to discounts on courses, and quarterly copies of the Early Bird Newsletter. Why not renew your membership today!

Nationally ECIA is looking to organise another national speaking tour in 2013 by Prof. Mary Louise Hemmeter who we hosted here at University House ANU last year. ECIA ACT is keen to host Mary Louise again; we will let you know details as they become known. Finally you will notice our new logo, a logo that has been adopted by all ECIA state and territory branches. Jean Walker, Vice President 2012

Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

Pathways to Participation: Engagement and Choice for Children and Families
The ACT Chapter of Early Childhood Intervention Australia would like to take this opportunity to thank the Western Australian Conference Team, led very ably by our National President Denise Luscombe, for all of their hard work in organising our National Conference. The 10 Biennial National Early Childhood Intervention Australia Conference held in Perth from the 9 th-11th August, 2012 was a resounding success with 460 participants attending. Delegates were very positive about all aspects of the conference, from the quality of the key note speakers to the diversity of concurrent sessions speakers to the excellent social functions, all set in the beautiful location of Perth. Sharing the theme and running in association with this conference was the first Asia-Pacific Early Intervention Conference. Over 60 overseas delegates attended, with nearly 40 coming from developing countries, many of whom were sponsored by AUSAID to attend. They were most appreciative of the opportunity to visit services in Perth and learn more about practices in Australia, particularly in regard to inclusion of children with disabilities, as well as share their own diverse experiences. All in all a very worthwhile conference which was a tribute to the organising team.
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MY TIME… FREE School Holiday Playgroups For Parents and Carers of Children with a Disability or Chronic Medical Condition

When: Tuesday 2/10 – Friday 5/10 (Week 1 School Holidays) Where: Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre (Tuggeranong Town Centre, opposite the Hyperdome) Who: These groups are for parents and carers (including mums, dads, grandparents and the main carer) with children aged 0-12 with a disability or chronic medical condition. Siblings (under 12) are very welcome. There will be a range of free and structured play activities for children and their families/carers to have fun together. These include sensory activities, music, gross and fine motor play activities and stories.My time also gives parents the chance to socialise and share ideas with people in similar circumstances who can understand their children’s achievements and help with the challenges, and find out about available community support. For more information or to register for this group by Friday 28 September contact Matthew or Debra at ACT Playgroups on 1800 171 882 or email playgroupsact@ixa.net.au

Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

EARLY CHILDHOOD AUSTRALIA AND EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION AUSTRALIA Position statement on the inclusion of children with a disability in early childhood education and care This joint position statement by Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) sets out our shared commitment to inclusion in early childhood education and care (ECEC). Its purpose is to create a vision for high quality inclusive practices in early childhood education and care. It will assist everyone in ECEC services, as well as support professionals to fully include children with a disability and to achieve high quality outcomes for all children. It will also provide a framework for the development and implementation of policy and programs designed for all young children. The inclusiv e practices promoted by the position statement are characterised by the strong collaborative partnerships between children, families, early childhood educators and support professionals that are widely recognised as a cornerstone of high quality inclusive practice in ECEC programs. The position statement reflects the broad evidence base and the collective values and wisdom of our organisations on the inclusion of children with a disability, and was informed by input from consultations with members of both organisations. It is part of broader policy work by both organisations. For ECA this work will focus on inclusion for all children in ECEC settings and for ECIA the work will focus on the inclusion of children with a disability in all aspects of community life. POSITION ON THE INCLUSION OF CHILDREN WITH A DISABILITY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE Our position is that children with a disability have the same rights as all children and additional rights because of their disability. They share with all children the right to be valued as individuals and as contributing members of families, communities and society. Every child is entitled to access and participate in ECEC programs which recognise them as active agents in their own lives and learning, respond to them as individuals, respect their families as partners and engage with their diverse backgrounds and cultures. This means that ECEC services and support professionals must be resourced and supported to the level required to fully include children with a disability and to achieve high quality outcomes for all children. For the detailed full version of the statement go to www.disabilityinclusionstatement.org.au

http://connectability.ca is a Canadian website well worth a visit. The site is organized by age group with each
section linking to numerous articles, tip sheets and resources. Some of the content is Canada specific but lots is relevant to us here in Australia. Within the kids section is the Visuals Engine … A tool for creating visual supports. Funded by a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities, picture symbols used in the Visuals Engine are from the Boardmaker library and can be used to create a variety of visual supports for non-commercial, personal and education purposes.

Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

Launch of the Joint Position Statement on the Inclusion of Children with a Disability The launch of a joint position statement on the inclusion of children with a disability at the national ECIA Conference in Perth heralded a new era in collaboration between the early c hildhood education and care and the early childhood intervention sectors. Denise Luscombe, President of Early Childhood Intervention Australia, and Margaret Young, President of Early Childhood Australia, together launched this joint position statement at the conference. For ECA, the statement will be launched at their National ECA Conference on 3 -6 October in Perth. This statement was initiated and funded by ECIA and has taken 12 months to develop. A series of listening sessions were held around Australia to work out the key issues surrounding inclusion of children with a disability into ECEC services and the findings from these sessions then informed a national online survey. As Denise said, ‘You could see that inclusion was a passionate issue for the people who completed the survey (1400 in total) and attended the sessions. Their views then informed the direction of this statement.’ Denise and Margaret stated that they wanted this statement to help create a vision of high quality inclusive practices in early childhood education and care. They believe it can assist everyone in early childhood education and care services, in early childhood intervention and other support professionals move closer to fully including children with a disability and to achieving high quality outcomes for all children. They also stated that they hope it provides a framework for the development and implementation of policy and programs designed for all young children. It, most importantly, encourages strong collaborative partnersh ips between children, families, early childhood educators and support professionals as a cornerstone to achieving high quality inclusion. As Denise said ‘One common theme that came out strongly in the listening sessions and online survey was the need to build the capacity of the early childhood education and care and support professionals to support high quality inclusion. This includes areas such as relevant undergraduate and post graduate courses, ongoing shared professional development and mentoring, and the development of a shared set of standards for the practice of inclusion.’ She went on to say that these are areas that ECIA and ECA will need to work on together and so will continue to build on the collaboration developed through this project. Both Denise and Margaret said that, while they are thrilled by the progress we have made, they are realistic enough to realise that we are at the start of a longer but rewarding process of continuing to build on the work of the statement. Please go to the website www.disabilityinclusionstatement.org.au to view the statement.

The position statement will be launched in the ACT in the next few months by ECIA and ECA so please look out for the information about this launch as we would welcome your support and attendance.

Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

PROMOTING ENGAGEMENT IN NATURAL SETTINGS
A summary of Dr Robin McWilliam’s presentations at the 10 National ECIA Conference I attended the 10th National ECIA Conference this year in Perth. It was also the first Asia-Pacific Conference. This gave an interesting and at times thought-provoking dimension to many of the presentations and discussions. The 2012 conference with its title of 'Pathways to Participation: Engagement and Choice for Children and Families' had particular interest for me due to the ACT Education Department’s renaming of the Inclusion Support section (where I am employed as an Early Childhood Student Engagement Consultant) to Student Engagement. The keynote speech by Dr Robin McWilliam: Promoting Engagement through a Routines-based Intervention Approach, and the Saturday workshop: Engagement of Every Child in the Child Care and Preschool Setting, provided many challenging and inspiring ideas which can help educators, families and consultants to engage children. McWilliam proposes that engagemen,t along with independence and social-emotional development, become the new domains on which early intervention is based rather than the more traditional areas (e.g. fine motor, gross motor, etc.). He presented evidence that participation (engagement), independence and social skills are crucial for other more academic skills to develop. He defines engagement as “the amount of time children spend interacting with adults, peers or materials in a developmentally and contextually appropriate manner at different levels of competence and sophistication”. He proposes that time participating can be measured, at both an individual and a group level. It can be a measure of effectiveness or appropriateness of a particular activity e.g. group time. McWilliam has evidence which shows that child engagement at group time is the lowest during the day. He suggests that the flannel board with the weather chart should be thrown out and that group time should include more opportunities for group conversation. The quality of engagement can be viewed in a developmental hierarchy fro m sophisticated to non-engaged. Appropriate behaviour is characterised as “engagement” whilst inappropriate behaviour is considered as a low level of engagement. All child behaviour can be measured at some level and type of engagement. Mc William presented an engagement classroom model that included: A Routines-based needs assessment which informs the Individualised Learning Plan (ILP) Integrated Services delivery Embedded Interventions and Incidental Teaching Zone Defence Schedule Support-based home visits Eco maps I found the Routines-based interview to be particularly useful for my work as a consultant and feel it has application for family centred early intervention and preschool programs. This is a method for embedding functional goals in natural contexts.
Comment [A1]: Comment [A2R1]:
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Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

The Routines-based Interview is a tool in which the teacher and the family give inform ation about the child’s participation in the routines and activities that make up their day. From this interview the teacher and parent choose 10-12 goals which they rank in priority order. These are then developed into an ILP. The interviewer asks questions relating to each routine or activity during the day. These are: What is the child doing? What is everyone else doing? (the expectation) What do you do? How well does it work for the child? This then generates a picture of the child and how they are functioning. It is then possible to pinpoint areas where there are concerns and areas to intervene. Specific, measurable goals are written for the child. This is McWilliam’s 7 STEPS TO WRITING FUNCTIONAL, MEASURABLE CHILD-LEVEL OUTCOMES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Read the informal functional outcome which is developed from the Routines-based interview. Determine the routines involved. Write - “[The child] will participate in [those routines]”. Write - “By doing_________” (Inserting the desired behaviour). Consider - “We will know this when he or she _____” (and add a measurable acquisition criterion). Add a generalization criterion. Add the criterion specifying the amount of time over which the behaviour needs to be displayed (e.g., “in one week”).

When writing goals for centre based programs it is worthwhile asking how each routine is working for the child. This is what McWilliam’s calls “goodness of fit”. If the routine is not working well , three options can be considered. 1. Change the child (teach them new skills). 2. 3. Change the routine (e.g. less waiting at toilet times). Change the expectation. (Do all children need to stay for all of group time? If not, is a layered group appropriate?)

I thank ECIA for the opportunity to attend this conference. I will be sharing mor e information from the sessions at a later date. Chris Ellis Early Childhood Student Engagement Consultant For more information please got to: www.siskin.org www.guilford.com www.naturalenvironments.blogspot.com

Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

The Psychological Management of Tic Disorders in Children A summary of a presentation by clinical psychologist Chris Hardwick Westmead Children's Hospital Child Psychology Seminar Series

Tic Disorders affect 1 in 200 children, so it was very interesting to attend an informative seminar about the management of the disorder in children when Chris Hardwick presented recently in Sydney. Chris described tics as “rapid recurrent stereotyped movements or vocalisations”. They can be suppressed but this can be very hard (like not scratching an itch). When an individual has vocal and motor tics, they are diagnosed as having Tourette’s Disorder. There is a high comorbidity with Anxiety Disorders and/or ADHD. Typical onset for a Tic Disorder is between 3 and 7 years and it often peaks between 10 and 14 years, and then often subsides in late adolescence. Tic activity is usually more pronounced when there is increased social and environmental stress. Chris explained that as tics wax and wane naturally it can be difficult to tell if a treatment is working. Some children are less concerned than their parents about the tics and most can suppress or hide them for short periods of time, but this takes effort and may lead to an increase or rebound later. A range of medications can be prescribed especially when the tics cause severe impairment, distress or pain, but psychological treatments using Cognitive Behavioural Interventions for Tics (CBIT) is also supported in recent studies. Chris explained his approach which involves having the child teach him how the tic feels so that he can understand which muscles are involved. He designs a “workout” that the child can do - a range of exercises or actions that involves the same muscles but in a more fluid, graceful and slower series of movements. He works as part of a team including a neurologist. He presented some case studies to illustrate the wide range of impact that a tic disorder can have on a young person and their family and the need to have a range of treatment options available. Maryanne Pease

Belconnen Community Centre School Holiday Programs North Belconnen Evatt Kids Club Evatt Primary School Heydon Crescent, Evatt ACT 2617 Phone: 0407 290 822 West Belconnen Cranleigh School Starke Street, Holt ACT 2615 Phone: 0401 045 215 Central Belconnen Belconnen Community Centre Swanson Court, Belconnen ACT 2617 Phone: (02)62640232
Enquiries
Children’s Services Administration Team Kippax Health Centre, Kippax place, Holt, ACT 2615 Phone: (02) 6278 8188 Fax: (02) 6255 1425 Enquires: csat@bcsact.com.au Website: www.bcsact.com.au

Who: Children aged 5 – 12 years and attending primary school When: Tuesday 2 October – Friday 5th October th th Tuesday 9 October– Friday 12 October Time: 8:00am - 6:00pm Cost: $70 per day per child (Child Care Benefit available)
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Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

Bits & Pieces …
FREE TICKETS The World Festival of Magic is offering free tickets to special needs and disadvantaged children and their families. http://www.worldfestivalofmagic.com.au

WHERE: Queanbeyan Conference Centre th WHEN: Sunday 18 November, TIME: 1.30pm & 4.00pm AVAILABILITY: Tickets are subject to availability, but if you are a member of DSA, ECIA, ADD ACT or FBIC you are eligible for free tickets – so get in quick! TO ORDER YOUR TICKETS: Order your tickets from the SHOUT Office Please state which group you are a member of. th Please order your tickets by 3.00PM, 10 OCTOBER AT THE LATEST.

Are you looking for a simple to use App to help you quickly and easily create talking (or not talking) stories? The Pictello App (created by AssistiveWare) is a very simple way to create talking photo albums and talking books. Each page in a Pictello Story can contain a picture, up to five lines of text, and either a recorded voice / sound or text-to-speech. This is a fantastic App to use if you are thinking about putting together a familiarisation book to help with transition to school/preschool. This App has the potential to be used in many different ways, some of which include: - Stories to teach social skills or to recall events; - Photo albums to allow non-speaking people to share their news and interests; - Sharing important events and memories with family members; - Creating talking books; - Teaching narrative skills as part of a literacy or language skills curriculum; - Schedules, Task instructions, etc; - Sharing stories or writing group; and - Creating multilingual stories using text-to-speech or voice recordings. Follow the link below for a review:

http://www.specialneeds.com/products-and-services/general-special-needs/special-needs-app-day-pictello
Do you know about AppShopper? AppShopper is a free App designed to keep you informed about the newest App Store apps, sales, and freebies.

Early Bird Spring Edition – September 2012

EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTION ACT INC.
ABN: 76 607 866 556 MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
Name: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Organisation (if any)…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Work address ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... Phone………………………………………………….. Fax………………………………………………………………………. Home address…...………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Phone………………………………………………….. Fax……………………………………………………………………….. Email address ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Would you like to receive the newsletter by e-mail? YES NO (our preferred method) Would you like to receive other relevant information by e-mail? Please circle: I am: a parent/carer of a child with a developmental delay or disability, a teacher, a health professional, child care worker, other…………………………………...……………………………………………………………………………………………… Membership Rates $15 Parent/carer/full-time student $40 Professional $60 Organisation or school * Please send a cheque, money order or credit card payment to: ECI (ACT) Inc. PO Box 717, Mawson, ACT, 2607 Phone: 6290 1984 Visa / MasterCard Card number YES NO

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