August 4, 2017

In this Issue:

  1. Position Statement on Challenging Behavior
      Source: Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children
  2. Online Training Modules - Talk with Me Baby Series
      Source: Rollins Center for Language & Literacy and Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University
  3. Identifying Young Dual Language Learners
      Source: Preschool Development Grant Technical Assistance Program (PDGTA)
  4. Building Bridges and Bonds Study (B3)
      Source: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE)
  5. Children's Visual Engagement is Heritable and Altered in Autism
      Source: National Institute of Health (NIH)
  6. Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
      Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway
  7. Paid Parental Leave is Good for Kids
      Source: Child Trends

1. Position Statement on Challenging Behavior

Source: Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children

DEC has released its Position Statement on Challenging Behavior and Young Children (July 2017) to readdress the significance of healthy social-emotional competence of all children and provide guidance to practitioners, teachers, and families in preventing and effectively responding to challenging behaviors. DEC's position includes culturally sustaining, family-focused practices, as well as, a commitment to inclusion, professional development, technical assistance, and using approaches that eliminate suspension and expulsion.

2. Online Training Modules - Talk with Me Baby Series

Source: Rollins Center for Language & Literacy and Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

With funding from the James M. Cox Foundation, Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child and the Rollins Center have partnered to provide the Talk with Me Baby Series. This free training module available through Cox Campus and the Read Right from the Start program focuses on the importance of communication in the early years. The 8 courses in the series prepare practitioners to empower and support families to engage in meaningful conversations with their young children and enhance their language development and perpetual learning.

3. Identifying Young Dual Language Learners

Source: Preschool Development Grant Technical Assistance Program (PDGTA)

PDGTA released their new technical assistance report (2017) providing guidance and best practices to states for identifying dual language learners and language proficiency. Current research reveals that an estimated 30% of children in the U.S. are raised in a dual language home. The report discusses the need for better designed home language surveys and recommends that teachers use standardized tools together with repetitive observation of language usage in a variety of contexts to best assess a students' English proficiency. Examples of these assessment tools are included in the appendix.

4. Building Bridges and Bonds Study (B3)

Source: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE)

This OPRE report (April 2017) is the first in a series of publications on B3, and discusses practical and interactive parenting methods designed for low-income fathers to best meet the social-emotional needs of their young children. The B3 study aims to identify services over the next 3 years that can measurably improve the outcomes of fathers who participate in Responsible Fatherhood programs. Information about the following three innovations are included:

1) a cognitive behavioral workshop that builds skills for employment stability
2) an interactive approach to high-quality parenting that emphasizes parent-child bonding through play
3) an engagement and retention approach using DadTime, a smartphone-based mobile application

5. Children's Visual Engagement is Heritable and Altered in Autism

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH)

A study funded by NIH and published in the July 20, 2017 issue of Nature facilitated eye-tracking experiments to evaluate children with autism and discovered that they looked at eye and mouth regions much less than other groups of children. This study "is one of the first to show that social visual behaviors are under genetic control." Researchers can now examine which genes are responsible for social visual engagement, and how they may be disrupted in children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

6. Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

This updated publication (2017) from the Child Welfare Information Gateway reviews state laws that provide the legal reasons for terminating parental rights when the parent is found unfit to care and protect his/her children. Also discussed are the circumstances where the court may reinstate the parent's rights, if convinced that termination may not serve the child's best interests. Law summaries for all States and U.S. territories are included. Data is current through December 2016.

7. Paid Parental Leave is Good for Kids

Source: Child Trends

The latest blog issue from Child Trends (July 20, 2017) states that there is no U.S. federal policy requiring employers to offer paid family leave and just 14% of civilian workers have access to paid leave. International studies have found that countries that support paid leave for all parents have decreased infant mortality. "The United States has one of the highest infant mortality rates relative to other industrialized countries." Research has also found that mothers who receive paid leave are more likely to breastfeed and have decreased rates of depression, each contributing to healthier benefits to babies.