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Be the 1 in 6

November 12th, 2018

One in six children is diagnosed with a developmental delay or disability in the United States according to the Center for Disease Control. Thanks to our founders, Mose and Garrison Siskin, families in the Chattanooga region have access to the highest quality programs and services to ensure children with special needs meet their full potential.

 “As parents of a child with special needs, one of the things we desire most is a sense of normal life. Siskin helps us to feel like Michael can go to school with typically developing children and interact with all the children in everything they do. He learns and grows just like the other child, but with some extra help from some special folks. And most of all, he’s having fun and loving school. We can’t thank them enough,” says Patty Casey, Michael’s mom. 

“From the first moment we walked in the door at Siskin, we could tell everyone, from the receptionist to the therapist and up to the CEO, want the best for Joel. 
Joel sometimes needs creative solutions to keep making progress. His therapist is always willing to go the extra mile to find what will work best and help Joel reach his full potential” says Wendy Westbrook, Joel’s mom. “Our family is thankful to have Siskin Children’s Institute.  When Joel meets a goal, it is not time to quit, it is just time to set a new goal. Every visit to Siskin brings Joel closer to being fully independent.  Extraordinary, life changing, incredible, and indispensable are all ways that we describe Siskin.  We are so glad to have these resources available locally.“

You can help children with special needs in our community by becoming the 1 in 6 Chattanooga area residents who give $20 or more to ensure children have the resources and services they need. If one in six Chattanooga area residents gave just $20, incredible things could happen for children with special needs. With your help, we can impact more kids than ever before. 

Click here to learn how you can help!

According to experts babies are “telling” us more than we realize. Infants do communicate through their behavior. They tell us how they feel, what they need and how the environment is impacting them with their own set of signals or cues. 

Stressed babies often have subtle or strong signs such as avoiding eye contact or gaze/looking away, stiffening of the body, arms and legs, crying, irritable and possibly inconsolable. These cues/behaviors let infants inform us that they are stressed, tired or overloaded. When parents have methods to respond to these cues/behaviors the infant can improve his/her ability to self- regulate and begin to learn how to calm himself. Some ways to assistant your baby when you recognize these cues are reduce the activity (stop bouncing, rocking etc), provide quiet comfort, modify environment such as reducing the noise, dim the lights decrease activity or tuck the babies arms across their chest and gently hold. Your patience and these systematic measures will allow time for your baby to respond and calm.

What does a baby look like when they are stabilized? Some of those cues can be as simple as bringing their hand to their mouth, grasping their shirt or other hand or simply having a quiet moment with alert eyes. These moments can signal to you that your baby is in an available state to make eye contact, listen to your voice, or other engaging activities. By acknowledging infant cues as authentic communication and responding to what your baby is trying to convey to you, you will be taking important steps toward meeting your baby’s needs while supporting their ability to regulate their own behavior.

Author: Lisa Spurlock, Physical Therapy Assistant

Posted by Siskin Admin  | Category: Early Childhood Development

It’s a fair question. Wouldn’t it be better for a therapist to bring out special toys/materials and teach a toddler new play skills or new words? Maybe even work with the child alone, so he/she won’t cry for the parent? Current research in the field of early intervention says no—caregivers should actually be the focus of intervention sessions. In our Siskin Home and Community-Based Early Intervention (HCBEI) program, developmental therapists spend their one hour each week brainstorming ideas with families based on the their priorities, supporting parents/daycare teachers with needed information, and offering feedback as caregivers practice teaching new skills to their child in the everyday activities where the child needs to use those skills—at bath time, meals, diaper changing, dressing and play times. We know that young children learn new skills best through repetition in the natural environments where they need to use those skills and with the people who are familiar and important to them. Also, while a developmental therapists only has one hour to spend during a session, caregivers have up to 84 waking hours that they spend with their child—much more opportunity to use interventions they have learned within the activities they do with their child every day! Plus, through this evidenced-based method, families build greater confidence as their child’s best and most influential teacher. This is a win-win for both children and families and is truly the goal of the home visiting program here at Siskin!

Learn more about the Home & Community-Based Early Intervention program here.

Author: Deidra Love, Director, Home & Community-Based Early Intervention

Posted by Siskin Admin  | Category: Early Intervention

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