Author: Kristin Hupp MA CCC SLP

Emotional Regulation

Research shows that the capacity for regulating emotion is first established in early childhood. Research also shows that children who have challenges regulating emotions early in life are more likely to have challenges making and sustaining friendships with peers. Strong emotional regulation is reported to positively impact children by serving as a strong predictor of academic achievement, specifically with testing performance. Children with better managed emotions are reported to demonstrate better sustained attention, problem solving skills, and integral executive function skills such as inhibition control. Children who learn to regulate emotions from an early age are shown to demonstrate better resiliency given experiences with trauma and adversity. Emotional dysregulation is also reported to be closely linked to clinical disorders such

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Separation Anxiety

In a typical year, there would be many opportunities during the school and holiday season for children to separate from their parents to engage with other adults away from home (e.g. teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles.) Research confirms that separation anxiety is common for children staring from early infancy up through 4 years of age. Beyond the age of 4, children may need increased support for successfully separating from their parents. There are several strategies parents can implement if separation anxiety is an area of challenge for their child. These strategies include: *Regularly and routinely practicing separation: giving children multiple opportunities to separate from a parent (e.g. going on play dates, going to the park, small groups, spending the night with

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Facial Expressions and COVID

Research shows that newborn infants begin attending to faces in the hours following delivery. Facial expressions are said to be one of the most important social elements for human interaction and are said to be an effective tool for promoting infant learning. Research also shows that newborn infants will gaze toward faces for longer periods of time than they will toward objects and that infants as early as 8-12 months, begin using information communicated through facial expressions (especially from their mother and father) to understand situations, read emotion, detect danger, and form bonds. It is reported that early in development, infants detect differences in facial features from person to person. Infants learn the characteristics of people they see such as

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Early Indicators of ADHD

Additude Magazine explains that ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in children. In 2011, research first showed that indicators of attention challenges could be identified in children as early as 3-4 years with some diagnoses of ADHD given as young at 4-5 years. Research from the CHADD- a nonprofit organization serving Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder suggests that 3-year-old children who show early symptoms of ADHD are more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD by age 13.  Early challenges with attention are not commonly reported to disappear with age, rather they typically become larger hurdles in the learning process. Often, challenges with attention are shown to be first reported in preschool-kindergarten. They are often first reported

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The Benefits of Wordless Picture Books 

Many parents go to great lengths to find the perfect books to share with their children. Parents often select traditional books with text embedded. At times, picture books with an abundance of text can become difficult for children to process and for parents as they try to simplify and narrate stories. Many parents rely heavily on reading books verbatim to their children and for children who struggle with decoding, traditional children’s books can appear daunting to work through. Research shows that wordless picture books can be advantageous for developing both reading and language skills in children. Wordless picture books which rely primarily on pictures to tell their story are said to promote narrative language skills, vocabulary development, creativity, and higher-level

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Parenting Strategies during COVID-19

As adults struggle to cope with and understand the COVID-19 climate, parents are increasingly looking for support on how to help their children cope with and understand life during a pandemic. Research shows there are a number of different strategies that can be implemented within the home to assist families in managing the stressors and uncertainty COVID-19 brings. Recognize how stress can manifest in children at home; During COVID-19, children are reportedly demonstrating stress in a variety of ways including having trouble eating/sleeping, seeking out added physical contact/touch, or demonstrating attention-seeking patterns. Regularly talking about emotions with children and maintaining outlets for relaxation and stress management is shown to largely assist children during challenges. Reassure their safety; Regularly emphasize that

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The Importance of Wait Time in the Development of Self-Regulation

As adults, in any given day, we are expected to demonstrate the capacity for wait time (e.g. waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting in traffic, waiting for our food at restaurants, etc.) The ability to exercise self -control and self-regulation through wait time is an important life skill that is shown to first develop in childhood. The capacity for wait time is shown to be closely tied to attention span and memory capacity which evolve as the brain develops with age. Wait time is connected with turn-taking and conversational reciprocity that are relevant in our earliest social experiences with peers and adults. As parents, the importance of wait time in developing self-regulation can be modeled and reinforced for

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Verb Learning

Research shows that verb knowledge is a necessary prerequisite for generating sentence structures of increasing length and complexity. It is suggested that children with language disorders traditionally show greater challenge in learning verb forms and understanding the concept of verb tense-referring to when an action has occurred. Research suggests that by 2 years of age, children should begin acquiring a number of early-learned verb forms in their functional vocabulary to guide in their overall development of language. Resources from The Hanen Center suggest there are high-frequency, concrete verb forms that are most commonly and most easily understood by children as they develop language. These verb forms include: bite, blow, break, bring, bump, clean, close, cry, dance, draw, drink, drive, eat,

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Toy Selection

Toy Selection Parents often go to great lengths to find perfect toys which will be engaging and educational for their children. Research shows that it is less about the specific type of toy and more about how play is achieved with the toy that is most important. With cause-effect toys, children learn how simple/repetitive motion creates sound, movement, and sensory responses they generate through initiation (reaching, pushing, pulling, opening/closing.) Early on, cause effect toys help children understand the power they have with toys. Cause-effect toys help encourage manipulation of objects, hand-eye coordination, operational use, and play exploration as children observe how the toy works given its parts. Cause/effect toys are shown to encourage memory of play and joint attention skills

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Study Blue

Study Blue is a tool which assists in generating customized flash cards for study preparation. Resources can be made individually and then shared publicly for group reference. This app allows for students to make flash cards which are picture or audio-based to ensure associations are made for recalling vocabulary. The app also allows for students to track personal progress and set reminders of deadlines. This app could be helpful to any student with needs in vocabulary and executive functioning.

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