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The Elephant in the Classroom Using Literature to Understand Medically Involved Children.

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Presentation on theme: "The Elephant in the Classroom Using Literature to Understand Medically Involved Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Elephant in the Classroom Using Literature to Understand Medically Involved Children

2 It’s a fact! 1 in 33 babies born in the US will be born with a birth defect * 1 in 8 babies born in the US will be born prematurely* *Source: March of Dimes, “Prematurity: A National Health Crises”, October 2005

3 We didn’t learn that when I was in school!!! Staff in the educational setting now need to be familiar with: Medical terminology/equipment general effects of prematurity/birth defects the effects of medical diagnosis’ and treatments on the child: cognitive, physical, sensory, feeding, social- emotional and speech/language How to “include” these children in the classroom

4 Goals/Objectives: To discuss the prevalence of Children with Special Health Care Needs To briefly present an established educational model for this population To explore the use of literature with classroom peers for the purpose of teaching about the unique individual differences of these students

5 Definition According to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau in 1994 the definition for Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) was: “Children with special health care needs are those who have or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.”

6 Identifying the needs in Milwaukee, WI Survey done in the city of Milwaukee in Results found that “The prevalence of CSHCN in Milwaukee (23.5%) was almost double that of the nation (12.8%). Wisconsin Medical Journal 2006 Volume 105, No. 3

7 Children’s Programming at MCFI Pediatric Special Care (PSC) Children who attend qualify for daily nursing care (e.g., private duty nursing through T19 coverge) They are eligible to attend M-F (and every other Saturday) from 6am to 6pm PSC staffing: RN/LPN’s, CNA’s, daycare teachers transport music Tx Animal Assisted Tx special education team collaborate with the MCFI birth-to-3 team PT, OT and ST for children over 3 yrs of age

8 Children’s Programming at MCFI SEDA The School for Early Development and Achievement a free public school chartered through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Founded in 2001, SEDA is an affiliate of the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI). SEDA welcomes students with and without special needs in a full inclusion environment. Small class sizes allow teachers to give SEDA students individualized attention. K3/k4-2 nd grade Every room has teacher + assistant Special Ed/OT/PT/ST Music Tx Art Tx Float RN/LPN and CNA

9 Children’s Programming at MCFI Wells Street Academy (WSA) A private school children with significant medical and developmental needs Currently applying for parental choice status in MPS Small class size allows staff to give WSA students individualized attention Full time special ed teacher OT/PT/ST Music Tx Animal Assisted Tx Consistent RN and CNA

10 The reality of working with medically involved children… Part I You cannot ignore the fact that differences are present! Example: “Elmer” By David McKee

11 Let’s read…

12 The Beauty of the Story of Elmer… “…the story teaches us the beauty of being the one you are meant to be.” (Amazon.com book review) The story celebrates the differences in others while noting that being different isn’t “bad” Other?

13 The Beauty of Using Literature… Dyches and Prater (2008) Promotes introspection regarding: Awareness Exposure Knowledge Regarding the aspects of the disability Understanding Their own feelings The feelings and actions of others (right or wrong) Acceptance A well written book may provide the emotional experience necessary to attain this level

14 Teaching about Disabilities Through Children's Literature Dyches and Prater (2008)

15 Incorporating Literature In the Classroom Read the book Discuss what made the character different from all the other students. Name some things that the children could do that character could not do. What are some things that the character can do that the other students can't do as well? Discuss that all people are different and have things they are good at and things they need help with and that is ok. *Adapted from tter.htm

16 Incorporating Literature In the Classroom Activity Help children to think of ways they can help others. Have children draw a picture of themselves helping somebody that needs help. Have children make a lists of their strengths and weaknesses *Adapted from alcritter.htm

17 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Cancer Me and My Marrow: A Kid's Guide to Bone Marrow Transplants (Crowe) I'm A Superhero (Wilde) My Book for Kids With Cansur: A Child's Autobiography of Hope (Gaes)

18 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Visual Impairment Seeing in Special Ways: Children Living with Blindness (Bergman) Knots on a Counting Rope (Martin and Archambault) A Picture Book of Louis Braille (Adler)

19 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Medical Devices My Central Line Book (Landler and Scott) When Jeremy Jones’ Stomach Stopped Working; A story for children with g-tubes (Reckling)

20 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Deaf and Hard of Hearing I Have a Sister, My Sister Is Deaf (Whitehouse Peterson) A Button in Her Ear ( Bassett Litchfield) Abby Gets a Cochlear Implant (Cassidy Riski)

21 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Seizure Disorder Lee, The Rabbit With Epilepsy (Moss) Taking Seizure Disorders to School: A Story About Epilepsy (Gosselin)

22 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books AIDS You Can Call Me Willy: A Story for Children About AIDS

23 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Diabetes How I Feel: A Book About Diabetes (Olson) Taking Diabetes to School (Gosselin)

24 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Asthma Luke Has Asthma, Too (Rogers) I Have Asthma (Moore-Mallinos)

25 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) For Kids Only; A guide to brain injury (Taylor) Elvin, The Elephant Who Forgets (Snyder)

26 Incorporating Literature… Recommended Books Physical Disabilities A Very Special Critter (Mayer) I'm the Big Sister Now (Emmert) Someone Special, Just Like You (Brown)

27 Additional Literature Resources Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Resource Library (414) Recommended websites Children Disability Book Reviews - ADHD, Autism, Advocacy, Behavior, Sensory Integration and More Children Disability Book Reviews - ADHD, Autism, Advocacy, Behavior, Sensory Integration and More Teacher Vision website Other various websites: disabilities.html disabilities.html

28 The reality of working with medically involved children… Part II You cannot ignore the fact, especially with this population, that death is a natural part of life. Example: “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf” By Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D.

29 Let’s read…

30 The Beauty of Freddie… Helps children understand not only death but also the phases of life “…an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.” (book’s j acket Inscription) Other?

31 Understanding of Death Adult varies by experience in addition to religious belief and culture Child Varies by age and maturity level Under 3 no real fear or concept experience death as separation 3-6 years Death considered temporary/reversible (e.g., magical thinking) Curious about details (e.g., what happens to the body) 6-9 years Realistic approach/understand finality…but not necessarily that “it will happen to me” Believe in internal or external cause 9 and older Understand the finality and personal relevance to death

32 Incorporating Literature In the Classroom Start by letting the children lead the discussion ask them to draw or write what they know about death

33 Child’s drawn conception of death… From “Using Drawing as Intervention with Traumatized Children” Cathy A. Malchiodi, ATR, LPAT, LPCC

34 Incorporating Literature In the Classroom correct any misconceptions regarding mystical thinking talk about how something that is dead can not be pinched, tickled, etc… talk about things that are alive vs not alive …or create a visual chart

35 AliveNot Alive

36 Incorporating Literature In the Classroom read a developmentally appropriate children’s book on death topic ask how the kids feel about the book affirm their feelings of sad/scared/etc…

37 It really works and can (and should!) be done… SEDA family tragedy ~remembrance celebration~

38 Literature Suggestions… Pre-school/Early Elementary School When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Brown and Brown)

39 When Dinosaurs Die “This is a most practical guide for parents and other adults who are faced with explaining death to a child while at the same time often struggling with their own feelings about death.” “…addresses many questions children may ask and provides suggestions for responding, keeping in mind the developmental age of the child and the unique circumstances of the individual loss.” “…provides read-along passages for children whose parents who may need some help finding the words to express their responses.” “This book would be most helpful if read by parents first, before using the read along passages, as the author is sensitive to the grief process of the adults as they help their children cope with their own thoughts and feelings about death.” The Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center Website

40 Literature Suggestions… Pre-school/Early Elementary School Lifetimes (Mellonie and Ingpen)

41 Lifetimes “This is a simply written and informative book about the life cycles of all living things.” “…tells about beginnings (birth) and endings (death) with living in between as natural and inevitable.” “…describes different lifetimes for different living things as well as lifetimes that are shortened due to unusual circumstances.” The Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center Website

42 Literature Suggestions… Older Elementary School The Brightest Star (Hemery)

43 The Brightest Star “A little girl, grieving the death of her mother, finds comfort in looking for the brightest star in the sky to remind her of her mother’s love.” “…reassuring text [with] the description of real feelings.” Seasons of Grief

44 Literature Suggestions… Older Elementary School Tear Soup (Schweibert and DeKlyen)

45 Tear Soup describes how we each individually grieve loss in our lives “The story is about "Grandy," but she could just as easily be me or you, and Grandy has suffered a loss, so Grandy begins to make tear soup. Tear soup cannot be made just out of a can, but is an individual process…” Amazon Review “The full page illustrations through which the text of the story run show an even richer tale of the other people and pets in Grandy's life who interact with her recipe and add a powerful depth to an already touching story…” Amazon Review Tips section at the back of the book is rich with wisdom and concrete recommendations Product Description

46 Literature Suggestions… School Staff Remember Lee: The End Is the Beginning--A Mother's Journey Through Loss (Musser)

47 Remember Lee: The End Is the Beginning--A Mother's Journey Through Loss Original title: God Is A Birdwatcher. “Linda started to write after the death of her son, Lee, in an automobile accident. Walk with her as she faces friends, families and the reality of her grief.” Product Description

48 Literature Suggestions… School Staff Keys to Helping Children Deal With Death and Grief (Johnson)

49 Keys to Helping Children Deal With Death and Grief “This easy-to-read book guides parents, teachers and other caregivers through the fundamental aspects of bereavement in children.” “…tackles such subjects as Explaining Death, the Funeral, and Religion and Grief simply and compassionately through concrete examples.” “… glossary and recommended reading list enhance the text…” “…Question and Answer section - while brief - addresses some of the common questions children have regarding death and dying.” Reviewed by Anne Glowinski, MD, Parents' Choice® 2000

50 Additional Death and Grief Literature Resources Seasons of Grief Catalog The Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center website Link: Recommended Books About Death and Grief For Children and Adolescents Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Resource Library (414) Margaret Ann’s Place (414) Will come into your school and provide support and assistance with classroom discussion

51 Comments? Questions? Concerns?


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