2011 Assessment Workshop

Keys to Children’s Mental Health:
Assessing Children’s Social & Emotional Well-Being

The 9th annual Assessment Workshop targeted mental health and social and emotional well being as extremely important aspects of healthy child development and that require our ongoing attention.

In the words of Evelyn Wotherspoon, the opening keynote speaker for the 2011 event, infant mental health is child development because no one can separate one from the other.  Wotherspoon’s compelling presentation integrated cutting edge research with powerful take home messages.  These messages bring immediate attention to the importance of prevention and early intervention when it comes to the well-being of children and their families.  Dr Wotherspoon pointed out that rather than work at rescuing people from the river, go up river and find out why people were falling in the river and help them before they fall…

In the spirit of prevention and early intervention guiding mental health and social and emotional assessment practices, the workshops throughout the day offered varied perspectives on how to address the unique needs of children and families. The sessions covered powerful topics ranging from trauma and abuse as a result of war and/or oppressive home and family situations, intergenerational trauma and the ripple effect on children and families, to the description of tools that support screening and evaluation practices in the different areas of social and emotional development, to research and practices that are sensitive of the unique characteristics of children who are gifted or who have additional sensorial or developmental needs, and to different curriculum perspectives like the Reggio Emilia approach, and play and drawings as activities  — and tools– that reflect on children’s social and emotional development.

The closing keynote presentation integrated the many layers of the day bringing it all back to the “real thing” –how to conduct assessment practices that include the plurality and diversity of the family context. A key take home message was the understanding that for every family, the social and emotional well-being of their child and the mental health issues they struggle with will be different, and that they will therefore need diverse approaches and expectations. Moreover, that every family has their own rating of what “success” means for them in terms of intervention. We express our profound gratitude to Dr Lapointe for her going above and beyond helping the Steering Committee when needed.

For the second time since 2010, the assessment workshop committee worked due to of the immense commitment of its members who continued to offer their volunteer hours time voluntarily for what we believe it is “The Best Little Conference!” Special thanks for our very talented members Dana Brynelsen and Tanya Brown, now volunteer community members, and formerly Provincial Advisors of the Infant Development and Supported Child Development Programs in BC, respectively, and for Mary Stewart, former IDP Regional Advisor for the North who has maintained her strong commitments with the early intervention world in addition to –and in spite of her current graduate student work load. At the same time we are grateful for the ongoing commitment of Diana Elliott with the Aboriginal Infant Development/Supported Child Development Provincial Office notwithstanding the complexities this office faced in light of the absence of their support “sister” Provincial Advisor Offices for the IDP and SCDP of BC following the Provincial Government cuts of 2009. We were honoured with the presence of Monique Gray Smith bringing the voice of Aboriginal peoples to this event, thanks to the auspices of the AIDP/ASCDP Provincial Office. We are indebted to Dr Hillel Goelman, our leader and founding member of this committee and the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at UBC’s Green College for their support for this conference and supporting us to have Evelyn Wotherspoon as our keynote presenter. Once again, we thank IECER, the Institute for Early Childhood Education and Research at UBC’s Faculty of Education with Dr Marilyn Chapman and Iris Berger for their ongoing collaboration, Dr William McKee of the Psychoeducational Research and Training Centre at the Faculty of Education for his role in securing rooms and AV equipment for us, together with our community members and program representatives that as always, helped to make the 9th Assessment Workshop a reality!

We have read each one of your evaluations for this year and based on your feedback we have decided on expanding the topic of well-being for the 2012 event, and bringing it within the “Right for fair assessment for children and how this impacts on children’s healthy development and overall well-being of the family.”  Next year marks our 10th anniversary where we will celebrate a decade of ongoing academic and community collaboration in research, policy and practice in assessment and early intervention.  We look forward to seeing you there!

If you would like to check the description and links to the presentations, these will be outlined in the sections that follow. Additional information on previous programs and presenters can be found at the HELP website http://www.earlylearning.ubc.ca/resources/presentations/.

Sincere thanks to:

Joyce Branscombe, Nicky Byres, of EventAbility; their professionalism and high quality work in our 9th year working together is deeply appreciated
Bonnie Barnes, with the Infant Development Program of BC, and the Developmental Disabilities Association

…for their support and enthusiasm in presenting this exciting event.

We gratefully acknowledge the administrative, logistical and onsite volunteering support provided by:

Cindy Jamieson, Coordinator, Provincial Office of the Aboriginal Supported Child Development Program of BC
Dr William McKee, The Psychoeducational Training Centre, Faculty of Education, UBC
Lesley Richardson and Lauris Williams, EventAbility
Anita Ng and Jasmyn Roberts, with the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP)

Warm thanks to our enthusiastic and committed ECE student and community Volunteers:

Marcie Archeck, Lindsay Byres, Yenlinh Chung, Purcell Gray, Carrie McLellan-Haq, Silvia Mazable Ortega, Lesley Richardson and Lauris Williams.

In closing, we gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the Government of Canada through the Including All Children and Families – Expanding Partnerships Project. For the second year, printing and handout costs have been covered through this contribution.

Name WS Title
Evelyn Wotherspoon Keynote AM When Science Meets Practice: Using the Science of Early Childhood Development to Support theMental Health of Infants and Toddlers
(Summary of presentation)
Dr. Vanessa Lapointe Keynote AM Keeping it Real: Understanding Social and Emotional Assessment for young Children within the Family Context
Dr. Lynn Miller A1 Assessing Anxiety in School Children
Dr. Czesia Fuks Geddes A2 Looking Back: Were There Signs of Depression in Children
(Presentation not available; please contact presenter Dr. Czesia Fuks Geddes at czesia@interchange.ubc.ca)
Dr. Sylvia Kind
Cristina Delgado
A3 Pedagogical Principles of the Reggio Emilia Approach
(Presentation not available; please contact presenters skind@capilanou.ca; cdelgado@capiloanou.ca)
Tanya Brown A4 Handle with Care- Strategies for Promoting the Mental Health of Young Children
Andrea James A5 The Teaching Pyramid, Systematically Supporting Social Emotional Skills in Children
Download presentation from the following link: http://portal.sliderocket.com/AOVIQ/New-Program-services-power-point
Eva Oberle, Lina Sweiss, Kim Thomson, Jennifer Hanson A6 Social and Emotional Health and Well-Being in Middle Childhood: How Can the Research Inform Practice?
Maya Goldstein, Juliana Negreiros A7 Play and Drawings: Expressions of Child Development
Pam Galloway, Heather Dalziel A8 Relationships in the Early Years: Factors in Assessing Infant Mental Health
Michele Aderem, Deborah Mollica A9 Relationship and Beyond – Supporting Children with High Emotional and Behavioral Challenges
Dr. Janet Jamieson, Nancy Norman, Brenda Poon, Anat Zaidman-Zait B1 Assessing the Social-Emotional Well-Being of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Dr. Pratibha Reebye, Stacy Tzoumakis B2 Parents and Professionals Working in Collaboration to Identify Maternal Mental Health and Attachment Issues
Handout 1
Handout 2
Handout 3
Monique Gray Smith B3 The Ripple Effect of Trauma and Healing with Aboriginal Children
Dr. Vanessa Lapointe B4 Screening and Assessment of Young Children’s Mental Health: Tips for Early Childhood Educators
Dr. Constantine Ngara B5 Teachers Perceptions of Giftedness and Children’s Mental Health
Handout 1
Handout 2
Mary Stewart, Tanya Brown B6 ASQ-SE: Using the Ages and Stages Social Emotional Questionnaire in Community Practice
Theresa McElroy, Laura Lee B7 Exploring Factors that Hinder and Promote Children’s Well-Being After War.
(Presentation not available; please contact presenter Laura Lee: leelauramay@gmail.com)
John Day, Lesley Rappard, Andrew D. Robinson B8 Putting the pieces together: Issues Affecting Children’s Social/Emotional Health as seen by Service Providers and the Office of the Representative for Child and Youth

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