As most everyone knows, I have three little kiddos. When the oldest was about 3 months old, we met our first Parents as Teachers’ teacher. She was amazing! Basically, she would come and play with the baby once every month or two. She would ask us questions about what all she was doing and go over what she should be doing. If there was anything we answered no to…she would show us what to do to teach her. Think…waving, pointing, using a pincher grasp, identifying colors, etc. kinds of things. It was great, especially for the first child. I would like to think most first time parents are like me and were just winging it! It was so nice to hear that the girls were right on track and if there was something they weren’t doing…we could quickly get them caught up. Fast forward to baby #3 and we have a new teacher…who is extremely helpful in even more important ways. As everyone know, Enslie, struggles a bit (or a lot) to keep up with some skills. Our current lady, makes sure that I know where she should be and exactly what we need to be working on to get her there. (She’s also served as my personal therapist but I doubt that’s technically in her job description.) 😉
I highly recommend anyone with small children to contact their local school district and find out about getting involved with this program! Even if you think your child is perfect (which let’s be real…they probably are), we as parents generally aren’t perfect. Most of us aren’t early childhood educators and even for those of you that are…I think it is a proven fact, that as parents, we are not always the best judge of how on track our kids are. They can also be one of the first people to point out a concern…hearing, vision, learning disability, etc. Think of this as an in-depth conversation with your pediatrician. You know…when they ask a million questions that you aren’t even sure how to answer. Um…yeah I think she can do that. This will give someone a chance to see it for themselves and they can say, “Oh yes she can do that but not quite right. Let’s try it this way.” Why not give them the best possible start? I’m so glad this program exists and that someone was kind enough to share about it with me!
I’ve attached a printout from their website below. These are amazing facts… “Parents as Teachers children scored higher on measures of initiative achievement, language ability, vocabulary, social development, persistence in task mastery and other cognitive abilities.” “Teachers rated Parents as Teachers children significantly higher than non-PAT children on multiple, developmental indicators of school readiness.”
And lastly, please note the quote on the bottom of the page… “It wasn’t until I started working with our parent educator that I realized just how far behind Layla was. Eventually we got a diagnosis: autism.” I believe that it is an accepted fact now that EARLY INTERVENTION IS CRUCIAL for ALL issues that little ones have. I am confident that if Enslie would have been my first child I would not have known anything was wrong with her until we had missed months of vital brain development time. I am also confident and happy to know that while I wouldn’t have known any better…my Parents as Teachers teacher would have.