Thought Leadership at CHILD

At CHILD, our programming and expertise reaches beyond the students and families we serve every day.  Our work serves as a laboratory for helping others. 

CHILD is a Regional Resource; here are some of the things we are up to in 2018:

Collaborating with other special education leaders: CHILD’s Executive Director and Director of Education both serve on the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) established by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which provides an opportunity to give input on educational policy.

Providing ongoing staff training:  As part of our ongoing commitment to guide and mentor teaching talent, professional development take place on Wednesdays when students are dismissed early.  Several more project teams have been created to foster best practice skill building.  Teams meet monthly to provide ample opportunities for staff to practice emerging skills and gain feedback and coaching from senior team members. 

Hosting aspiring professionals:  Upon completing her time at CHILD, a recent intern shared what she learned about occupational therapy and dealing with a “highly diverse body of learners with many different learning styles.”  She was quick to reinforce what she has seen first-hand:  that learning comes incrementally.  “From a most welcoming staff at CHILD, I got support to implement incremental learning strategies.  I learned the strides made in the OT room translated into improved performance in the classroom.  As an example, I paired two students to come for their OT time together, with the idea they could learn from one another and also master the art of asking for help when needed.  The wonderful part was hearing teachers say and seeing for myself that the socialization skills and regulation habits learned in OT were being generalized in the classroom, on the playground and beyond.  While still a student, under very helpful supervision, CHILD gave me the full opportunity to stretch my own repertoire of skills which I learned is so important to reaching each child.  Every child needs to be met where he or she is.”

She went on to say, “I was delighted when one youngster who kept saying ‘I cannot do that,’ ‘I cannot do that,’ ‘I cannot do that,’ actually did do it.”   Asked how that came about, she replied, “Letting him see I understood his fear.  When I attempted to do what he would not do, he saw how difficult it was for me.  Soon, he offered to show me the way.  Then, before long he was challenging himself to try the tasks put before him. Learning begins with trust, even in oneself to keep trying even in the face of a child’s indifference or refusal, and in the belief you can make a difference.  CHILD lets you see possibilities.”