Early childhood mental health issues gets spotlighted

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Professional training shines spotlight on early childhood mental health issues

Published: May 16, 2014.

Dr. Rebecca Pruitt, director and assistant professor of
Early Childhood Development welcomes the crowd to
Lewis University.

Three Will County area agencies partnered to enhance understanding about mental health in young children. On Friday, May 16, they sponsored “What are the Mental Health Issues that Affect Birth to Five Families?” at Lewis University’s main campus in Romeoville. The sixth annual Early Childhood Mental Health and Development Annual Training Conference provided professional development credits for social workers, parent educators, licensed counselors, domestic violence advocates and school personnel.

Several experts in mental health and early childhood development offered insights throughout the daylong event.

“An Overview to the Illinois Early Learning Guidelines (children birth to age 3)” was presented by Christine Sparks, coordinator of Easter Seals Jump Start Parenting Program.

“Infants Grieve Too” was presented by Deb Clark, MA, director of the Joliet Township Infant Childcare Center.

“Shaken Baby Syndrome” was presented by Belinda Farr of Prevent Child Abuse Illinois.

“The Power of Social and Emotional Learning in Young Children’s Development” was presented by Caryn Curry, MA, interim executive director at Mental Health America of Illinois (MHAI),

“The Procedures and Application of qEEG Guided Neurofeedback, a Live Demonstration” was presented by Ajeet Charate, MBBS, MA, LCPC, CADC., and Jason Klinowski, MA, CRMM. Charate is director of the Neurofeedback, Counseling and FASD Institute of Illinois, a division of Trinity Services, Inc., based in Naperville. Klinowski is a psychophysiologist at Neurofeedback.

All Our Kids Early Childhood Network, Bridges to a New Day, nfp and Lewis University College of Education sponsored the event.

Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education with English as a Second Language Endorsement. The program is designed to help future teachers become invaluable to districts and schools through their abilities to adapt curriculum and teaching techniques to successfully meet the needs of preschool through third-grade students. Field experiences are completed in three different age groups—infant and toddler, pre-K, and K-3. After completing extensive coursework and field experiences, Lewis University graduates are able to dynamically integrate theory and teaching practices specific for the early childhood student.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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