Author Archive: Dora Fletcher

AREAS OF EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS

Executive functions are the cognitive abilities needed to control our thoughts, emotions, and actions. It aims to increase understanding of how these functions develop, their role and their impact on a person’s social, emotional and intellectual life, from early childhood to adulthood. Executive functions gradually develop and change across the lifespan of an individual and can be improved at any time over the course of a person’s life.

The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one’s resources to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation. Executive functioning skills let people plan, organize and complete tasks. If you would like to train your child’s executive function skills, you can bring them to The Little Executive .

List of Executive Functions:

1. Inhibition – The ability to stop one’s behaviour at the appropriate time, including stopping actions and thoughts. The flip side of inhibition is impulsivity; if you have weak ability to stop yourself from acting on your impulses, then you are “impulsive.” (When Aunt Sue called, it would have made sense to tell her, “Let me check the calendar first. It sounds great, but I just need to look at everybody’s schedules before I commit the whole family.”)

2. Shift – The ability to move freely from one situation to another and to think flexibly to respond appropriately to the situation. (When the question emerged regarding who would watch the cats, Robin was stymied. Her husband, on the other hand, began generating possible solutions and was able to solve the problem relatively easily.)

3. Emotional Control – The ability to modulate emotional responses by bringing rational thought to bear on feelings. (The example here is Robin’s anger when confronted with her impulsive behaviour in committing the family before checking out the dates: “Why are you all being so negative?”)

4. Initiation – The ability to begin a task or activity and to independently generate ideas, responses, or problem-solving strategies. (Robin thought about calling to check on the date of the reunion, but she just didn’t get around to it until her husband initiated the process.)

5. Working memory – The capacity to hold information in mind for the purpose of completing a task. (Robin could not keep the dates of the reunion in her head long enough to put them on the calendar after her initial phone call from Aunt Sue.)

6. Planning/Organization – The ability to manage current and future- oriented task demands. (In this case, Robin lacked the ability to systematically think about what the family would need to be ready for the trip and to get to the intended place at the intended time with their needs cared for along the way.)

7. Organization of Materials – The ability to impose order on work, play, and storage spaces. (It was Robin’s job to organize the things needed for the trip. However, she just piled things into the car rather than systematically making checklists and organizing things so important items would be easily accessible so that the space would be used efficiently, and so that people and “stuff” would be orderly and comfortable in the car.)

8. Self-Monitoring – The ability to monitor one’s performance and to measure it against some standard of what is needed or expected. (Despite the fact that they’re off to Missouri without knowing how to get there, with almost no planning for what will happen along the way, and without a map, Robin does not understand why her husband is so upset.)

The executive functions are diverse, but related and overlapping, set of skills. To understand a person, it is important to look at which executive skills are problematic for her and to what degree.

How can parent and child preschool programs help you and your child?

Pre-school can be a big step for a child because this is the time when children step out of their comfort zones and get to experience life beyond parents and their homes. Pre-school is a place where they experience new people and a completely new environment and new kids who will later become their friends. Parents need to make an effort to make children feel at home at pre-school and do their bit to make them feel at home at pre-school. This can be done through kindergartens Singapore programs.

What are pre-school programs?

Pre-school programs are programs meant for children and parents to prepare the child for school. The transition needs to be smooth and hassle free for both parents and children, since this is quite a big step for the child who has been protected and shielded with care at home. The unknown environment can be quite overbearing for the child but these programs can make the transition smooth through games, music and fun activities that can make it fun for the children to transition to a kindergarten in Singapore like My Little Campus and leave their parents and stay at school for 2-3 hours. Pre-school programs make children more confident about attending school.

Pre-school programs promote social and emotional development

Pre-schoolers can be as young as 2-3 year old kids, this means that they are very young and tender. They always need their parents at every step of the way. For a three year old child to be able to spend time away from her parents requires some amount of emotional development and social skills in order to trust a teacher or a caregiver at school. Hence these pre-school programs help children to build skills like social and provides them with an opportunity to explore the world based on the skills they have built till now.

It helps your child adhere to a structure

Pre-school programs helps children adhere to a structure and a time table. It may not seem so but the pre-school programs are based on a structure and follow a strict time table wherein they are meant to follow a structure and a routine in order to fit in into the time table set by the school. It helps children adhere to a particular pattern and follow a routine which is essential for their growth and development.

Children learn to communicate their needs and learn to make choices as well.

Pre-school programs require children to move out of their comfort zones and this requires children to be able to earn languages to communicate their needs and voice their opinions. They need to tell children whether they want something to eat or drink or they want to play with a particular toy or if they are hungry. These programs teach children to build language skills and communication skills too. It helps them to make choices wherein they let the teacher know if they need anything or if they want to participate in a particular activity.

It nurtures and encourages a child’s curiosity

Pre-school programs are designed and programmed in such a manner where a child’s curiosity is nurtured and they are encouraged to explore a wide variety of things. This is not the time where they are made to sit and follow a regiment in order to learn things. Their learning lies in exploring things through sharing, communicating and observing. They are encouraged to explore and ask as many questions as they want to and their curiosity is welcomed and nurtured to shape them into well rounded individuals.

Thus these are the various benefits of admitting your child to pre-school programs.

Know these benefits of reading aloud to your kindergarten kid

Finally, the day has arrived when your little one will attend his or her kindergarten. school for the first time in their life. Although, it is possible that he or she has been in an infant care centre Singapore and a preschool prior to this, it will be a big step for them. As a parent, a lot could be going through your head and you may have plenty of questions that need to be answered. One of the key questions that could be hovering in your mind when you are about to drop off your child for her first day could be how to prepare your toddler for attending a kindergarten school. It is quite a relevant question since there is no such manual on how such things are to be done. Plus, you may not be sure at all on what to expect.

However one thing that you can do to get her ready for the kindergarten is to read books aloud. Many educationalists opine that doing so will help them in stimulating their imagination and creativity and also enable them to understand the world around them in a better way. It will also help them to expand their listening and language skills and make them ready to comprehend written words.

1. Gain mastery over a language

When you start reading aloud to your kids early, they can grasp the basics of a language better while approaching the school-going age.

2. Fundamental skills in speech

Your little one has been picking up crucial enunciation and language skills throughout their days in an infant care centre in Singapore like My Little Campus and preschool. When they listen to you reading them aloud, you are actually reinforcing those sounds, which form a language. When your little one was a toddler, he or she went through the various pages of a book with expressions of delight. Such an act is known as “pretend reading” and a crucial activity during the pre-literacy years. During their preschool years, your child is likely to start sounding out many words on their own.

3. Fosters academic excellence

A major merit of reading aloud to preschoolers and toddlers is a greater aptitude in then for learning new things in general. Various studies have demonstrated that those students who get good exposure to reading prior to attending their preschool tend to do better in various aspects of formal education. If a student has to put a lot of struggle putting together sentences and words, it can be tough for them to start grasping social concepts, science and math they get introduced to while starting their elementary school.

4. Improved communication skills

If you start spending some time with your toddlers reading them books, it becomes easier for then to express themselves in a better way. Plus, they can relate to many things and people in a healthier manner. When they witness the way the characters are interacting in the stories you read them aloud and the contact they establish with you while the story time is in progress your kid can gain precious communication skills.

5. Development of logical thinking skills

Another key advantage of reading to toddlers and kindergarten kids is increase in their ability to apply logic in different scenarios, grasp abstract concepts, utilize good judgment and understand relationship between cause and effect. When your preschooler or toddler starts relating the various scenarios mentioned in the books to what is occurring in their own world, they become more enthusiastic about the tales you read them aloud.

6. Increased discipline and concentration

Initially you may find your toddler getting distracted or squirming while you read out a story to them? However, slowly they will learn how to remain engaged during their story time. As you continue this practice. their self-discipline increases and they have a longer span of attention with better memory retention. All these qualities will benefit your kid a lot when they take admission in a school and help them to build their stamina.

7. Knowledge of reading can be real fun

When you inculcate the habit of early reading for your children, they will regard books not a chore but as an indulgence. Children who get exposed to the practice of reading early may even opt for books over television or video games as they become older.

Topics to Discuss About Your Child’s Speech Therapy with A Speech Therapist

 

 

Once your child is diagnosed with speech problems or disorders, your appointment to the speech therapists is set. Your speech therapist will perform several evaluations to understand the severity of the problem and accordingly design a plan that will best suit your child. After your child has been diagnosed with the impediment, it is imperative that you learn as much as possible about the problem and do a bit of reasearch to stay organized and up to date with any discussion that your therapist may ask.

For the speech therapy to work properly, the cut and dry plan designed for your child is not enough. There are a few things that you should know and discuss with your therapist.

4 Topics That Needs Discussion with the Speech Therapist
Next time when you go to meet your child’s speech and language therapists, here are a few things that you need to discuss.

Results of the process- After the evaluation process, you will understand from your SLP whether your child requires speech therapy. If he requires therapy ask your SLP about the duration of the therapy and the results you can expect. Enquire about your role in the entire process. In case your child is not diagnosed with speech problem, you can also ask the SLP for some easy activities that you can perform at home with your child to improve the quality of speech. Asking questions related to the results of the therapy or the evaluation will help in better understanding and better preparation for what lies ahead.

The Prognosis- The SLP for your child’s evaluation will guide you and discus her findings with you. This he or she will do in terms of severity of the speech disorder. Usually the diagnosis is done in the parameters of mild, moderate, severe or profound. Once you understand the prognosis, ask about the treatment of the process. If the condition is treatable your SLP will suggest techniques that will guide you to next the next actions for improvement.

The Treatment and Duration- Once the results of the evaluations are discussed with you by the speech language pathologists, you need to discuss in detail about the treatment that you need to follow along with the duration. You and the SLP need to plan the therapy that suits the child best. Schedule the sessions accordingly. Though there is a standard time set for speech therapy for every child, still you can ask your SLP to get more frequent sessions if required. Sometimes these sessions vary from 30 hours a week to 4 days a week, other times the attention span of your child is considered to conclude the plan of a speech therapy session.
A severe speech problem such as stuttering may take anywhere from 6 to 18 months, be prepared for such plans.

Expectations and Goals- As and when you talk to your speech therapists to set the plan for the therapy, discuss the goals you set for the success of the treatment. As a part of the normal goal, you should make your SLP understand that becoming an effective communicator and developing normal speech is an expected development you want to see in your child. If your child has problem of stuttering, then eliminating stuttering can be a goal that you can set your SLP.

Conclusion
Getting a plan from your SLP and listening to the ideas is not enough to get a solution. This is an occupational therapy fo children hence you need to ask all the tough questions and get a solution for every question you have asked. It is the matter of your child, hence satisfying your queries is crucial to effective resolution. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any point of the session, your child will benefit from it.

How Can Sending Your Child To A Private Preschool Help Groom Your Parenting Skills?

Parents are the first caregivers of the children, they are the most important people in the childs life, it is important that parents use the right methods of caregiving so that they are able to raise a child that is well-rounded and can hold their own when they go to higher classes. If you are a first-time parent you do not have too much experience when it comes to raising children and it may be very tough to cope with the whole situation as well as continue with your life and work.

This is where preschools help to groom your parenting skills. Most parents find it awkward or embarrassing to ask for advice from teachers. It is important that the parents realize the fact that teachers have been taking care of multiple children in their classrooms and that they have more experience than them when it comes to childcare so it is important that they heed the advice of the teachers. In addition to this, the parents usually avoid choosing to meet and discuss their child’s home care with the teacher as they are usually under the impression that the methods the teacher will suggest would be difficult to incorporate at home.

How Do Preschools Combat The Problem Of Hesitant Parents?

Most schools have started to realize this problem and have taken special care to find ways around the same. They have made it easier for the parent to approach the teachers and talk about the child and child care. With the help of grooming sessions for the parents at the beginning of the school year, the teachers can interact with all of the parents in a group so that they can bring up all the different problems that they come across related to their child’s care. In a group setting parents will realize that the other parents also face problems when it comes to raising their children so they are more likely to bring up the problem that they themselves are facing. In addition, schools also make it mandatory that the parents have one on one meetings with the teachers to discuss the child’s progress and any other problems that the teacher sees and requires to be dealt with. Here the child’s future is of the uttermost importance and the teachers work hard towards this goal. By having regular meeting with the parents the teachers are able to share with them their vast experience that they have from the years that they have spent teaching.

Singapore Private Preschools Encourage Parents Involvement With The Childs Education

It is important that the child knows that their parents are actively involved with their education. This helps the child to want to do better. Preschools encourage the parents to visit their child’s classroom and look at their child’s work. The praise that the child gets from their parent can go a long way in encouraging their child to do well. Most schools have also started to encourage family days in their school that involves the whole family coming together to the school and doing different activities. This not only helps the family to bond together but also allows the children to interact with people of different cultural backgrounds and this diversifies their knowledge. With the help of technology, the schools have also been able to increase the involvement of the parents in their child’s education as the parent can join many parent forums that are on the school’s website and also get regular updates of the child’s progress online. Even homework can be sent to the parents via email which is a boon for parents of all students.

Therefore by enrolling your child in  private preschools in singapore Help Your Child with Better Options For Their Higher Education preschool, you are able to improve yourself as a parent.

Here is one such example of a good international private school to consider.

THE RELEVANCE OF A SPEECH THERAPY IN A CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT

Toddlers often have trouble with pronunciation and difficulties putting sentences together. A child between the ages of 18 months and three years will mispronounce many words., It’s perfectly normal to have to play a guessing game to figure out what your child is saying, and at times you may have no clue what she’s getting at. That’s okay!
If the problem is not pronunciation but rather that your child isn’t talking or is talking very little, you should act a little more quickly.

Most of the major speech defects are found within five main categories:

• Speech sound disorders including articulation problems (difficulty producing specific sounds) and phonemic (difficulty with sound distinctions of language) disorders.
• Fluency problems such as stammering and cluttering (rapid, slurred speech).
• Voice disorders, including problems of pitch, voice quality and volume.
• Delayed receptive (understanding) or expressive language, characterized by a child’s slow language development.
• Aphasia, the partial or total loss of the ability to speak or understand language.

Your child may have language concerns in one or more of these categories, such as delayed speech with articulation problems. It is important to have your child monitored for developmental milestones and diagnosed early and accurately if you notice any speech delays or other communication problems.

The goal of speech therapy for children is to improve skills that will allow your child to communicate more effectively. There are other benefits as well. These can include:

• Improvement in the ability to understand and express thoughts, ideas and feelings
• Intelligible speech so your child is understood by others
• Increased ability to problem-solve in an independent environment
• Achievement of school readiness skills
• Development of pre-literacy skills
• Development of practical social skills
• Greater self-esteem
• Increased independence

A speech-language pathologist (SLPs), also known as a speech therapist, is a professional trained to evaluate and diagnose speech and communication problems. Speech therapists, often work as part of a team, which may include teachers, physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, rehabilitation counselors and others.
If a child has difficulty saying words that begin with “b,” the therapist may suggest daily practice with a list of “b” words, increasing their difficulty as each list is mastered. Other kinds of exercises help children master the social skills involved in communicating by teaching them to keep their head up, maintain eye contact, and repeat themselves when they are misunderstood.
Speech interventions often use a child’s family members and friends to reinforce the lessons learned in a therapeutic setting. This kind of indirect therapy encourages people who are in close daily contact with a child to create opportunities for him or her to use their new skills in conversation.
Your child’s work with a speech therapist may last for months or even for a few years. It depends on your child’s needs. You will probably see improvement in your child’s issues. Remember, though, that therapy can’t “cure” your child. The underlying speech or language issue will still be there.
The therapist should give you and your child strategies to deal with obstacles more effectively. She will likely give you activities to practice at home to reinforce the skills your child is learning. Kids who make the most progress tend to be those whose get involved in their treatment.
It’s important that the speech therapist and your child are a good match. The speech therapist should have experience working with kids with your child’s specific issue. Speech therapy is just one way to help a child with learning issues related to language and speech.

 

Giving & Stewardship

At Westminster, we believe supporting the work of the church through the giving of money, time and talents is important.

What we need to keep in mind, actually in our hearts, is that as followers of Christ indwelled by the Holy Spirit, we live from a life perspective that permeates every aspect of who we are and what we do. Jesus talked about money because of its tangibility as a gauge of how we have adjusted our world view as his disciples.

To give sacrificially of ourselves and our resources should not be an agonizing yearly, monthly or weekly decision. It proceeds naturally from the depths to which we have allowed the Holy Spirit to dwell with in us.

Members of Westminster financially contribute through e-giving, checks or cash donations. Each member prayerfully decides how often and how much they wish to contribute. Our newly established Heritage Society encourages members to contribute through a will or estate planning.

Additionally, members are asked to consider their talents given by God for use in the Church. A few ways to serve both in and beyond Westminster may be found here.

Caring & Support

The members and staff of Westminster Presbyterian are committed to providing love, care, and support to each other as we walk the path of life with Christ and answer God’s call to be servants to those in need.

If you are in need of care while in the hospital, or during an emergency, there are many avenues available to you. Our Stephens Ministry program, along with our Shepherds and Deacons provide support to members of the congregation. It’s how we help each other!

Emergency (and non-emergency) Pastoral Care: Every day one of our ministers is available to respond to Pastoral emergencies and non-emergencies. Should an emergency arise during business hours please call the Church Office at 815-282-1500.

Members are sometimes in need of care but are not in crisis. You may inquire about all care that is available through the Pastoral staff, Stephen Ministry, and a variety of resources within the church family by contacting Joan Slack, the Caring Ministries Coordinator by e-mail (email)or by calling the church office at 815-282-1500. All information given will be handled confidentially.

Parish Nurse: Wendy Slick-Davidson, our parish nurse, is an experienced registered nurse knowledgeable in health care. The parish nurse delivers holistic, health-promoting and preventive care that is based on the concept of mind, body, and spiritual well-being. The roles of the parish nurse include being an educator, advocate, health counselor, resource coordinator, referral agent, and an integrator of faith and health.

Blood pressure check up?

Call Wendy to discuss your needs or any health concerns.

Hospital Care: The Caring staff extends compassionate ministry and prayer to those who are hospitalized through personal visitation in the area’s hospitals. Recent changes in the law have limited the information hospitals can give to those requesting information about patients, so it is necessary to contact the Main Office to report any admissions or surgical procedures. Visits are normally made within 48 hours of the notification, but quicker response is offered if there is an emergency.

Stephen Ministers : are specially-trained to provide one-on-one Christian care with confidentiality and accountability, undergoing 50 hours of intense training to develop listening skills, crisis intervention and learn how to minister to others in specific situations such as illness and grief. They are also trained when to refer someone to a skilled professional.

Consider Stephen Ministry for Illness, Loneliness, Loss, Separation or divorced, Being shut-in, Pregnancy or birth of a child, Low self-esteem, Single parent support, Victims of crime or victims of natural disaster, Hospitalized or in nursing facility, or Family frustrations and challenges.

To request a confidential visit from a Stephen Minister, or if you’re interested in becoming trained as a Stephen Minister, contact Rev. Bill Ward at 815-282-1500.

Home Bound: The Pastors, Deacons and our Parish Nurse regularly visit those members who are confined to home or in facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living.

Grace Ministry provides an equipment lending service for our members and friends.
If you know of anyone that is homebound and would be in need of equipment, please contact the Main office (815-282-1500) Barb Muzzarelli (815-633-5534).

Prayer Quilt Ministry: Each quilt or square is designed and constructed with prayer for the person who will receive that particular quilt. What ever the circumstances are, they ask for the Lord’s blessing in those circumstances. Prayer quilts/squares are completely constructed by the loving hands of our finest quilters, but it’s not finished until it has been blessed by the Reverend and prayed over by the congregation. As the knots are tied on the quilt, prayers are said for the person and family who will receive the quilt.

Shepherds Who Care: Westminster neighbors pray for each other, keep in touch, keep each other informed, and are available for questions about the church.

Non-Employed Networkers group meets on Monday mornings twice a month. Join other people for networking and support.
For questions, call Pete Darelius (815-227-9153).