Open Discussion Forum

  • 1.  Supporting Toddler with Angelman Syndrome

    Posted 09-27-2021 08:52 AM
    We have a toddler (18 mos) who was diagnosed last spring with Angelman Syndrome while enrolled in our infant class. She receives various therapies (OT, PT, Speech) 5 days/week and is enrolled in our program full time. I feel like we're doing a good job of meeting her needs but we expect that it may become more challenging as the developmental gap between her and her peers grows larger. We're happy to do the work and want to support her and her family to the best of our abilities. I've been reading everything I can get my hands on, but I would love to hear from programs who may have worked with a young child with Angelmans or other severe physical delays/disabilities. What tips do you have for integrating communication boards into a toddler classrooms? How do you make sure your non-mobile toddler is as fully integrated into the classroom environment as possible? Thanks in advance!

    Sarah Cleveland
    Director, Great Oaks Elementary CDC
    Round Rock ISD
    Round Rock TX

  • 2.  RE: Supporting Toddler with Angelman Syndrome

    Posted 09-30-2021 04:49 PM
    From your post, and question regarding future considerations and inclusion, it's evident that supporting this child in the classroom is important to you. I can't speak directly to supporting a child with Angelman's syndrome, I hope other's may be able to share if they've had experience, but I have been fortunate enough to work with children with varying abilities before.
    A huge takeaway for me was the importance of communication with both family and therapists to provide an extension of supports (adaptations/modifications) for the child in the classroom. Depending on the family and time, this communication would be a monthly or quarterly meeting with family, therapists (or their notes) and teaching team. I also shared lesson plans and tried to include feedback from therapists and the family on types of modifications or transitions strategies I was implementing based on their suggestions.

    Below are a list of resources that might provide more information for you and your program. I look forward to seeing other's suggestions!

    When in Doubt, Reach Out: Teaming Strategies for Inclusive Early Childhood Settings
    Assessing Opportunities to Support Each Child: 12 Practices for Quality Inclusion

    Building Community in the Inclusive Classroom: Setting the Stage for Success
    The Essentials: Supporting Young Children with Disabilities in the Classroom

    Cara's Kit for Toddlers: Creating Adaptations for Routines and Activities

    It might also be of interest to know that the Winter 2021 issue of Young Children will focus on individuality and inclusive practices for children with and without disabilities, with articles covering topics such as embedded learning opportunities, environmental modifications within early childhood settings, why and how to talk about disabilities with young children, and more.

    Mary Samour
    Online Community Manager
    National Association for the Education of Young Children