The Need for Checkups and Effects of Labels

Article by Jared Boon

It is interesting how strong a label, or being designated a certain way, can affect a child’s future. Whether it be at a young age or later in life, it can cause a child to enact the self-fulfilling prophecy and do the actions expected with their new “role/label.” Such as labeling a very young child who is hyperactive as “naughty,” while they are acting such as what they are, a child. Once they are prescribed this label it can create a new pathway where they are expected to act this way, or when they do not it would be considered strange by those supervising. It is human nature to try to maintain our role, but at times some individuals have the perseverance to deviate from how they are viewed.

The following article is an example of one of these individuals (who himself even questioned doubting authority), where he was thought to be a “slow learner” and rather had a disorder that caused a believed disadvantage compared to his classmates. When given the time to fully complete his test and assignments the child was able to go from averaging C’s in classes to almost all A’s. One struggle with our current system is that it is like the toddler’s toy of fitting shapes into holes, but there is only one hole and belief that all children are just one shape. Children come in a wide array of “shapes” that need new holes to be created for success to be a reality. We need to possibly reshape the way our education system works, but more importantly, figure out ways that students with deficiencies/delays are correctly identified.

One of the goals of Achieve Brown County, in the present, is to work with local healthcare providers to make sure that children aged 0 to 5 are receiving check ups for detecting physical, socio-emotional and cognitive deficiencies. This is important because initial data indicated the possibility that over 50% of children ages 0-3 who are identified as having potential developmental delays do not receive services. Having a service system set in place will allow for the detection of different deficiencies and prevent them from being labeling thus leading to a negative pathway for their educational life.

References:
Schwartz, Katrina. 2016. “Rethinking Intelligence: How Does Imagination Measure Up?”

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/44561/rethinking-intelligence-how-does-imagination-measure-up

The Benefits of Play

Article by Marco Delbecchi

In a recent journal, Pediatrics called on pediatricians to encourage the families they serve to bring back play time for children. Not only is this increase in play necessary for physical wellness the journal states, it also is important for the child’s social, emotional, and cognitive well-being (1). The call comes as a response to growing fear that most children are not enjoying enough play time, or time playfully learning, in their day. The articles cites, “a recent report found that 98 percent of children under 8 years old now have access to a mobile device at home, and the average time children spend on mobile devices tripled between 2013 and 2017, from 15 to 48 minutes per day” (1). These statistics represent one major factor in a child’s life that takes away from their ability to spend time playing or playfully learning and gaining the physical and mental benefits of these activities.

Beyond the basic benefits that play and playful learning exhibit, other benefits discussed in the article that children experience from these acts include play aiding in “brain building,” play increasing executive functioning skills, and play helping in development of social competencies.

The article also argues for the inclusion of guided play, in which a child acts on their own in a setting initiated by an adult. This type of play, as opposed to that of free play, is said to benefit the child in “learning to learn” skills such as academic and language skills (1). One avenue for children in Brown County that promotes spending more time engaged and being socially interactive through guided play is community-based mentoring, made possible by many of Achieve Brown County’s community partner organizations. The fulfilling relationship that is allowed through a community-based mentoring match ensures the existence of play time for the child aiding in their overall healthy development and wellness.

(1) https://www.brookings.edu/blog/education-plus-development/2018/08/21/a-prescription-for-play/

(2) https://www.save.ca/community/when-is-a-child-old-enough-to-play-outside-alone/