Helping Children Prevent, Recognize and Cope with Holiday Stress
By Ingrid Amerson, Director
Dec. 9, 2011
With the holidays approaching, our lives become filled with shopping sprees, holiday decorations, special events, parties, and travel to see friends and family. In today's fast paced world of meeting hectic holiday schedules, we must not forget how the holiday season can affect children. While these holiday events are approached with great anticipation and filled with exciting activities, they can cause both adults and children to become overwhelmed, tired, and stressed. As adults we play an important role in helping children prevent, recognize and cope with their holiday stress.
Prevention is the best way for us to help children feel secure and safe during the busy holiday season. We can help prevent stress in the following ways.
Recognizing signs of stress is a vital role for adults. The earlier we recognize signs of stress, the easier it is to help the child. Children often do not have the words to describe how they are feeling. Instead, they communicate to us through their behavior. Their feelings of stress are generally demonstrated with inappropriate behaviors such as ignoring directions, increased tantrums, and reluctance to listen or participate in a particular activity. All of which disrupt what we wanted to be a joyful event for the child.
In the event your do observe stress in a child you can help them cope by providing a supportive atmosphere in which to talk about or play out concerns. It also might be a time to reexamine the family's schedule and make adjustment to help relieve stress in the child. Acknowledge and accept the feelings children express. If the child is nervous about an activity, it would be wise to talk about what the activity will involve and who will be there. You might even consider not going to the activity or make arrangements for childcare. An attitude of love, understanding, and acceptance helps children get through the stress of the holidays.
Let us not fall in the "holiday trap" of being so busy that we forget about spending quality time at home with our children. Sharing family rituals and traditions this time of year can be exciting and can create memories that last forever.
May your holiday season be filled with memories that last a life time!Helen Keller Fellows at TRI
Eleven special education teachers from across the nation have been selected to participate in the Helen Keller Fellows project, a federally funded program at the Teaching Research Institute, at WOU, that prepares teachers to become leaders in the field of sensory disabilities. The newly selected fellows launched their training at TRI on Nov. 3-4, 2011 where they met with experts in sensory disabilities and teacher professional development.
The newly selected Helen Keller Fellows will launch their training at TRI on November 3 - 4, 2011. During this time they will meet with experts in sensory disabilities and teacher professional development in order to begin to hone their ability to provide technical assistance and coaching to their peers.Abby's House Announces New Director
Oct. 7, 2011
Dr. Mary Ellen Dello Stritto
The goal of Abby's House Center for Women and Families is to support women and families at WOU and the surrounding community by providing informational resources and referral services.
Dr. Dello Stritto received her doctoral degree in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. She has been a psychology and gender studies faculty member at WOU for six years and served on the on the Board of Directors of Abby's House for four years. During this time she was involved in research on student needs on campus and on attitudes toward women's centers. Her areas of research interest are in gender, sexuality, women's health, and violence. As a faculty member in the Psychology Division she teaches Psychology of Women, General Psychology and Social Psychology. She also teaches a special topics course in Female Sexuality. She has a passion for teaching Psychology of Women and other diversity courses, and applying the knowledge in working toward social justice.
Abby's House Center for Women and Families is a key component of TRI's grant entitled WOU Campus Against Sexual Assault (CASA) awarded through the Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women. The overall purpose of the grant is threefold: (1) to provide a safe, respectful campus for all; (2) to expand the victim assistance services and resources available to all WOU students; and (3) to increase the campus and community awareness and understanding about rape myths and sexual assault on college campuses. For more information about Abby's House visit www.wou.edu/student/club/abbyshouse/
New Grants and Contracts at TRI
Sept. 26, 2011
Defining Success: Web-based Transition Training for Students with Traumatic Brain Injury funded through National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) for $600,000 across three years ($200,000/year). Principal Investigator: Dr. Bonnie Todis
The Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) within the Teaching Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University (WOU) has been awarded a $36;600,000 grant from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). The grant, funded from 2012-15, is for a field initiated project titled "Defining Success: Web-based Transition Training for Students with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)" The goal of the project is to develop and evaluate the efficacy of an interactive, Web-based information and training program to improve transition outcomes for students with traumatic brain injury. In keeping with trend toward accessible online learning, "Defining Success" makes use of cutting-edge technology to teach students, families and educators improved transition practices through interactive training modules and a secure tracking portal, accessible via the website or cell phone.
Project PAPI (Paraprofessional Preparation Improvement Program) funded through U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services for $600,000 for four years ($150,000/year). Principal Investigator: Dr. Patricia Blasco
The goals of the project are to collaborate with and provide technical assistance to both urban and rural community colleges to improve the knowledge and skills of paraprofessionals currently working toward an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) to work with young children with disabilities. The Teaching Research Institute (TRI) will provide technical assistance to community college instructors to: 1) enhance existing coursework or develop needed coursework to increase knowledge and skills on working with young children with disabilities; and 2) infuse inclusion competencies into already existing ECE competencies and standards addressed by the program. TRI is a leader in the state in providing technical assistance on inclusion through the Center on Inclusion and Early Childhood Care & Education. This collaborative effort involves four community colleges (Southwest Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, Portland Community College, and Blue Mountain Community College) and the WOU College of Education. The project will enhance the ability of TRI and the WOU College of Education to attract increased numbers of associate level students in to the baccalaureate and graduate programs in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education.
National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) funded through U.S. Office of Special Education Programming for $4,200,000 expansion of five year grant to seven years ($2.1m/year). Principal Investigator: Jay Gense
The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for children and youth who are deaf-blind. NCDB focuses on two major purposes as required by OSEP. The first is to promote academic achievement and results for children and youth (from birth to age 26) who are deaf-blind, through technical assistance, model demonstration, and information dissemination activities that are supported by evidence-based practices. Activities are directed toward families, service providers, state deaf-blind projects, state and local education agencies, and other organizations responsible for providing early intervention, education, and transition services. The second purpose is to assist in addressing state-identified needs for highly qualified personnel who have the necessary skills and knowledge to serve children and youth who are deaf-blind.
Project SPELL (Sustainable Practices for English Language Learners) funded through U.S. Department of Education for $1,915,069 across five years in collaboration with WOU College of Education and WOU Division of Extended Programs. Principal Investigator: Dr. Maria Dantas-Whitney
Project SPELL will provide sustained professional development activities to improve instruction for ELL students and assist district personnel to meet high professional standards. The project will utilize a professional development model that maximizes job-embedded professional learning through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), university coursework specifically designed to scaffold in-service teachers' prior knowledge with research-based strategies, pre-service teachers placed in classrooms with English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) endorsed mentors (classroom teachers), and district-based professional development coaches who provide on-going support. Project SPELL will emphasize the use of ESOL strategies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The project will reach almost 20 percent of the 65,410 ELL students in Oregon.
Oregon Program of Quality funded by Oregon Employment Division - Early Childhood Division for $455,844 for one year. Project Director: Torry Templeman
This project assists child care providers in obtaining the Oregon Program of Quality (OPQ) a state designation indicating an identified measure of quality determined through a rigorous portfolio review. This state designation is designed to bridge the gap between basic licensing requirements and National Accreditation and is for both family and center based care.
Partnering for Inclusive Childhood Care and Education (PICCE) funded through Oregon Employment Division - Child Care Division for $137,322 for one year. Project Director: Roxanna Marvin.
This project offers support for curriculum specialists working to enhance the inclusion of children with disabilities in general education classrooms.
Oregon Early Childhood Inclusion Collaborative (OECIC) funded through Oregon Department of Education for $201, 941 for one year. Project Director: Tom Udell
The project is a statewide effort to develop, implement and evaluate a cross-sector plan to support increased opportunity for professional development regarding the inclusion of children with disabilities in early child care centers and pre-schools.
Partners in Inclusive Child Care and Education (PICCE)
The Teaching Research Center on Inclusion kicked off the third year of the PICCE Project by bringing together 16 trainers and coaches from 8 Oregon regions. The goal of the project is to increase the number of child care and education providers who have training and support to help them care for children with disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, or special health care needs, thereby increasing child care placements for these childrenEducation Evaluation Center - 50 Years
Nov. 18, 2011
The Education Evaluation Center (EEC) will be celebrating 50 years of service providing comprehensive educational assessments for individual's school age through adulthood for the purpose of identifying strengths and weaknesses, functional skills levels, and/or disabilities that impact their academic performance in school, in the work environment, or activities of daily living. Staff are credentialed and experienced in providing assessments to meet state and federal guidelines for public school and college age students in the areas of Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, ADHD, Post-Secondary Transition, Autism/Aspergers, and Bilingual Psychological Assessment for second language learners.
The EEC provides comprehensive assessments for college students for the purpose of providing documentation as to whether or not they meet criteria for a disability and if so what accommodations will assist them in being successful in a college program. Staff assists students in choosing a program that best fits their preferred interests and strengths.
Parents, schools, agencies and individuals with suspected learning problems may request services by calling 1-800-541-4711 or by visiting our Center located in Maaske Hall rooms 322 through 330 on the WOU campus. You may contact the director Ken Kosko at 503-838-8751 or assistant director Marlene Richards at 503-838-8817. The assessment needs will be discussed, and fees will be negotiated during the initial referral call. Assessments are scheduled when referral information forms are received by the EEC. The Center operates Monday through Thursday.Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT)
Oct. 25, 2011
March was National Brain Injury Awareness Month, so it seems a great fit to have the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) featured on the TRI website. At CBIRT, we thought it the perfect opportunity to tell you a little about who we are and what we're up to.
Established in 1993 at the Teaching Research Institute, and located in Eugene, Oregon, CBIRT conducts research and training to improve the lives of children and adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI). CBIRT's research focuses on developing interventions to improve outcomes related to education, employability, and quality of life. Our training activities promote the use of best practices among educators and other professionals who serve individuals with TBI.
We have an extensive list of partners who are highly respected in the field of TBI research, advocacy, and innovation, including: The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon; BrainLine; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; The Children's Hospital, Denver; MetroHealth, Cleveland; the Sarah Jane Brain Project, and Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland. Most of our funding comes from the U. S. Department of Education, National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation Research.
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Oregon Deafblind Project
Oct 22, 2011
The Oregon Deafblind Project provides technical assistance, training, and information to enhance services for children who are deafblind. The project provides services at no cost to districts and families of children from birth through age 21 years in Oregon. The project which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education serves children who are considered "eligible" by an IFSP or IEP team.
Dr. Lyn Ayer, the Project Director, oversees efforts to identify children who are deafblind, especially amongst the population of children who have multiple disabilities and children who are deaf/hard of hearing and may have Usher Syndrome. Registration of a child with the project entitles the child's family and team to no-cost training and technical assistance from the project.
For more information, visit the Oregon Deafblind Project Website.
Sept. 19, 2011
Dr. Ann Glang, TRI Senior Fellow and Research Professor, is the recipient of the 2011 North American Brain Injury Society (NABIS) Research Award. Each year NABIS recognizes a researcher in the field of brain injury who has made substantial and continuing contributions that improve the lives of individuals with traumatic brain injury. In announcing the award, Dr. Harvey Jacobs, 2011 NABIS Program Chair, noted that Ann and her CBIRT colleagues "have not only discovered new approaches and techniques to improve the lives of others, but have also worked to integrate these findings into people's lives through comprehensive training and dissemination efforts".
The awards ceremony will occur on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 3:00pm EDT during the opening day (plenary sessions) of the conference which is being held in New Orleans. The principal mission of NABIS is to move brain injury science into practice. NABIS supports the premise that advances in science and practice, based on the application of scientific evidence, will provide the best outcomes for those with brain injuries and the community as a whole.
Creeks & Kids Watershed Workshop
Sept. 19, 2011
The Restoration & Enhancement Program of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife awarded the Creeks and Kids Watershed Workshop grant project to Western Oregon University on July 1, 2011.
The Teaching Research Institute will serve as the grant management office for this project. This is a 2-year project funded at $30,226 under the direction of Dr. Adele Schepige, Division of Teacher Education, Western Oregon University.
The purpose of the project is to help fund an annual four day, time-tested, field based workshop for nature resource specialists, teachers and individuals interested in aquatic- watershed education and involvement programs. This year's workshop took place August 8-12, 2011 at the Lake Creek Camp outside of Seneca, Oregon.
TRI Eugene Awarded New Grant
by Laura Beck
Sept. 10, 2011
Researchers at the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) at the Eugene office of the Teaching Research Institute (TRI) have recently been awarded a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a branch of the US Department of Education. The primary focus of the project will be the development of a web-based interactive information and training program for family caregivers of individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). CBIRT’s combination of training and technical assistance grounded in field-based research has established it as a national leader in the provision of school-based services to students with TBI. In 2009, CBIRT was chosen by the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation (SJBF) as one of its Centers of Excellence, and as the organization’s national center for school reintegration. The work of the Center will help ensure that children and their families receive access to appropriate services and resources.
TBI is a serious public health problem in the United States. Recent data from the CDC shows that, on average, approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually. The incidence of TBI is widespread. Those impacted include veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and individuals who have sustained injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, and other causes.
Ann Glang, Ph.D., a Senior Fellow and Research Professor at TRI, will lead a team of researchers as they work to identify the critical needs of caregivers and develop the web-based program. During the third and final year of the project, the research team will evaluate the program using a randomized control trial with a national sample. This project will fill a gap for families struggling to provide support to a family member who has sustained a TBI. According to Dr. Glang, "Families of individuals with brain injuries continue to struggle to find information and resources to provide support for their family member. This project will allow us to develop a site where families can go to get practical, evidence-based information on strategies for managing the challenges of TBI."
The TBI Family Support project is the latest in a series of research grants awarded to CBIRT. Established in 1993, CBIRT faculty conducts research and training to improve the lives of children and adults with TBI. CBIRT’s research focuses on developing interventions to improve outcomes related to education, employability, and quality of life. Training activities promote the use of best practices among educators and other professionals who serve individuals with TBI.
A Farewell to Frankie - Retirement Party
Sept. 6, 2011
Mike Stewart and Frankie Blasch
Frankie Blasch started work at The Teaching Research Institute in 1975. According to Michael Stewart, her supervisor in the Grants Management Office, "Frankie has been the glue that has held the TR Business Office together all of these years." Friends and coworkers celebrated her retirement with chocolate and good memories.
Meeting the Needs of Children
Nov. 18, 2011
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for children and youth who are deaf-blind. NCDB brings together the resources of three agencies with long histories of expertise in the field of deaf-blindness, The Teaching Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University, the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC), and the Hilton/Perkins Program at Perkins School for the Blind. NCDB works collaboratively with families, federal, state and local agencies to provide technical assistance, information and personnel training.
The National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) conducts a yearly child count across each state to supplement the annual national Special Education Child Count, which includes children as deaf-blind only when deaf-blindness is their single disability. In contrast to the annual Special Education December 1 count, the December 1 Deaf-Blind Child Count data is collected for children with deaf-blindness in isolation, as well as those with additional disabilities. This is an important distinction in that nearly 90% of the children and youth on the Deaf-Blind Child Count have one or more additional disabilities. For 2010, a total of 9,320 children and youth are included on the December 1 Deaf-Blind Child count. To be included a child or youth must be in special education and be eligible for project services on December 1, 2010. In contrast the Special Education child count identifies only 1,581 students as deaf-blind.
The National Child Count of Children and Youth who are Deaf-Blind is the first and longest running registry and knowledge base of children who are deaf-blind in the world. It represents a 25 plus year collaborative effort between NCDB, its predecessors and each state deaf-blind project throughout the country, as well as those projects funded in the Pacific Trust territories, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It has been collaboratively designed and implemented as the common vehicle to meet federal grant requirements for both the state/multi-state and national technical assistance projects and serves as a common data collection and reporting mechanism for use across the country. Consistent with the priorities under which NCDB, its predecessors, and the state/multi-state projects are funded, this national child count is used to identify national and state technical assistance needs for children and youth who are deaf-blind, their families and the service providers and systems which serve them (Killoran, 2007).
This information is located in NCDB's National Deaf-Blind Child Count Maps. Each tool has different strengths that can easily be used to provide very specific information. The Data Maps are perfect for seeing the big picture and identifying states with similar characteristics. The Pivot Charts/Tables are better suited to delving down in to the data to find specific patterns.
Women from Jordan Visit TRI
Nov. 11, 2011
During October, TRI hosted a group of women from Jordan, interested in the role of women in the disability field. The women, ages 22 - 35 with disabilities, visited several programs in Oregon to strengthen their capacity to lead grassroots organizations and advocate for the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities. While in Monmouth, the women spent time with the Oregon Deafblind Project website to learn more about children who are deafblind and services to them. While on campus, they also learned about other national projects on deafblindness, including the National Consortium on Deafblindness, and the Helen Keller Fellows personnel preparation initiative.
The nine women were sponsored and accompanied by a Mobility International, USA (MIUSA) team leader and organizer, and interpreters for ASL, Arabic, and Arabic sign. They were able to interact with faculty from the College of Education on campus, learn about the Rehabilitation Counseling program, and the Interpreter Training program. The group was also given the opportunity to observe an interpreter class being conducted by a faculty member who is herself Deaf. Their main interest related to the role of women in the disability field, and, more specifically sensory impairments. Each of them shared their considerable expertise and credentials, both in education and government. During this tour, they were looking for ideas to expand their roles and to promote the well-being of women with sensory disabilities in Jordan.
The 2011/2012 U.S. Jordan: Young Women with Disabilities Leadership Exchange Programs bring together women with disabilities who are working in Jordan and the U.S. as community leaders, gender advocates or professionals in the fields of education, employment, accessibility, health and fitness, policy, legislation and adaptive recreation. These emerging leaders are building their own leadership skills and increasing the capacity of organizations that they represent to advocate for the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities in Jordan and the U.S.Improving Child Care in Oregon
Oct. 25, 2011
The Oregon Program of Quality (OPQ) works to improve the quality of licensed child care programs in Oregon. The TRI Center on Inclusion and Early Childhood Care & Education, in collaboration with the Oregon Dept. of Employment, Child Care Division conducted a two-day review of portfolios for the Oregon Program of Quality field test. This quality rating improvement system (QRIS) will assist child care centers and providers to improve their programs across six standards. The review panels scored the portfolios of 29 centers and family based programs who participated in this field test.
Programs that meet OPQ standards will be eligible to receive a host of benefits including: state supported slots for hard to find care and opportunities to partner with Head Start and Special Education as a community placement for children eligible for those services.Governor’s Food Drive a Success by Nancy Ganson
Aug. 19, 2011
TRI again showed its commitment to our community with another successful Governor’s Food Drive. The TRI Social Committee planned a series of tasty and fun events during the month of February to entice our colleagues to donate. Back by popular demand was the Soup Kitchen and Silent Auction and we held a new raffle for a giant Super Bowl Party Basket. The committee decided to align this year’s goal with the Food Drive’s 29th anniversary by raising the equivalent of 29,000 pound of food. WOW! We delivered, raising 34,857.50 pounds!
The Child Development Center really stepped up this year and worked the 2010 "Now More Than Ever" food drive theme into their lesson plans. The message got through to the children who raised 130 pounds of canned food. It was a thrill to see them deliver their food to the "big truck" and see their proud little faces.
It was obvious as indicated by all the food drive events and departmental involvement on campus that our excitement has caught on. The WOU campus raised a new record amount of 105,216.25 pounds. It was much closer competition this year, but TRI was awarded first place with 829.94 pounds per staff.
The annual Governor's State Employees Food Drive is the Oregon Food Bank Network’s largest food and fund drive. WOU competes in the University Division and for the past five years has won by collecting more food and funds that any other public university in Oregon. This year we are hoping to make it a "six-pete."
Dr. Victor Baldwin passed away Saturday, July 16th after a long and courageous battle with multiple myeloma at his home in Monmouth.
Vic began his work with the Oregon State System of Higher Education housed on the Oregon College of Education campus (now WOU) in April 1968 as an Assistant Research Professor with the Teaching Research Division (currently The Teaching Research Institute). He became the Director in 1978 and was at the helm of TR for the next twenty years. In his semi-retirement, he focused his work as a Principal Investigator in deaf-blindness with what is currently the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness. He had more than 30 years of experience in the field of deaf-blindness, a strong background in administrative oversight, extensive knowledge of Federal and state legislation, initiatives and grants, and a history of collaborative relationships with a wide variety of Federal agencies and state departments and agencies.
Vic will be missed by all of us here at TRI and by colleagues and friends across the country.
New Director at TRI!
Aug 1, 2011
Dr. Ella Taylor
The Teaching Research Institute (TRI) at Western Oregon University will undergo significant changes in the near future. Its current director, Mr. John Killoran, is retiring and Dr. Ella Taylor, who currently works at WOU as the director of sponsored research, will take over the position during the summer. The experience from her current position will be invaluable to TRI. She has helped faculty and staff all over campus find grants, write proposals, put ideas together, work on budgets, served as the grant submittal point, and helped with compliance. The latter duty will be most essential to her role as TRI's director because that position requires compliance work for the $7 million in grants currently awarded to TRI. The collaboration between WOU and TRI is something she has enjoyed. "Together, TRI and WOU make a phenomenal package for a comprehensive master's university. It's something that many other universities our size do not have. It's good for both of us."
Taylor joined WOU in 2002, working half time on a grant within TRI and the other half within the Division of Extended Programs. After a year she found grant money to be fully funded within TRI. Three years ago she was hired through a national search for her current position. Before coming to WOU she worked at the University of South Florida (USF), where she earned her doctorate, and taught special education, particularly focusing on gifted education. She put together USF's first online master's program in gifted education and was involved writing grants for a summer program at the university that brought gifted middle school and high school kids to campus to learn leadership skills.
Her ideas and enthusiasm will make a major impact on TRI. She has already identified several plans of action, including the creation of combined centers within the organization. She wants to blend areas together to promote ideas and collaboration within TRI and on campus. In addition to the existing Center on Brain Injury Research and Training, she wants to expand the Child Development Center/Center on Inclusion and to create a Center on Deaf-Blindness, and a Center on Teacher Effectiveness. Taylor plans to develop a visiting scholars program to complement each of these centers. She hopes to secure funding to bring faculty to TRI during their sabbaticals to conduct research. The program would benefit both TRI and the visiting scholars through an exchange of ideas, new research avenues, and bringing research to practice.
She wants to work with students as well. One of her goals is to develop a scholarship program to fund a student during their senior year who wants to do research around education. This student would work with TRI's staff and faculty to create new knowledge for a senior thesis or research project. Taylor also wants to create an advisory council for TRI, which will include representatives from on- and off-campus.
"It's an exciting time," said Taylor. "Anytime that you get to move in to a leadership role with an agency that has such a strong history, it is really exciting. It's an opportunity to highlight all TRI has accomplished in our first 50 years and to launch into the next 50 years with high expectations for accomplishing even greater goals."
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