Tamiya won’t be the first child I’ll care for with a disability. Nor will she be the last. I’ve been working in an inclusive child care program for 3 years now in a classroom of 12 children ages 2 & 3. I’m happy to be caring for and loving a beautifully diverse group of children, each touching my heart in their own way. But for the first time, I’m scared. I’m actually afraid and doubting whether I can care for Tamiya. Can I keep her healthy and safe?
Tamiya’s main challenges are her health issues. She is a fragile little girl who needs lots of medical attention. She can’t eat or drink on her own and needs to be tube fed. She evidently can drink a little water on her own, but even that has to be carefully monitored. I recently finished the coursework to earn my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education but I’ve never even seen tube feeding before, let alone done it myself. What if she gags? Or chokes? Can I handle this in a setting full of busy preschoolers?
I know that our classroom environment could be a wonderful place for Tamiya to grow and learn while addressing some of her other developmental delays. She’s been at home with mom since birth receiving early intervention services, so this will open up a whole new world for her. Having new play experiences and interacting with other children could be a wonderful opportunity for her.
Tamiya turns three in November and will be joining our classroom in just a few weeks. How should I be working with her mom and her early intervention providers and therapists to prepare myself and the rest of the staff for her arrival? We have to be ready for this transition.
You can use a tool called PICO to help create a focused question that is answerable through research. PICO identifies the most essential information needed for this question. This information consists of short phrases that can be entered into a web-based search engine to find the best available research evidence on a particular practice such as transition. PICO requires that you identify the following information to develop the answerable question:
P – Person (name the child and family including the needs of the child)
I – Interventions being considered (name INTERVENTIONS or practices the teacher might use to help Tamiya transition from early intervention to preschool)
C – Comparison to other interventions (does research support one intervention over another)
O – Outcomes desired (list the results you anticipate for Tamiya if the teachers use the set of practices listed above)
Use PICO to identify the important information from the dilemma about how to promote Tamiya’s transition and adjustment.
Now identify the important information from the two perspectives you have just heard in last week’s class (feel free to review the videos from last week).
1. Describe Tamiya. (describe what you know about Tamiya’s learning characteristics)
2. What are the transition goals you heard stated for Tamiya?
3. Create your PICO statement. You do not need to address C as you will be researching different interventions and best practices later. Use the following format:
C – Not applicable at this stage