Parental Deployment and Children’s Health

By Caitlin Hunter and Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Child waving goodbye to deployment parent
Creative Commons Licensing [Flickr, HMS Endurance returns to Portsmouth after long deployment, June 1, 2007] retrieved on September 8, 2015
For children in the military, reunification with a deployed parent can be a joyous time. However, for military families, the stress of deployment is not confined to the parents. The stress of deployment can affect both the physical and mental health of the child. Similar stresses post-deployment, such as combat-related injuries, simply add to the stress military children might have. But how much of an effect does returning from war have on the frequency children need to access physical and mental health services?

A study by Hisle-Gorman and colleagues (2015) examined how parental military deployment, as well as the presence of combat related injuries, impacted children’s need for health care services after parent’s return from deployment [2]. Specifically, the focus was on mental health visits, visits pertaining to injury (not relating to child maltreatment), and visits relating to child maltreatment.

Children of deployed parents were much more likely to require visits to healthcare professionals for mental health, physical injuries, and child maltreatment after their deployed parent returned than did children whose parents did not deploy. For children of deployed parents, the likelihood of requiring such visits in all three categories was significantly higher if the parent returned with a combat-related injury. Child maltreatment visits were even higher when returning parents had sustained multiple injuries. This might be because the increased level of caretaking required for the parent might result in less attention being focused on the child, or greater stress for family members. Interestingly, parental injuries were not associated with child mental health visits or non-maltreatment related visits. This might mean that the overall resiliency a family must have to deal with combat-related injuries might be a significant protective factor for the general and mental health of the child.

Previous research suggested that children have a greater need for health care services while a parent is deployed. However, this research suggests any problems which might be present during deployment might only be made worse post-deployment if proper preventative, proactive care was not in place.

While this study highlights real issues faced by military children, it also found that children are receiving the post-deployment services they need. As military children receive almost half of their health care in off-base civilian facilities [1], it is important that all physical and mental health care professionals understand deployment-related issues and how they can affect the children they treat.

References

[1] Gorman, G. H., Eide, M., & Hisle-Gorman, E. (2010). Wartime military deployment and increased pediatric mental and behavioral health complaints. Pediatrics126(6), 1058- 1066.

[2] Hisle-Gorman, E., Harrington, D., Nylund, C. M., Tercyak, K. P., Anthony, B. J., & Gorman, G. H. (2015). Impact of parents’ wartime military deployment and injury on young children’s safety and mental health. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry54(4), 294-301.

This post was written by Caitlin Hunter  & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.

It Begins with the Breath

It Begins with the Breath _Blog

Mastering the art of balancing work and life’s stressors can be an elusive task for us all. The phrase, “keep calm and carry on,” isn’t always easy. In a recent audiocast series provided by the MFLN Military Caregiving concentration, the narrator provides mindfulness tactics intended to help you discover and observe your reactions to life’s stressors and provide tools for responding effectively. Mindfulness, if you are not familiar with the term, means paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment with a non-judgmental attitude.

After listening to the first episode of the audiocast, “It Begins with the Breath,” I immediately noticed a sense of calm while at my desk. The narrator’s simple exercises gave me a quick way to notice stress, gently shift my focus back to my breath, and taught me to practice mindful breathing to calm both my mind and body. The techniques I learned could provide for “mini-relaxations” throughout the work day. Regular use of these mindfulness practices could make life easier by improving concentration and letting go of distractions.

Download the mindfulness audiocast episode, “It Begins with the Breath,” and learn how you can apply these skills to everyday situations and connect more fully with yourself, your loved ones, and the life you are living.

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on November 6, 2015.

Upcoming Webinar: Student Loans – What Financial Practitioners Need to Know

By Molly C. Herndon

Join the Personal Finance tStudent Loanseam on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. ET for Student Loans: What Financial Practitioners Need to Know. This 90-minute webinar will focus on the research around lending and borrowing behavior and know-how, repayment options, application process, and important changes coming to the FAFSA process.

 

Our webinar speakers will include three experts on this topic. Dr. Barbara O’Neill will discuss the impact student loan debt is having on consumers. Dr. Carrie Johnson will then tackle the research around student loan borrowing and lending. Elizabeth Coogan from the Federal Student Aid Office will wrap things up by providing an overview of the resources available from her office and the changes coming to the FAFSA process.


This webinar is approved for 1.5 CEUs for AFC-credentialed and CPFC-credentialed participants.

Register for the event, find supporting online resources (under “event materials”) and join the webinar here.

Noise Pollution and the Military Family

By Robyn DiPietro-Wells

artillery fire
[Flickr, Fire Support Certification Exercise, by The U.S. Army, CC BY 2.0] Retrieved on Nov. 3, 2015
In early September 2003 in Fayetteville, NC near Fort Bragg, my dogs and I were waiting out Hurricane Isabel. Being approximately 90 miles inland we didn’t need to evacuate and instead spent the day napping on the couch waiting for the weather to clear.  At some point a loud crash rattled the house causing the dogs to bark.  My very first thought was, “That’s strange. Why would they be firing artillery during a hurricane?”  However, a few minutes later, I remembered my dogs never barked at artillery fire, so what was that loud crash? I went to our back window and saw a huge tree had fallen from the neighbor’s property into our yard, crushing our fence but missing our house. It was then I realized I was so accustomed to the noise of military life that I didn’t even think a crashing noise in the midst of a hurricane was anything but business as usual!

Families around the globe, living in a variety of situations, deal with noise pollution all the time. A quick GoogleTM search for the definition of noise pollution and you will find that it is “harmful or annoying levels of noise, as from airplanes, industry, etc.” Living near an airport, a police or fire station, train tracks, or even in a busy city exposes families to noise pollution. However, military families living on or near an installation, even in remote locations, can also experience this as well. Our home was roughly 13 miles from the heart of Fort Bragg yet we also experienced blasts that shook our home.

How does noise pollution affect children? How does it affect children with disabilities? Are those effects any different when the noises are coming from explosions or aircraft? Many military families report that most children get used to these noises the same way adults do. For some children who are new to an installation with many explosions they might startle, duck under their desks, or try to hide at first. However, with time they adapt. Some children develop a keen awareness and can tell the difference between a bombing run, sonic boom, an airplane on a flight path, and thunder. Other children find the noises exciting, especially when it comes from an airplane. They may want to look out the window or go outside because they imagine that one of their parents might be on that plane. For most military children, they learn early what the noises are and they adapt.

For others, including some children with disabilities, these noises can be downright terrifying.   For children with anxiety or sensory disorders, it can be very scary, especially at times when a parent is deployed. The child may become very scared because they are too young to understand how far away combat is or from where the noise is coming. One military mother reported that her daughter, who has an anxiety disorder, “would just scream and scream. And it keeps you up at night and breaks your dishes.” While a lot of families adapt to the noise, for many of the families with whom practitioners work this kind of noise pollution is a daily intrusion into the family’s life and overall well-being.

How can you as an Early Interventionist or Early Childhood Special Educator support families and children like those described? What things do you as a practitioner need to know and understand to better serve these populations? In the upcoming webinar on Nov. 12, the MFLN Family Development Early Intervention team will discuss inclusive and supportive environments. Noise pollution will be one of the many issues our presenters will touch on. To learn more, or to join us at 11 a.m. EST on Nov. 12 go to https://learn.extension.org/events/2120.

This post was written by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Amy Santos, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.

 

A time of military family transition: Talking with Kids about PTSD- An interview with Michelle Sherman, PhD

 

MS captureThe Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Family Transitions concentration area recognizes that military families experience an endless number of changes or transition points throughout their service commitment.  Few of these transitions impact families more, than when a service member returns home with a physical or psychological wound. MFLN Family Transitions recently had an opportunity to visit with Michelle Sherman who develops family education programs and resources to support adults who care about someone living with mental illness or PTSD.  Michelle is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in the VA system for over 17 years, providing a range of mental health services to veterans and their families. She is currently a research scientist at the Center for Research and Outreach (REACH) at the University of Minnesota. This interview focuses on a new resource Michelle has developed to help military families speak with their children about PTSD.

MFLN Family Transitions (MFLN-FT): You recently published a new resource, A Veteran’s Guide to Talking With Kids About PTSD. How would you describe this guide for those that haven’t seen it yet?

Michelle Sherman (MS): Funded by the VA South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC), we conducted a 3-site mixed methods research project. We interviewed veteran parents living with PTSD and asked about their motivations for talking with their children about PTSD, barriers to sharing, positive outcomes of disclosure, experience at VA as a parent, and desired VA services.

Based on our findings, we developed a 25-page interactive pamphlet for military parents entitled “A Veteran’s Guide to Talking With Kids About PTSD.” The pamphlet can be used independently by a service member/veteran or in conjunction with a therapist as part of a therapy group, class, or workshop.

The pamphlet is organized in the following sections:

  • What Do You Enjoy About Parenting?
  • How Can PTSD Affect Families?
  • Should I Tell My Kids About PTSD?
  • How Might I Prepare To Have These Conversations With My Kids?
  • How Might I Approach the Discussion?
  • What Should I Tell My Kids?
  • What Should I Do If I Get Upset When Talking With My Kids About PTSD?
  • What Should I Do If My Child Becomes Upset During the Discussion?
  • How Do I Deal With Questions My Child Asks?
  • How Can I Be an Effective Parent?
  • Resource List

MFLN-FT: Have you had personal experiences working with this topic?

MS: Yes, I directed the Family Mental Health Program at the Oklahoma City VA Medical Center for over 15 years. I provided clinical care to veterans and their families, many of whom were managing PTSD in one or both parents. I also continue to perform research on family issues related to PTSD, deployment, and mental illness.

MFLN-FT: Why is this topic so important?

MS: Over 15 million people living in the United States today will develop PTSD at some point in their lives and have at least one child (Lauterbach et al., 2007; Leen-Feldner, Feldner, Bunaciu, & Blumenthal, 2011). Although precise rates of parenthood among veterans living with PTSD are unknown, many military personnel managing mental health conditions do have children. Furthermore, research has found associations between parental PTSD and difficulties in children, including both internalizing problems and general behavioral problems (Leen-Feldener et al., 2013). Parents with PTSD also report greater difficulties with parenting, lower parenting satisfaction, and poorer relationships with their children than parents without PTSD (Leen-Feldner, Feldner, Bunaciu, & Blumenthal, 2011). Therefore, it is vital to support these families to potentially minimize these negative outcomes and promote healthy family functioning. We hope that our pamphlet can be a helpful resource for military families and the mental health professionals that serve them.

MFLN-FT: What makes discussing PTSD with kids so difficult?

MS: Great question! Parents in our research project cited many barriers to talking with their kids about PTSD. For example, parents expressed shame, a need to be strong for their children, avoidance of talking about PTSD, and a desire to protect their children as reasons they avoid talking about PTSD with their children. Parents also cited fears about the consequences of disclosure on their children, including worry their kids could be upset, see the parent as weak, tell their friends, or ridicule the parent.  It takes a lot of courage to talk openly about one’s mental health challenges. However, importantly, parents in our study who had confided in their children described many positive outcomes, including increased child understanding and support.

MFLN-FT: What would you say is the MOST important piece of information for veterans to know before talking with kids about PTSD?

MS: Take time to prepare! Consider talking with trusted friends or family members before talking with children. Parents may wish to write notes or practice what they plan to say. Also, remember that this is not a one-time conversation, so parents can be open to their children spontaneously raising questions and continuing the dialogue over time.

MFLN-FT: What strategy do you think is the most important in helping kids navigate this topic?

MS: It’s important for parents to start slowly, listen more than they talk, and consider the developmental age of the child in deciding what, how, and when to share information. If the child or parent becomes upset during the discussion, it’s time to take a break to calm down and hopefully resume the conversation at a later time.  We offer five key messages in the pamphlet of helpful ideas military parents may wish to share.

MFLN-FT: What makes this guide unique?

MS: We are unaware of any other resources to help parents talk with their children about PTSD. The pamphlet is honest, yet gentle in encouraging veterans to consider their hopes and fears in talking with their kids about PTSD. Parents’ strengths are emphasized, and readers are encouraged to draw upon support from family members, friends, other veterans, and mental health professionals. Numerous interactive activities are offered throughout the pamphlet to encourage reflection and personalizing the information. Quotes from veteran parents shared in the research project are also included. The resource is rooted in a recovery approach and instills hope in veteran parents, both for themselves and their children

MFLN-FT: What questions do you find yourself still grappling with after finishing the guide?

MS: We still have a lot to learn!  Much more research is needed in this area to inform the development of helpful clinical tools. We need to learn more about parenting with PTSD across a wide range of parents, considering mothers vs. fathers, parents with different kinds of traumas, parents from different war eras (etc.). We also need to examine the important role of the co-parent in managing parental PTSD in the family.  We hope this resource helps military parents in talking with their children about PTSD, and that our research stimulates further inquiry into this important, yet long neglected area.

Michelle is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in the VA system for over 17 years, providing a range of mental health services to veterans and their families. She has developed family education programs to support adults who care about someone living with mental illness or PTSD, including the Support And Family Education (SAFE) Program, Operation Enduring Families, and Veteran Parenting Toolkits, all of which are available online. In her personal life, she has also written interactive books for military teens, including Finding My Way: A Teen’s Guide to Living with a Parent Who Has Experienced Trauma. She co-chaired the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on military service members and their families, and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Her newest publication, A Veteran’s Guide to Talking With Kids About PTSD can be found here.

For more information about her research project and findings, please see:

Lauterbach, D., Bak, C., Reiland, S., Mason, S., Lute, M.R., & Earls, L. (2007). Quality of parental relationships among persons with a lifetime history of posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20(2), 161-172. doi: 10.1002/jts.20194

Leen-Feldner, E. W., Feldner, M. T., Bunaciu, L., & Blumenthal, H. (2011). Associations between parental posttraumatic stress disorder and both offspring internalizing problems and parental aggression within the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication. Journal of  Anxiety Disorders, 25, 169-175. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.08.017

Leen-Feldner, E. W., Feldner, M. T., Knapp, A., Bunaciu, L, Blumenthal, H. & Amstadter, A.B.(2013). Offspring psychological and biological correlates of parental posttraumatic stress: Review of the literature and research agenda. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(8),  1106-1133.doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2013.09.001

Sherman, M.D., Larsen, J.L., Straits-Troster, K.A., Erbes, C., & Tassey, J. (2015). Veteran-child communication about parental PTSD: A mixed methods pilot study. Journal of Family Psychology, 29(4), 595-903.

 

The Curse of Knowledge

By Jerry Buchko, MA, AFC®

 

One of the interesting things we may take for granted in our work as personal finance practitioners is that as we develop ourselves as professionals, that is, as we study, obtain our certifications, pursue continuing education, and build up our experience over the years, we become more knowledgeable. And we take for granted that this knowledge is a benefit, because it allows us, naturally, to become more effective in our work with the people we serve. This makes sense. And it makes so much sense it’s fair to say we often regard it as simply a common sense truth.

But can greater knowledge ever present a problem for us as practitioners? Can it ever, contrary to our common sense assumptions, get in the way and cause us to actually be less effective in some situations?

Two notions from cognitive and behavioral economics research, the curse of knowledge and hindsight bias, suggest this can sometimes be the case. The curse of knowledge describes a tendency to become so knowledgeable in understanding something that it comes to seem rather simple, as if it’s “just common sense.” We tend to forget the work it took for us to develop that understanding, and, as everything comes to seem so obvious to us now, we’re left wondering why everyone else doesn’t just “get” this common sense stuff too. Hindsight bias describes a particular challenge related to the curse of knowledge, the difficulty we can have remembering and reproducing the understanding and perspective we had before we became so knowledgeable. Graphic for Practitioners Corner

So how can being aware of the curse of knowledge and hindsight bias help us as practitioners? One benefit may be the awareness that these tendencies can leave us with an important blind spot in our perspective of the people we serve. Our clients often come to us knowing relatively less than we do as trained and experienced professionals, or they might even know really nothing at all about all this “common sense” personal finance stuff.

This blind spot can leave us to make assumptions about our clients and what they’re capable of, and these assumptions can greatly influence how we interact and communicate with them. Many of us as practitioners have learned from experience that people can have a tendency to live up or down to our expectations of them. These expectations can have a profound influence on how our clients may come to perceive themselves and their sense of efficacy. This is important to take into consideration if one of our most fundamental goals as practitioners is supporting our clients in becoming more confident and effective in their financial lives.

The influence of these assumptions on our interactions and conversations can also affect whether we seem credible and approachable to the people we hope to serve, so they can affect our opportunity to have a positive impact as a resource (even before someone has a chance to actually work with us).

Remembering how the world of personal finance looked and felt when we were still uninformed novices can also give us an important frame of reference. It can sometimes help us figure out more effective ways to approach the information we have to share with our clients, and to more effectively help our clients bridge the gap between their current understanding and what they hope to better understand with some effective support and experience.

So what do you think? Are there other ways the curse of knowledge and hindsight bias might influence us and the work we do as practitioners? What other aspects of being an effective practitioner do you think would be important for us to think about and explore?

Further Reading:

Psychologicalscience.org (2012). ‘I Knew It All Along…Didn’t I?’ – Understanding Hindsight Bias – Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved 1 October 2015, from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/i-knew-it-all-along-didnt-i-understanding-hindsight-bias.html

Wikipedia (2015). Curse of knowledge. Retrieved 1 October 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_knowledge

Wikipedia (2015). Hindsight bias. Retrieved 1 October 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindsight_bias

 

Romantic Partner Satisfaction and Communication Prior To and During Deployment

By Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD

Creative Commons [Flickr, Happy couple walking in the sunset, March 9, 2013]
Creative Commons [Flickr, Happy couple walking in the sunset, March 9, 2013]
Mental health professionals serving military members have commonly held that relationship functioning (time together, communication, and relationship stress) influenced a service member’s effectiveness in combat situations.  Cigrang and colleagues examined service members’ intimate partner relationship functioning prior to and during deployment to determine whether there is a relationship between  functioning and a military member’s performance during deployment [1].

Researchers studied 144 members of the U.S. Air Force Security Forces who were in a significant romantic relationship for 6 months or longer prior to being deployed for one year.  Almost nine-tenths (89%) of the Airmen were male, and averaged 27 years old. Eighty percent of the military members had been deployed previously.  Participants described their deployment experiences as stressful, and was regarded as being a high-risk assignment.

To determine the associations among relationship functioning and combat functioning prior to and during deployment, the researchers used 4 measures: (1) Relationship functioning, (2) Depression, (3) Impact of relationship concerns on self-reported duty performance, and (4) Frequency of communication with romantic partner.  Relationship functioning was measured using items from the Marital Satisfaction Inventory (MSI-B) and included measures of global distress, time together, sexual dissatisfaction, affective communication, and problem-solving communication.  Depression symptomatology was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9).  The impact of relationship concerns was assessed using a measure developed for this study, based on clinical experiences of military members on the research team.  Items used included: distraction from the combat-related job, making mistakes on the job, relationship stress leading to arguments with the combat team, missing work, and reduced overall job performance.  A combined score for communication was created using frequency of communication and methods of communications.

Analysis of the study variables showed that relationship functioning (time together, communication and relationship stress) at pre-deployment was significantly related to relationship functioning during deployment. Additionally, relationship functioning, and to a smaller degree depressive symptoms, predicted overall duty performance during deployment, supporting commonly held beliefs about intimate partner relationship functioning and job performance in combat situations.

Importantly for mental health professionals, focusing on couple communication prior to deployment may have a positive impact on relationship functioning during deployment, which can positively affect the job performance of the military member.

Reference:

[1] Cigrang, J.A., Talcott, G.W., Tatum, J., Baker, M., Cassidy, D., Sonnek, S., . . . Slep, A.M.S. (2014). Intimate partner communication from the war zone: A prospective study of relationship functioning, communication frequency, and combat effectiveness. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy40(3), 332-343. doi:10.1111/jmft.12043

This post was written by Jay Morse & Heidi Radunovich, PhD, members of the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.

Military Caregiving Virtual Learning Event #2 – Coming Next Week!

MFLNMC VLE Session #2

VLE Session # 2: Relating! Caring and Culture

Join the MFLN Military Caregiving team for our Virtual Learning Event (VLE) Session #2: “Relating! Caring and Culture” at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, November 4, as we reimagine our skills as helping professionals and working with military families.

In Session #2 we will explore the conceptual frameworks of cultural and linguistic competence and examine their relevance for supporting service members and their families. Our goal in Session #2 is to take a step further and utilize what we learned from this Wednesday’s VLE Session #1, Rethinking! Creating Strategies to Build Trust and Credibility,” to really understand how culture plays a key role in service members and families approach to support services.

Cultural competence and linguistic competence are widely recognized as fundamental aspects of quality health and behavioral health care. Both cultural and linguistic competence are viewed essential approaches for reducing disparities, while promoting equity by improving access, utilization, service delivery, and health and well-being among patients, their families and communities.

Upon completion of the VLE Session #2, you will be able to:

  • Define culture and its multiple manifestations.
  • Describe culturally defined belief systems that impact health, behavioral health, and disability.
  • List four rationales for cultural competence in health and human services.
  • Describe a conceptual framework for a cultural competence model and its relevance for their roles/responsibilities.
  • Define linguistic competence with an emphasis on the role of health literacy in the provision of care, services and supports.

The VLE is centered on the theme of reenergizing and rejuvenating your work environment. This FREE web-based learning opportunity is open to the public and will be similar to a professional conference – no travel involved! Registration is required.

If you missed this week’s VLE Session #1 and want to catch up before next week’s Session #2, make sure you check out: 2015 MFLN Military Caregiving VLE.

CEU Credit Available!

The MFLN has applied for 1.5 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) continuing education credit for credentialed participants. Certificates of Completion will also be available for training hours as well. For more information on CEU credits go to: NASW Continuing Education Instructions.

Interested in Joining the VLE?

Go to “Relating! Caring and Culture the day of the event to join. The event is hosted by the Department of Defense Collaboration System (DCS), but is open to the public. It is strongly suggested that when using the DCS system that you open the webinar on Google Chrome for both PC and MAC connections. If this is not an option, Internet Explorer may be used if connecting via PC. Safari and Firefox are not compatible with this DCS platform.

For those of you who cannot connect to the DCS site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream.

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on October 30, 2015.

 

FD Early Intervention Webinar: Creating Supportive and Inclusive Environments

Social Emotional Development in the Early Years: Creating Supportive and Inclusive Environments

Date:  November 12, 2015

Time:  11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern

Location: https://learn.extension.org/events/2120

Creative Commons Licensing, [Flickr, Baby Learns How To Grab 1-March 17, 2013]
Creative Commons Licensing, [Flickr, Baby Learns How To Grab 1-March 17, 2013]
Amy Santos, PhD, and Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, will discuss the importance of creating supportive and inclusive environments to promote social emotional development in young children with disabilities. Santos and Ostrosky will discus specific topics including:  1) Research studies that highlight the impact of supportive environments on children’s social emotional development 2) Evidence based strategies that parents and military family service providers can implement in their respective settings 3) Considerations when assessing children’s natural environments 4) Parent coaching strategies to assist parents and caregivers reflect on and adapt their environments to support their children’s social emotional development.

MFLN FD Early Intervention webinars offer CE Credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois. The EI team is actively pursuing more CE opportunities in states other than Illinois. Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, & Virginia participants can obtain a certificate of completion to submit to their credentialing agencies for review for CE credits. Please check back frequently to the webinar Learn Event web page to receive updates on our progress. Access to the webinar Learn Event page can be found, here.

For more information on future presentations in the 2015 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: (Facebook & Twitter)

After the Webinar: Disability and Abuse

In this vlog, Ashley Anne Marshall, who is completing her Master’s degree at Vanderbilt University in Child Studies, will be taking you through the connections between disabilities, abuse, and young children. She will also be discussing the signs of abuse and neglect.

Signs of abuse and neglect include:

  • unexplained injuries
  • changes in behaviors
  • returning to earlier behaviors
  • fear of going home
  • changes in eating
  • changes in sleeping
  • changes in school performance or attendance
  • lack of personal care or hygiene
  • risk taking behaviors
  • inappropriate sexual behaviors

When working with young children it is important to be extra observant because often times these children are too young to speak, or to tell you if abuse is taking place.

Like what you heard here? Then be sure to check out the archived recording of our MFLN Family Development Virtual Learning Event Session 3 | Beyond Mandated Reporting: Building Resiliency with Families presented by Catherine Corr, Deserai Miller, and Ashley Anne Marshall on October 22, 2015.
For more information on MFLN Family Development’s October 2015 Virtual Learning Event sessions check out our VLE website, here.