Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Power of ART in Child Development

In recent years, school curricula in the United States has shifted towards Common Core  subjects of reading and math.  An essential component of this change in pedagogy  are the 21st century skills. Skills needed to support critical thoughts, group discussion, problem solving, decision making, team work and creativity.  Creativity is one of the skills that needs to be fostered during early years and appreciated through life. It is often neglected by the  imperativeness of a  “perfect” product to prove the mastery of a skill. Early years are crucial in the development of creativity, and the ideal arena in the preschool classroom is the art area.

The importance of art in Child Development is undeniable. Art is important because it encompasses all of the developmental and learning domains in children’s maturation. Art lends itself to physical development and the enhancement of fine and gross motor skills, cognitive development including math and analytical thinking, and of course, language and social emotional development. As an educator, foster creativity in your classroom by providing a variety of utensils, tools and modalities to produce creations that reflect the individuality of each child. During the process, ask open ended questions and stimulate critical thinking skills.
Observational Drawings
Observational drawings are  opportunities for children to develop their  attention to details, comparisons skills, focus, small muscle development, and creativity. If you need more information visit this website:

Art is a process, not a product
Participating in art activities has been proven time and time again to help children develop cognitive, social and emotional skills they will need throughout their lifetime. Art helps children develop creative problem solving skills and learn to communicate thoughts, feelings and ideas in a variety of ways. Artistic endeavors also help children learn to adapt to and respect others' ways of working and thinking, as well as gain the tools necessary to develop empathy. When exposed to art in an effective way, children can learn that like most things in life, art is a process that is to be explored. Art is not something that should be "done" for the purpose of producing an end result that should be measured or compared.

In the classroom, art education is a crucial component for a child's personal development. Several studies have concluded that art education is important at a young age because children are still developing their critical thinking and problem solving skills >>> (

Studies have also shown that there is a direct correlation between arts education at a young age and academic achievement later in life >>> (

This article was contributed by: MARIA TERESA RUIZ, a Child Development Consultant, and Vice President & Co-founder of Purpleiam (

Friday, 12 September 2014

Help Make Special Education Accessible to the Lowest Income Families in Nigeria!

Dear Friends,

With your help we can make this dream come true...The DREAM of providing full tuition scholarship to a total of 10 selected special needs students from households that earn less than $1 per day, cutting across the entire Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in Nigeria...Click here to read the details and also to contribute whatever you can; no amount is too little. Thank you for your kind support!

Social Emotional Development in Children

All children are born eager to explore their world and master their development.
From conception to a child’s first day of kindergarten, development proceeds at a pace exceeding any stage of life. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers rapidly develop capabilities in emotional regulation, relationships, cognition, motor development and language. These abilities form the foundation from which all future development builds.

Our job as educators it to help them build that foundation by providing a high quality environment that supports their needs. However, intentional activities that provide children with an ability to acquire and master their school readiness skills are crucial in a preschool setting. Some of these abilities include children’s social competence to succeed in a social situation.

Relationships enable young children to care about people by establishing the human connection between self and others. As a consequence of early relationships, young children seek to understand the feelings, thoughts and expectations of others, as well as the importance of cooperation and sharing. The young child’s identity is shaped by the interactions that they have with others who are significant in their lives – parents, educators, peers and other family members.

The beginning of a new school year provides you with the opportunity to shape social relationships in your classroom setting.  Environment is a crucial element in this process. Make sure that your classroom environment reflects your philosophy as an educator, but most importantly that it fits your children and families’ needs and cultural background.

Educational Links
Take advantage of research based activities, strategies and ideas.

Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, offers you a variety of resources to support children’s social emotional development including training modules, kits and videos on the following topics: transitions, managing behaviors, peer social interactions, etc.

Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for young children is a great resource for educators. You can download a variety of newsletters to keep you parent-teacher communication open. They address topics such as: ”How to help your child understand and recognize anger,” “transitions between places and activities” etc. 

This article was contributed by: MARIA TERESA RUIZ, a Child Development Consultant, and Vice President & Co-founder of Purpleiam (

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Abuja - Special Education Empowerment for Development (SPEED) Project

Dear Readers,

I'd like to appreciate the readership and support which my Blog as well as my organization, the Comprehensive Autism and related Disabilities Education and Training (C.A.D.E.T.) Academy® has enjoyed from you since our inception. I am pleased to inform you that the C.A.D.E.T. Academy® is currently expanding its scope of services by embarking on a project which we have tagged The Abuja - Special Education Empowerment for Development (SPEED) Project. The Abuja SPEED project is planned to provide full tuition scholarship to a total of 10 selected special needs students from households that earn less than $1 per day , cutting across the entire Federal capital Territory, Abuja.

The main focus is to kick-start a special education intervention process that will be affordable to any family regardless of their income status. The Abuja - SPEED Project will cater for the peculiar needs of these 10 selected students living with Autism and related learning/intellectual disabilities in addition to our existing special needs students. The Project will be manned by our current special educators at the C.A.D.E.T. Academy® and other specialists and volunteers who we will employ and train as the need arises.
Please visit the link below for information on how you can possibly contribute to this vision...

Thank you for supporting the vision of the C.A.D.E.T. Academy®. Please accept our best regards.