Kadence began her time at Cornerstone Children’s Centre in the toddler room but moved to a home child care program because her mom felt her behaviours would be better supported in a setting with smaller ratios. She did well there but ultimately Mom wanted her to return to Cornerstone. When she was two and a half years old she joined my preschool room.
When Kadence returned it was apparent right away that she still had a lot of challenges to overcome. Her Mom reported a lot of the same issues at home. Kadence was very quick to react and had a difficult time regulating her emotions and controlling her behaviours. Some behaviours resulted in other children being hurt. She had a difficult time in situations where teachers needed to redirect her and she would have intense and lengthy emotional outbursts. Kadence could understand and express herself clearly and was cognitively advanced. She had shown us she was capable of behaving appropriately.The educators and Mom were frustrated because we knew that Kadence had the developmental ability but we did not have the proper strategies to support her.
This is where Children’s Integration Support Services (CISS) came in. CISS referred us to their Positive Outcomes Program (POP). We applied for POP and we were later able to receive supports for Kadence. We had a meeting with the behaviour consultant to discuss the issues and what our concerns were. We talked about goals and what the best strategies for Kadence would be. My co-workers and I discussed what strategies we wanted to focus on first; what would be most beneficial and successful for Kadence. We implemented the strategies and the behaviour consultant came for several visits to observe her progress. The consultant discussed ways we could improve our strategies and how to implement new ones. She mentored us and we learned a lot of valuable strategies to use not only with Kadence but with all the children.
Kadence developed a lot of amazing skills to help cope with her anger. We used a calm down area, a quiet bin with items specifically chosen by Kadence that helped her calm down; a bead counter to reinforce positive behaviour and the empathetic response. This strategy helps children recognize their feelings and learn about their emotions.
Within a couple of months we saw changes in this amazing little girl that were spectacular! Kadence could recognize when she was upset and would tell her peers “I’m angry” rather than hitting or scratching. Because of all our efforts, Kadence became calmer and we found we could talk to her about her choices and problem solve in a positive way. With both home and daycare using a consistent approach with Kadence, she knew what to expect from us.
Kadence still has some challenging days, but from where she was to where she is now, the progress has been remarkable. To be a part of that change was amazing. We are all so proud of Kadence’s success here at Cornerstone!
Erin Brown, B.H.Ec, RECE
Cornerstone Children’s Centre