Playing with toys and reading books is especially critical when it comes to learning, growth and development in infants and toddlers with developmental delays and/or disabilities.
One in six children in the U.S. has one or more developmental disabilities or delays. If a child has a developmental delay, early identification and intervention can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills, as well as reduce the need for costly interventions over time, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
Playing with toys and reading books is especially critical when it comes to learning, growth and development in infants and toddlers with developmental delays and/or disabilities. Fundamental developmental skills are practiced and promoted through play and early literacy activities in this population.
Each fall, the Office of Interprofessional Education at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) hosts the Interprofessional Toy Fair and Expo for about 250 children from birth to age three, who receive early intervention services for developmental delays and disabilities through Lubbock Early Childhood Intervention (ECI).
During the event, interprofessional teams of TTUHSC students from audiology, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology educate families on the safe use of toys to increase physical, cognitive, communicative, social/emotional and self-help skills. Families who participate in therapeutic toy demonstrations are provided educational materials about the safe use of toys to foster development. Families also receive a student-developed flip-book about all demonstrated toys. At the end of the event, each child is given an early literacy book and a therapeutic toy appropriate to his or her developmental delay or disability to take home.
Renée Bogschutz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, director of Interprofessional Education, was one of 13 recipients nationwide who was awarded a Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Award.
Renée Bogschutz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, director of Interprofessional Education has been integral to this program’s success. This August, Dr. Bogschutz was awarded a Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Award for her efforts to help these children throughout West Texas. She was one of only 13 recipients who received this award in the country.
According to Bogschutz, “when service organizations, like Phi Kappa Phi, support community and service-learning events, it fosters not only interprofessional learning, as interprofessional teams of students work side-by-side to respond to challenges faced by communities, it also allows students to develop trusting collaborative care relationships, value difference and diversity and foster a long-term commitment to staying engaged in their community.”
This grant will provide funding for early literacy books to be provided to infants and toddlers at the Interprofessional Toy Fair and Expo to increase its impact in the community.
The Phi Kappa Phi Literacy Grants program helps mobilize the higher education community to champion literacy initiatives. The Society's commitment to the cause of literacy grows out of and is consistent with its mission, which includes "… to engage the community of scholars in service to others."