Hello Early Childhood and Pediatric Community

Welcome to my child health and development internet site! This site contains resources on child development; pediatrics; health, safety and nutrition/feeding; special needs, home visiting and working with families. Thank you !

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I am available to provide consultation, technical support and trainings on a wide range of pediatric/ child health & development/ and “special needs” topics and issues. Visit my LinkedIn page for more information.

Pinterest users check out my page  for “pins” on a range of child health and development links…plus other good stuff.

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10/31/16 I am thrilled to announce I am now working with WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies, with the Map to Inclusion and Belonging as an Inclusion Support Specialist!

Creating Connection and Communication–Positive Discipline for Young Children with Special Needs

Thank you for those of you who attended our workshop today. This workshop was a collaboration between IDA–Infant Development Association  idac

and Positive Discipline Community Resources ella_gabby_venice_beach1-300x221

Here is Dana’s  handout


Positive Discipline–Creating Respectful Relationships in Homes & Schools

California MAP to Inclusion and Belonging

LINK to Teaching Pyramid Materials (English & Spanish)


Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (Families)

ECMHC Infant Toddler Temperament Tool (English and Spanish)

HEAD START Adaptations for Children with Disabilities

Adapting the Child Care Environment for Children with Special Needs

Teaching and Parenting Young Children with Special Needs (English & Spanish)

Why I’m Here…

         I guess you could say I came into the world of child development through the “back door.”

         I started out my career in nursing with working in emergency, fulfilled with the opportunity to work both “in the air” as a helicopter flight nurse, and “at sea” as a cruise ship nurse.  Working for CalSTAR,  I entered the world of pediatrics, and focused my career in that direction. I  had the opportunity to teach pediatrics to both nursing and paramedic students.

          Then came the world of parenthood, with the birth of my daughter Chelsea now 24, followed by my identical twin sons Cameron and Matthew (21 years old).  My twin pregnancy was complicated by Twin-to-Twin Transfusion syndrome, and my twins were born at 32 weeks gestation.  My life took a “new path” as we realized that Cameron had cerebral palsy, and was visually impaired. I had entered the world of disability and special needs. I had to look at child development in a whole new light, and build new hopes, dreams and values as they related to me, my children, my family and my community.  The most important of which were inclusion and belonging.

           Over fifteen years ago, I had the opportunity to join the world of early intervention, when I accepted the position of Coordinator for the Early Start Program. I jumped at the chance to go back to school and earn my MA and credential in Early Childhood Special Education. I currently work as an Infant/Toddler Teacher,  providing service coordination and infant development services to families with a child 0-3 who has a developmental delay(s) or disability. I am fortunate to spend most of my time doing home visits, providing encouragement, coaching, strategies, and hope to families and caregivers.

           Instructing in the ECE Dept. at Cabrillo brought me back to the world of adult learning, and the diverse student population that the field of child development attracts. As I teach, I learn, and want to know more and more. Five years ago, I completed an Infant-Parent Mental Health Postgraduate Certification Program fellowship, where I have had the opportunity to take this quest for knowledge to a new level, and currently I have returned to Napa for a Reflective Supervision, Consultation and Facilitation Academy.  How we support families to love and understand their unique child is critical, and we in early childhood education and pediatrics have an important role to advocate for children and families in our community, state, nation, and the world!

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10/31/16 I am thrilled to announce I am now working with WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies, with the Map to Inclusion and Belonging !



Reflecting on Routines– Building New Dreams in Natural Environments

Thank you for those who attended my presentation at the 2nd California Inclusion Collaborative State Conference. Being televised was a new experience for me. Here is my updated version.

Reflecting on RoutinesUPDATED 

I hope you find the links to the resources helpful . They have inspired my journey in working with families, and building opportunities to reflect on our important work. I hope creating your own “vision” was helpful to you, and supports your “action plan” as we build a more inclusive world. My vision is to create BELONGING, THROUGH INSPIRING HOPE, HEALTH AND GROWTH FOR FAMILIES AND THE PROFESSIONALS THAT SERVE THEM.

I mentioned the FOUR AGREEMENTS/LOS CUATRO ACUERDOS as one of my guides.

I would also like this opportunity to share a few other short videos (click on the images to watch), that highlight the value of our work, and will hopefully shape our nation’s policy in regards to family and early childhood. The first is “Brain Power”:

The 2nd is For Our Babies “The Social Womb”:

The last but not least is Raising of America


Reflecting on Challenging Behaviors in Young Children

Thank you to all that attended our workshop today. When you review the powerpoint CentralCoastEarlyChildhood you can click on any blue headings and they will link you to online resources and video. Here is the presentation in a PDF.  As we discussed check out the following sites to help your reflection:

MAP to Inclusive Child Care and Teaching Pyramid

Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning


Center for the Developing Child–Early Experiences 

Learn the Signs- Act Early

California Inclusion and Behavioral Consultation Network (CIBC)
Image result for Challenging BehaviorFor Our Babies: A Call for Better Beginnings

Please take the time to watch the “Social Womb” and support the FOR OUR BABIES, and RAISING OF AMERICA

Early Start in Santa Cruz County

Pediatric Grand Round Inservice on EarlyStart in Santa Cruz County




CA DDS Early Start Home 

AAP Medical Home and Early Intervention Best Practices

ECTA– Part C Eligibility

ECTA– Natural Environments

Transdisciplinary Early Intervention

Primary Coach Approach to Early Intervention

Routines-based Early Intervention


CDC Autism Screening

Revised MCHAT–Modified Check List for Autism in Toddlers

First Words Project

Infant-Toddler Checklist

DEC Early Intervention Practices



ECE 31 Child & Adolescent Growth & Development


This semester I will be teaching an Online HYBRID Section of ECE 31:


GETTING STARTED CHECKLIST (will include links to Canvas)


Link to our Child Development Text Companion Site

Link to Canvas Student Getting Started Guide

Link go Cabrillo Teaching and Learning Center


* COURSE MATERIALS (Supplemental–See Canvas for Up-to-date Hybrid Class Assignments and Materials)

 Tips for Reading Textbooks

On Course Self-Assessment


Read and Respond Templete  —

ECE 31.R&R

“Rubric” for Read and Responds


Pregnancy Interview Assignment  DRAFT

Interview techniques

Pregnancy Interview Evaluation sheet– Give copy to Dana

Observing children presentation (check for pdf)


Infant & Toddler Observation Instructions DRAFT

Observtn_form-IT copy

** Link to California Desired Results Resources   ** Infant/Toddler and Preschool DRDP forms can be uploaded from below

This “Childcare” site gives some ideas on how to observe young children


See above instructions

Observtn_form-IT copy

Infant Toddler Desired Results Profile  


Preschool Project DRAFT

Preschool Evaluation Checklist DRAFT


Preschool Desired Results Developmental Profile 


School Age Children observation assignment DRAFT


131-31_adolescent_project_SP13 DRAFT




Theories of Child Development article


TED: The Beautiful & Efficient Anatomy of Pregnancy


PBS Life’s Greatest Miracle

NOVA Anatomy of Childbirth


PBS Parent–Child Development

NPR The Baby Project


National Association for Education in Young Children (NAEYC)


Stay tuned…


PBS Frontline–The Teen Brain

The Child with Special Needs–ECE 146 Spring 2018

This Spring I am teaching ECE 146–The Child with Special Needs.

I will post class related items here:

Download the  ECE_146Spring18 Syllabus

The_Path_To_Inclusion_English 2011


Categories of Disability Under IDEA


ADA  Brochure_Spanish


TalkingWhenConcerned2007 (Map to Inclusive Childcare) pdf.

Adapting_ECE Curriculum Lecture ppt.


California Inclusion and Behavior Consultation (CIBC) Network

For More Information…These are additional resources not included in your syllabus

Inclusion Works– CDE Publication

* SPIN’s Resource Guide– Guide to Services and Supports for Children with Special Needs



* Wonderful explanation of understanding an audiogram,  and  hearing loss in children or adults


*  Important Information on Bullying and Children with Special Needs


* Circle of Inclusion Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Children with Challenging Behavior (L. Brault)



Understanding the concepts of multiple intelligences, learning styles and personality traits helps us to better understand our own strengths and challenges. images-1

Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences gives us some insight into the ways we interact with the world. Take this quiz to learn more about which of the nine “intelligences” best describes you. To learn more about Gardner and Multiple Intelligences visit his web site here. Edutopia also has a quiz to help you identify your learning style based on this theory.


Learning Style  based on Jung’s Theory of Personality is another way of looking at your unique personality style  and has evolved into the Myer’s Briggs Type Indicator. To learn more about these 16 distinctive personality types visit their site here.

PyschCentral has a variety of tests and quizzes including a personality quiz to help you better understand your individual differences, and to screen for possible mental health issues.

Have fun learning more about who your are and how you learn and engage the world.


Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma

Wild Iris Medical Education is now offering  an online continuing education course on Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma (PAHT) that I authored. This course includes comprehensive information on PAHT also known as Shaken-Baby Syndrome.

My hopes in writing this course were to highlight prevention strategies that support families with infant crying. Please check out some of the RESOURCES on infant crying, child trauma and child abuse prevention, and let me know if you have suggestions for other resources on this topic. crying-infant