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when i was pregnant with trip, we heard about a program called Parents As Teachers thru the public school system and signed up for it thru my labor/delivery class. the following was taken from their website:

The concept for Parents as Teachers was developed in the 1970s when Missouri educators noted that
children were beginning kindergarten with varying levels of learning readiness. Research showed that
greater family involvement in children’s learning is a critical link in the child’s development of academic
skills, including reading and writing. Early childhood professionals suggested that a program to help parents
understand their role in encouraging their child’s development right from birth could help prepare children
for school and life success. Such a program, available to all families, would help level the playing field for all

the program is free & is for parents with kids age 0-3 yrs. we have a parent educator who was assigned to us (who has an early childhood education degree as most of them do, but has decided not to teach while her children are young). she started coming to our house 4 times a year when trip was just 6 weeks old. she brings age appropriate games, activities, & books each time she comes. she gives us ideas of what we can work on with the kids & gives us handouts as to what they should be able to do at their age, why they do certain things, etc. there are also group meetings throughout the year, where they have fun themed activities at the early childhood center where you can come & let your kids play & learn new things. when trip was a baby, we went to an infant massage meeting. we’ve been to a “messy play” meeting where the kids got to play with things of all types of textures and most recently we went to a “garden” meeting. there are usually 25 families or so at each of them with tons of activities for them to do. at the garden one, they both got to make ladybug crafts, dig thru soil with shovels to find plastic bugs, see garden veggies up close with a magnifying glass, and plant marigold seeds in yogurt cups.

thru PAT, we also got assistance with trip’s stuttering. we talked about it a lot with melanie, our parent educator, and she assured us that a lot of kids go thru a period of stuttering between age 2 & 4 (because their minds are working/learning much faster than their mouth can speak their words), but most grow out of it on their own after a few months. after 6+ months of his speech dysfluency (the proper term), she recommended us getting him tested. thru the school system, speech therapists tested him & his dysfluency was bad enough that he qualified for speech therapy. we have been going to speech therapy once a week for just over a year (FOR FREE… well actually, they pay us mileage to bring him! they do this as an incentive for parents to get treatment before the kids get into school, or as early as possible. we’ve probably made about $270 or so this last year just for taking him to free speech therapy!!!) trip has now been stutter free for about 3 months, so they are officially dismissing him from the program this week (YEA!). without PAT, and our parent educator taking a real interest in our family, i don’t know what we would have done about getting trip the speech therapy he needed. PAT is a great program! i would recommend it to anyone who is pregnant or has kids under age 3.

below are some pics from the garden “meeting” we went to a few weeks ago.

t & q digging for plastic bugs

quinn looking at you up close!

trip checking out some real carrots

their ladybug crafts (the legs are actually tracings of their fingers)

planting marigold seeds in the yogurt cups they decorated

7 Responses to “PAT”

  1. Rachel

    I was actually certified in this program 2 years ago when I worked at a Teenage Parenting School-I worked with the children of the teenagers…I cannot say enough for this program. It is awesome and I agree-anyone who has kids under 3 should def. take advantage of this FREE program!!!

  2. Gram

    I love the program. I think both boys have learned a lot. Trip’s speech has improved a 100%. Thanks, PAT. I hope the marigold seeds will be a big success too!

  3. Brenda Rae

    man I wish we had it here, but it is only for low income families in Iowa. One more reason that the Willis’s should move back to STL!!! But wait I don’t have any kids under 3???

  4. Amber

    thats pretty cool.. i didnt know anything like that existed. I havent read your blog in a while.. the last one about your mom made me cry. how sweet mrs pp

  5. Mia

    What a great program. As pediatric therapist, I love that model and think it can help a lot of children and parents. Wish we had it here in CO!


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