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Young supports children, families at Sunflowers Early Ed Center
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Shauna Young interacts with little Emma. Young is the new early childhood special education teacher at the Sunflower Diversified Services Early Education Center. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

                 In her new position at the Sunflower Early Education Center (EEC), Shauna Young is helping families discover the services that will best meet their children’s needs.

            Young is the new early childhood special education teacher at the EEC, 1312 Patton. The EEC is a non-profit facility that serves children age birth to 3 who demonstrate developmental delays and disabilities.

            “I have always enjoyed working with children of all ages but am especially excited to be interacting with infants and toddlers, and their parents,” said Young, who is originally from Great Bend. “My colleagues and I want to do everything we can to support them.”

            Young helps evaluate children in their homes or other natural settings to determine which Sunflower services would be appropriate. Evaluations reveal information about gross and fine motor skills; self-help skills; communication; cognitive skills; and social and social-emotional skills.

            A child may qualify for EEC services based on an evaluation’s findings or automatically, based on a diagnosis. Once a child is determined eligible for services, the EEC team works with the family to write a plan to serve the child and family.

Some services offered include early education, physical therapy and speech-language therapy.

            “Our highly educated staff offers these disciplines and works as a team to benefit the child,” Young commented. “We strive to provide the best possible services for the children and their families.

            “The first three years of life are crucial to physical and emotional development,” she continued. “Early intervention services address these issues and many of our children may not require special education services when they reach school age.”

            Young earned her elementary special education degree in 2001 at Emporia State University and received an endorsement in English as a Second Language in 2013.

            She currently is enrolled at Emporia State, working toward a master’s degree in early childhood special education.

            “I taught at the elementary level for several years,” Young said. “I then began working with adults who had traumatic brain injuries. But I missed working with young children and am so pleased to be at Sunflower’s EEC.”

            Heather Quillin, Sunflower children’s services coordinator, also is glad Young is on board.

            “Shauna came to us with experience as an educator who has worked with many children and families in this area,” Quillin said. “She has a desire to expand her impact in the community by working with infants and toddlers, and is eager to support families.

            “Shauna understands our mission is to enhance children’s learning and development,” Quillin added. “She is a great addition to the staff and we are so happy to have her here.”

            The EEC is part of the Kansas tiny-k network that provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and delays at no charge to families. Sunflower Diversified Services is a non-profit agency that serves children and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.