Chelsea Alexander will become a familiar face to many local and area families that have children with developmental delays. As the new early childhood special education teacher at Sunflower’s Early Education Center, she is visiting family homes and sharing her expertise.
“We work directly with parents and their child who has special needs or a developmental delay,” Alexander said. “The first goal is to discover what is most important to parents.”
Alexander helps children with motor skills, speech, cognitive abilities, social-emotional concerns and self-help skills.
“Whatever the issue, we can help families reach their goals,” Alexander said. “It is extremely important that parents contact us with any of these concerns. Early intervention is the key to helping a child overcome or alleviate a development delay.
“If parents wait, their child could be far behind others when kindergarten starts,” the teacher cautioned. “We can help them to be better prepared for the transition into preschool and then kindergarten.”
Most of Alexander’s day is spent in private homes, but if a child is at a day care center, she will go there.
“We want to interact with children in their natural, day-to-day environment,” she explained.
Alexander is a 2013 graduate of Fort Hays State University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood unified. She said her love of children was reinforced during her internship at the Hays Area Children’s Center.
“I wanted to use my love for the little ones here at Sunflower’s Early Ed Center,” she commented. “We offer vital services for children between birth and 3. Everyone here is professional and compassionate, and I immediately felt like part of the team.”
Cathy Estes, Sunflower children’s services coordinator, said Alexander is a welcome addition to the staff.
“It is obvious that Chelsea cares about the youngsters and their families,” Estes said. “She collaborates well with our team, which includes two physical therapists, two speech-language pathologists, two other early childhood special education teachers and a bilingual early intervention specialist.
“In some cases,” she noted, “a teacher needs help from these therapists and vice versa. Chelsea is very helpful to parents too and creative in adapting early intervention to their family needs and environment. It is gratifying to know we can count on her to work with her colleagues to find the best services for families.”
The Early Ed Center, 1312 Patton in Great Bend, is part of the 37-member tiny-k network in Kansas. The center is a non-profit entity and all its services are free.
For more information, call 620-792-4087.