Connections Of the Lehigh Valley, LLC
Teaching the Whole Child
Connections was founded in 2006 by Shilpa Barrantes, M. Ed.
Connections was created to address the increase in developmental delays in children and the process in which children are diagnosed. Shilpa believes that it is essential to spend more time observing, listening, and reflecting on children's daily lives from at the age of birth. For proper identification of needs it is necessary to use the appropriate tools to assess a child's learning differences and implement specific strategies to address the deficits. She believes that we need to get away from labeling and diagnosing children before giving them opportunities to reveal their abilities. This approach takes time, one in which the current diagnosing process is done too quickly and in environments that do not support the child and their social emotional development. Shilpa brings a personal approach to the field. She has a daughter with central auditory processing delay, sensory integrative issues, ADHD, and a complex medical history that evolved with her vision of approaching each child based on their symptoms, not the symptoms of textbook cases. This experience has added to her expertise and knowledge in specific treatment approaches for children who possess similar developmental challenges.
Shilpa takes a collaborative and detailed approach when beginning to look at the specified development needs of a child. Teaching the whole child requires both medical and educational models to join together in order to effectively gain knowledge of the deficits and begin implementing referrals, therapeutic interventions, and strategies. Shilpa has treated children with speech, language, feeding, cognitive, and behavioral issues for over 15 years. She serves children with a wide range of needs, including: cognition, speech, motor skills, and social and emotional development. She also uses her education and experience in the early detection of language processing and sensory integrative delays as well as mental health deficits. She enjoys treating the whole child through a positive behavioral approach where she understands development of the child first and then applies strategies to address behavioral issues. Behaviors present themselves as a way to bring attention to a child's learning needs and differences.
She also develops Curriculum programs for ages birth to 5. She implements strategies in teaching the whole child through an enrichment program that crosses all areas of learning, social/emotional,cognitive, language and literacy, and play skills. Mapping, a classroom layout for effective learning, allows for the physical environment to support the learning needs of all types of learners, VAKT(visual,auditory,kinesthetic,and tactile). In addition, she develops and directs language related programs for children ages 5 to 12 years old.
Since founding Connections in 2006, Shilpa has consulted with parents in planning for their children's’ areas of need and approaching complex developmental differences. She has executed referrals to appropriate specialists and therapists. She has the background training from Partners in Policymaking to assist in advocating for children in their school, with school administrators, and leads with an approach to unify schools, teachers, and parents during the IEP and FBA process.
Shilpa served on the board of directors for Valley Youth House for three years where she served as a committee member and assisted in the development of new programs and initiated the development of prevention programs. Currently, she is a board member of the Beginning Over Foundation, focused on ending and preventing domestic violence. She has developed prevention programs for school districts and Children and Youth to “Educate Educators” on what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder looks like in the classroom.
Recently, Shilpa was offered membership into The National Association for Professional Women and was a keynote Speaker at Lehigh Valley Hospital where she spoke on Awareness of Social and Emotional Development in Infancy. She has implemented and developed an educational series for new parents on infant development in various obstetric practices in the Lehigh Valley.
Future Projects Include.....
Writing an article to be published in the Society for Research in Child Development on the topic of: Social Emotional Development/Foundation for Future Learning- A model to Prevent the need for Intervention.
Application to National Speaking Bureau’s