Children growing up in poverty face many challenges to academic success. Yet their potential to learn and achieve is great.
In my work, I noted that when their communication skills got better, so did their ability to regulate. They were able to listen better, sit still longer and cope with frustration. The relationship that I saw between self-regulation and communication intrigued me. I wanted to fully understand it so that I could use my expertise as a communication specialist to help children develop self-regulation. When I returned to school to seek a Ph.D., I found that my observations were confirmed by the research I conducted. Three to five-year-old children at social risk with strong expressive communication skills more often followed their preschool teachers’ directions and had fewer behavior problems in the classroom. In my work consulting and training, I provide practical communication strategies to help young children at social risk to develop self-regulation.