Valley high school STEM students competing in annual AT challenge

Southwest Human Development’s annual MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge presented by Nextiva Cares brings together Valley high school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), coding and robotics teams to troubleshoot and create “real world” solutions using Internet of Things (IoT) technology that helps improve the lives of young children...

Dr. Walter Gilliam visits Southwest Human Development to talk expulsion prevention

Dr. Walter Gilliam, associate professor of child psychiatry and psychology at Yale University, visited Phoenix earlier this month to keynote at the First Things First Early Childhood Summit and also hosted a question-and-answer session focused on preschool expulsion with Southwest Human Development staff.  Gilliam is the foremost expert in preschool expulsion,...

The importance of play during early childhood

Play is not just fun, it’s good for children! Adults might view play as a distraction from their jobs, chores and errands. Dictionaries even define play as activities of “leisure” or without “practical purpose.” Anyone who’s seen a group of rowdy 4-year-olds playing knows there’s nothing leisurely about play. But...

How to foster your child’s independence

Your child can become more confident in their abilities with the right guidance! A balance of encouragement, support and patience will go a long way in nurturing independence in your young child. Here are some ways you can help build their independence at each stage of development: Ages 0-2 As your baby...

Helping your child make friends

Parents want their kids to have friends! But learning how to make friends does not come naturally to young children, who are not always known for their social skills. Parents and caregivers can help children build friendships. Here are some tips: Arrange playdatesSee if preschool classmates or family friends are willing...

7-year-old boy with autism befriends seatmate on first solo airline flight

A story of compassion has been making the rounds on the internet this month, as an airline passenger showed kindness to a boy with autism traveling alone for the first time. Seven-year-old Landon Bjornson was flying solo from Las Vegas to Portland to visit his dad. Landon has high-functioning autism and...

Father’s Day celebrates not just dads, but moms and other caregivers, too

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the important role that dads play in their children's lives. For a long time, fathers were seen as “secondary” parents, while mothers stereotypically handled most nurturing and parenting duties. But parenting research and shifted gender expectations have led to a growing appreciation for...

Statement on the Passing of John Whiteman

The Educare Arizona, Southwest Human Development and Balsz School District families were saddened to learn about the passing of John Whiteman. John had an enormous impact on early childhood education in Arizona and on the well-being of children in our state as a whole. John was an advocate for ensuring...

Summer plans? There’s something fun out there for every family

Kids love the freedom of summer break — no school, no homework, more playtime! But all that energy coming back home can be stressful for parents. Don’t worry — there are plenty of fun, engaging activities you can do with your children this summer! Here are some of our favorites: Go...