Lessons from orphanages around the world: babies need interaction

Dr. Vonda Jump
Dr. Vonda Jump

CPD Research Scientist Vonda Jump spoke of her experiences and research in orphanages around the world as a presenter in USU’s Sunrise Sessions earlier this month. USU’s research website now has it available on podcast. It’s definitely worth a listen.

Here’s a quick summary:

Dr. Jump said her interest in infant massage began with her own daughter. “When I messaged her I felt like I was more in tune with her body and what was happening with her,” she said.

It later became the subject of her doctoral dissertation. Previous research had established that massage stimulates the Vagus nerve, which is involved in the body’s automatic systems. It also increases circulation and improves parent/child communication. Her dissertation showed that babies’ attachment to parents was more likely to be secure if massage was used.

That work led to her study on the effects of massage on babies in orphanages. After visiting several around the world, Jump said conditions can vary widely. Some have great services, other facilities literally made her cry. But in general, an orphanage is a money-sucking operation, and its workers are likely to be less-educated. Changes in how they operate should be low-cost, because budgets are tight.

Read more on the CPD blog.

CPD by the numbers

CPD staff members contributed to 36 refereed and 23 non-refereed publications in the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

A wrap-up of events from the CPD

a mom and her baby at the CPD picnic
Photos from the CPD picnic are available on our Facebook page.

Autism Day at Discovery Gateway:

The Center for Persons with Disabilities' Consumer Advocacy Council provided a grant that allowed children with autism spectrum disorder and their families to have a day together at Discovery Gateway in Salt Lake City on June 29.

The day allowed the parents of children with ASD to enjoy the museum in a worry-free environment.  Watch for more details on Autism Day on the CPD website.

Communicating disability's bigger picture:

During the CPD’s Brown Bag luncheon last week, Training and Development Specialist Jeff Sheen led a discussion that focused on finding and communicating a good response to the question: What is your job?

“This is bigger than your project,” he said. “This is bigger than your role in your project. You are an integral part in improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families.”

For more on the discussion, visit the CPD blog.

Activities at the Developmental Skills Laboratory:

Check out Heidi's Happenings for a wrap-up on spring activities at the DSL.

Employee recognitions:

More than 50 employees were recognized for their years of service at the CPD during the annual picnic.  For a complete list, go to the CPD Blog.


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