Conscious Discipline-Based Curriculum Awarded $550,000 in Funding to Rescue Neurodevelopment in Zika-Infected Babies in Grenada

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Grand Challenges Canada matches National Institute of Health grant to support Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation

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"With the NIH and Grand Challenges funding, we can provide intervention services as well. Intervention is a combination of Conscious Discipline and de-stigmatization around disabilities,” said Dr. Landon, a neuropsychologist who has been implementing Conscious Discipline in Grenada since 2009.

Since its discovery in 1947, the Zika virus has emerged as a public health threat and outbreaks have occurred in tropical and semi-tropical countries across the world. To help address this threat, Conscious Discipline announces that a team at WINDREF (Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation), including Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor Dr. Barbara Landon, received a $275,000 grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). The funding is to rescue neurodevelopment in babies infected with the Zika virus using a Conscious Discipline-based curriculum.

Dr. Landon, a neuropsychologist and professor of bioethics, has been implementing Conscious Discipline in Grenada since 2009. The nonprofit organization Grand Challenges Canada, which had previously funded WINDREF’s innovation Saving Brains Grenada, matched the NIH grant with an additional $275,000. Dr. Landon and her team will provide intervention services that utilize Conscious Discipline to work on attachment, attunement, joint attention, language development and motor skills with the babies.

NIH funding comes from the Eunice Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, under award number R21HD093551. The National Institute of Health, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency. The goal of NIH research is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose and treat disease and disability. The agency is the world’s largest public funder of biomedical research and is devoted to driving discovery that helps people live longer, healthier lives.

Grand Challenges Canada is a nonprofit organization funded by the Canadian government and other partners. One of Canada’s largest impact-first investors, the organization funds innovators in low-and middle-income countries and Canada. Grand Challenges Canada estimates that these “bold ideas with big impact” have the potential to save up to 1 million lives and improve up to 28 million lives by 2030.

“Before this new funding, we were researching (and still are) the epidemiology of the Zika virus: how many babies, how many moms, head/body measurement, neurodevelopment (vision, hearing, language, cognition, motor and social-emotional skills), blood draws, and EEGs. With the NIH and Grand Challenges funding, we can provide intervention services as well. Intervention is a combination of Conscious Discipline and de-stigmatization around disabilities,” says Dr. Landon.

This latest funding is just one of many Conscious Discipline successes in Grenada. 66 trained Conscious Discipline Paraprofessionals (CDPP) travel to homes weekly to work with parents of children under the age of two. A mobile resource unit called the Conscious Discipline Brain Bus also travels to communities monthly to provide further training and resources. Children from families who received Conscious Discipline training demonstrated improved cognition, and 100 percent of families who came to the bus said they benefitted and would recommend the program to others. Plans to implement Conscious Discipline in local schools and replicate this program in neighboring island nations are underway.

To learn more about Conscious Discipline, visit consciousdiscipline.com.

About Conscious Discipline
Conscious Discipline provides a comprehensive, trauma-informed social-emotional program that is based on current brain research, child development information and developmentally appropriate practices. All aspects of Conscious Discipline focus on creating a safe, connected environment for children to learn and practice the skills needed for healthy social, emotional and academic development. Conscious Discipline methodology is recognized by SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and it was named as a national model for character education by the Florida State Legislature. Research shows that Conscious Discipline decreases aggression, impulsivity and hyperactivity while creating a positive environment in the school or home. In schools, Conscious Discipline has been shown to decrease discipline referrals while increasing teaching time and academic achievement. Learn more at http://www.consciousdiscipline.com.

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Lauren West
Conscious Discipline
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