Some Baldwin County preschoolers at the early learning center are learning empathy skills, with the help of Georgia College students for a behavioral study.
Erica Davis' son Christian is a participant.
"I worry a lot about his behavior in that how he wants all of the attention, so now I can sleep a lot later than normal because I'm not having to call the school and check on him every 2 hours," Davis said.
She says before empathy training, she was often at the school having to reprimand Christian for his behavior, but working with his emotional coach provides the one-on-one attention he needs, improving his behavior in his every day classroom.
Georgia College Professor Dr. Tsu-Ming Chiang heads up the program that works to teach basic social skills. Empathy, impulse control, and anger management.
"Either they're very withdrawn, they're not interacting with other kids," Chiang said. "So they have issues with peer relationships, so they have interpersonal relationships, so they tend to be excluded from their peers. Either they're too shy or non-verbal, or sometimes they're just too aggressive."
The toddlers are suggested for the program by their homeroom teachers and then their parents must approve.
The Georgia College students say it's a rewarding process watching children grow and progress.
Dr. Chiang says she wants to keep the program low-budget so that everything they do in the classroom can be done at home with the kids. She says they hope to make parent guides in the future to help continue kids' education at home.