Armed with information and counsel from Dr. Gaskill, Talitha Koum’s leadership began working to create a method that can be used in a group care setting with young children. TKI’s director and clinical director collaborated with Ms. Carol Salvesen, an Occupational Therapist and one of Talitha Koum’s founders, to develop what Dr. Gaskill referred to as a “Neurologically Sensitive, Developmentally Appropriate” approach to working with young children.
This groundbreaking work eventually led to TKI hosting a day-long symposium titled, “The Biggest Bang: Guiding Explosive Early Brain Growth,” which was attended by nearly 300 people from local school districts, with the majority coming from Waco Independent School District. The symposium was made possible through a grant from Waco Foundation.
In 2010, TKI initiated a study that was funded by the Still Water Foundation of Austin. Dr. Benedict served as the principle investigator along with doctoral students from Baylor University’s Clinical Psychology Department. One of the major findings of the study is that “the school aged Talitha Koum children showed better aggression and anger control than the control group as well as overall better scores on the Behavioral Symptoms Index.” This goes directly to TKI’s intense repetitive work in teaching conflict resolution and securing each child in the ability to self-regulate, a brain development initiative. As compared to the control group, the school-aged children from TKI’s launch also had: