Early Childhood Benefits of Early Intervention Helps children with disabilities Gains in cognitive, physical, language, and social skills Benefits families Helps families manage the child Reduces stress Benefits society Reduces need for institutional placement Reduces need for special education Saves money Early Childhood Learning Disabilities in Preschool Children PRECURSORS OF ACADEMIC FAILURE— DEFICITS IN THE FOLLOWING: • Communication and oral language skills • Phonological awareness • Rapid naming skills • Knowledge of the alphabet • Visual-motor integration • Fine- and gross-motor skills • Social skills Early Childhood Preschool Children: Ages 3-5 Preschoolers may have a developmental delay in one or more of the following areas: 1. Physical development 2. Cognitive development 3. Communication development 4. Social or emotional development 5. Adaptive development Early Childhood Legislation for Young Children with Disabilities The reauthorized Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) continues the early childhood special education policies and practices and incorporates the earlier early childhood laws (PL 99-457 and PL 102-119). There are two age groups of young children with disabilities identified in the legislation: (1) preschoolers, ages 3 through 5 (2) infants and toddlers, ages birth to 2. The provisions in the law are different for these two groups. Law for Preschoolers with Disabilities: •Each state must provide a free, appropriate, public education, along with related services, to all eligible children with disabilities ages 3 through 5. Early Childhood Infants and Toddlers: Birth through age 2 • The policies for infants and toddlers with disabilities, birth through age 2, are contained in Part C of IDEA-2004. Services for infants and toddlers with disabilities are not mandated, but Part C authorizes financial assistance to the states through state grants. • The family system is recognized as critical in the child's development. The teams must use an individualized family service plan (IFSP), which includes plans for the family as well as for the child. Early Childhood Legislation for Young Children with Disabilities Law Preschoolers Part B Mandatory Infants/Toddlers Part C Permissive Age 3 through 5 Birth through 2 Plan IEP or IFSP IFSP Legislation for Young Children Preschoolers Infants/Toddlers Lead Agency State education agency Agency appointed by governor Transition To general or special program To preschool program Orientation Developmental mental learning of child Family, parent/infant interaction Components of the Individualized Family Services Plan: Part C of PL 105-17 (IDEA) IFSP The IFSP must 1. Be based on a multidisciplinary assessment of the unique strengths and needs of the infant or toddler and identify the appropriate services to meet those needs IFSP The IFSP must 2. Include a family-directed assessment of the resources, priorities, and concerns of the family and identify the supports and services necessary to enhance the family’s capacity to meet the developmental needs of the infant or toddler IFSP The IFSP must 3. Be developed in writing by a multidisciplinary team that includes the infant or toddler’s parents IFSP The IFSP must also include 1. A statement of the child’s present levels of physical, cognitive, communication, social or emotional, and adaptive development, based on objective criteria 2. A statement of the family’s resources, priorities, and concerns relative to enhancing the development of the family’s infant or toddler IFSP The IFSP must also include 3. A statement of the major outcomes expected to be achieved for the infant or toddler and the family, and the criteria, procedures, and timelines used to determine the extent to which progress toward achieving the outcomes is being made and whether modifications or revisions of the outcomes or services are necessary IFSP The IFSP must also include 4. A statement of the specific early intervention services necessary to meet the unique needs of the infant or toddler and the family, including the frequency, intensity, and method of delivering services IFSP The IFSP must also include 5. A statement of the natural environments in which early intervention services shall be provided appropriately, including justification of the extent, if any, to which services will not be provided in the natural environment IFSP The IFSP must also include 6. The projected dates for initiation of services and anticipated duration of services 7. Identification of the service coordinator who will be responsible for implementing the plan and coordinating with other agencies and persons IFSP The IFSP must also include 8. The steps to be taken to support the toddler’s transition to preschool or other appropriate services Service Delivery Models The educational needs of young children with disabilities differ from those of their school-age counterparts. To meet the diverse needs of younger children, greater flexibility and variety in service delivery options are needed in a coordinated plan Advantages & Disadvantages of Programming Models Home-based Advantages Disadvantages Rapport with family is more easily established Parents who may lack skills are responsible for implementing much of the intervention Family routines are less likely to be disrupted Teachers spend potential planning and instructional time traveling from site to site Children are more at ease, less frightened in familiar surroundings No opportunity exists for peer interaction and socialization Materials can be designed to meet the needs of the natural setting Building and maintenance costs are unnecessary Center-based Advantages All primary and support services are housed in one location Teachers have more time for planning and instruction Situation promotes peer interaction and socialization Disadvantages Cost of providing facilities and range of services is high Center may need to provide transportation and bus aides, which increases cost Families may move and time may be lost in reorganizing bus routes or locating the family Combination Advantages Greater flexibility in delivering services is possible Same as with home- and center- based models Disadvantages Same as with home- and centerbased models Consultation Advantages More efficient use of staff time Disadvantages Parents are responsible for implementation of the intervention Imposes on parents to transport children Limited amount of service can be provided to child or family Stages of the Assessment Process 1. CHILD-FIND: Locate children. Increase public awareness. 2. SCREENING: Identify children who need further study. 3. DIAGNOSING: Determine extent of delay. Plan intervention. 4. EVALUATING: Measure progress. Plan for transition. Early Identification/Assessment Phases Child-Find This first phase refers to ways of finding young children with disabilities in the community. Emphasis is on making initial contact and increasing the public’s awareness of services. Preschool children are not usually in the public school system, and communities must therefore make a concerted effort to seek them out. Early Identification/Assessment Phases Screening This second phase attempts to identify children who need further study. Emphasis is on ways of quickly surveying many children to identify those who may need special services. Early Identification/Assessment Phases Diagnosing The third phase consists of determining the extent of developmental delay and devising an intervention program. The emphasis is on methods of comprehensively examining a child through formal and authentic measures to determine whether the child’s problems warrant special education services. Early Identification/Assessment Phases Evaluating The fourth phase concentrates on measuring progress, judging whether a child should remain in a special education program, and planning for transition. Early Childhood Categories of Risk Three categories of risk are: 1. Established Risk 2. Biological Risk 3. Environmental Risk Categories of Risk Established Risk: The established risk category includes children with an established diagnosis of developmental delay that results in disability or developmental delay. Categories of Risk Biological Risk: The biological risk category refers to children who have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay, such as a very low birth weight. Categories of Risk Environmental Risk: The environmental risk category includes children who are biologically sound but whose early life experiences have been so limiting that they impart a high probability for delayed development. Such experiences include parental substance abuse; significant family social disorganization; extreme poverty; parental intellectual impairment; disturbed parent-child interaction; low parental education; family isolation and lack of support; and a history of inadequate prenatal care, child abuse, or neglect. Early Childhood Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1991) recommends a set of guidelines for a curriculum for typical young children called developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). The Brain: Its Structure and Functions All human behavior is mediated by the brain and the central nervous system. The process of learning is one of the most important activities of the brain. The Brain The Cerebral Hemispheres The human brain is composed of two halves, the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere, which appear on casual inspection to be almost identical in construction and metabolism. Each cerebral hemisphere contains a frontal lobe, a temporal lobe, an occipital lobe, a parietal lobe, and a motor area. The motor area of each hemisphere controls the muscular activities of the opposite side of the body. The Brain Right Brain, Left Brain: Differences in Function Although the two halves of the brain appear almost identical in structure, they differ in function, and these differences appear very early in life. The Brain Left Hemisphere Reacts to and controls language-related activities. For more than 90 percent of adults, language function originates in the left hemisphere, regardless of whether the individual is left-handed, right-handed, or a combination of the two. Language is located in the left hemisphere in 98 percent of right-handed people and in a bout 71 percent of left-handed people The Brain Right Hemisphere Deals with nonverbal stimuli. Spatial perception, mathematics, music, directional orientation, time sequences, and body awareness are located in the right brain. The Brain Right Brain/ Left Brain This duality of the brain has led to speculation that some people tend to approach the environment in a “leftbrained” fashion whereas others use a “right-brained approach.” Left-brained individuals are strong in language and verbal skills while “right-brained” individuals have strengths in spatial, artistic, and mechanical skills. Concepts About Motor Learning • Human learning begins with motor learning • There is a natural sequence of developmental motor stages • Many areas of academic and cognitive performance are based on successful motor experiences Perception • Perception: refers to the cognitive ability of the individual to both recognize and integrate external stimuli. It is a process that occurs essentially in the brain. Perception is a learned skill, which implies that it can be taught. Perceptual- Motor Systems • Basic Rationale: Higher level mental processes for the most part develop out of and after adequate development of the motor system and the perceptual system. Auditory Perception • Auditory perception—interpreting what is heard • Phonological awareness • Auditory discrimination • Auditory memory • Auditory sequencing • Auditory blending Types of Auditory Discrimination • Auditory Memory: is the ability to store and recall what one has heard. For example, the student could be asked to do three activities, such as close the window, open the door, and place the book on the desk. Is the student able to store and retrieve through listening to such directions? Types of Auditory Discrimination • Auditory Sequencing: is the ability to remember the order of items in a sequential list. For example, the alphabet, numbers, and the months of the year are learned as an auditory sequence. • Auditory Blending: is the ability to blend single phonic elements or phonemes into a complete word. Students with such disabilities have difficulty blending, for example, the phonemes ma-n to form the word man. Visual Perception • • • • • • • • Visual perception—interpreting what is seen Visual discrimination Figure-Ground perception Visual closure Spatial relations Object-letter recognition Reversals Whole-part perception Visual Discrimination • Visual Discrimination refers to the ability to differentiate one object from another. In a preschool readiness test, for example, the child may be asked to find the rabbit with one ear in a row of rabbits with two ears. • The skill of matching identical letters, words, numbers, pictures, designs, and shapes is another visual discrimination task. Types of Visual Discrimination • Figure Ground Discrimination: refers to the ability to distinguish an object from its surrounding background. • Visual Closure: is a task that requires the individual to recognize or identify an object even though the total stimulus is not presented. For example, a competent reader is able to read a line of print when the top half of the print is covered. Types of Visual Discrimination • Spatial Relations: refers to the perception of the position of objects in space. In reading, for example, word must be perceived as separate entities surrounded by space. • Object and Letter Recognition: is the ability to recognize the nature of objects when viewing them. This includes recognition of alphabetic letters, numbers, words, geometric shapes (such as a square), and objects (such as a cat, a face, or a toy). Z 5 Theorists • Newell Kephart – Perceptual-Motor Training includes the use of (1) the walking board, (2) the balance board, (3) the trampoline, (4) angels in the snow, (5) a variety of stunts and games, and (6) certain rhythm activities. • Marianne Frostig – Developmental Test of Visual Perception • Jean Ayers – Sensory Integration Theory Language Forms and Integrated Language Core Listening Speaking Language Integrated Core Writing Reading Relationship to the Four Forms of Language Output or Expressive Skills Input or Receptive Skills Listening Reading Integrative Process Speaking Writing Theories of How Children Acquire Language Behavioral Theories • Behavioral theories contribute the explanation that language is learned through the environmental influences and behavioral principles that shape all kinds of learning. According to Skinner (1957), language is learned through imitation and reinforcement. The infant begins with no knowledge of language but gradually acquires language skills, largely through the reinforced imitation of the language models that are produced by language users in the child’s environment. Theories of How Children Acquire Language Innatist Theories • The innatist theories offer another explanation of language development, which is based on the biological foundations of language (Lennebert, 1967) and psycholinguistic views of language learning (Pinker, 1995; Chomsky, 1965). This explanation emphasizes that children are biologically predisposed to learn and use language and that human beings have developed an innate capacity for dealing with the linguistic universals common to all languages. Theories of How Children Acquire Language Cognitive Theories • Cognitive theories provide another view of language learning that highlights the linkages among language, thinking, and experiences proposed that a child (even an infant) begins with some prelinguistic thoughts or existing knowledge base and that the development of language and thinking are independent. Further language development requires interpersonal and social experiences. Piaget (1970) theorized that language is acquired as the child takes in (assimilates) the language in the environment and then modifies (accommodates) it with his or her own thoughts and knowledge. Linguistic Systems • Phonology: phonemes (sound units) • Morphology: morphemes (meaning units) • Syntax: grammar (sentence structure) • Semantics: word meaning (vocabulary) • Pragmatics: social side of language (intonation) Linguistic Systems • Phonology: is the system of speech sounds in a language. The smallest unit of sound is a phoneme. For example, the word cat contains three phonemes: k - a - t. • Morphology: is the system of meaning units in a language. The smallest unit of meaning is a morpheme. In standard English, for example, the word boy is one morpheme or meaning unit; and the word boys contains two morphemes or meaning units. Linguistic Systems • Syntax: refers to the grammar system of languagethe way the words are strung together to form sentences. In the English language (unlike some other languages), word order is extremely important to convey meaning. • Semantics: refers to word meaning in language. Pupils who have meager vocabulary understanding or usage and those who have difficulty relating a string of words to a meaningful association may have a semantic language disorder. Linguistic Systems • Pragmatics: is the social side of language, dealing with the relationship between the speaker and the context. • The poor ability of students with learning disabilities to interpret, infer, compare, and respond to the language of others may be the cause of many of their social difficulties. Students with learning disabilities often have more difficulty in the social use of language, are less effective in their communication attempts, and do poorly in the listening role of a conversation, interrupting the speaker more frequently in order to insert their own ideas in the conversation. Listening • Listening is an often neglected element of language learning. Students are typically expected to acquire the ability to listen without special instruction. However, many students do not acquire functional skills in listening by themselves. Over half the people referred to medical hearing specialists for suspected deafness have no defect in hearing acuity and no organic pathology that would cause their seeming hearing impairment. Language Disorders • A language disorder differs from a speech disorder. Speech disorders are abnormalities of speech, such as articulation difficulties (for example, the child cannot pronounce the r sound), Voice disorders (for example, a very hoarse voice), or fluency difficulties (stuttering). Language disorders are much broader, encompassing disorders of the entire spectrum of communication and verbal behavior, including such problems as delayed speech; disorders of vocabulary, word meanings, or concept formations, the misapplication of grammatical rules and syntax, and poor language comprehension. Language Disorders Expressive Language Disorders • The process of producing spoken language is called oral expressive language, and a disorder in this process is called expressive aphasia. Children with this disorder depend on pointing and gesturing to make their wants known. Children with oral expressive language disorders can understand speech and language produced by others, they do not have a muscular paralysis that prevents them from talking, and they do well on nonverbal tasks. Yet these children have difficulty in producing speech or in talking. Nonstandard English • A language difference, in contrast to a language disorder, can also affect school learning. For example, the student's language may be a dialect of standard English, such as an Appalachian dialect or Black English. The student's language is similar to that of others in the students immediate environment, is appropriate for the surroundings, and causes no difficulty in communicating with others within this environment. These students do not have a language disorder, but their language difference can interfere with understanding and using standard English and with school learning.