This article presents a framework for future research and program development designed to support children's peer-related social competence. Intervention research is examined within a historical perspective culminating with a discussion of contemporary translational approaches capable of integrating models of normative development, developmental models of risk and disability, and intervention science.
Early behavioral intervention, based on the methods of applied behavior analysis, has the strongest and most consistent scientific support as a means of teaching skills to young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and reducing their restricted and maladaptive behavior. Though individual ABA-based treatment plans are usually developed, designed and supervised by a senior-level clinician, they are most often implemented by a practitioner, such as a parent, direct service provider, aide, or an early childhood professional from a related discipline. Unfortunately, few practitioner-orientated training programs are available to geographically disparate persons. Online distance-learning education offers a potential solution to this problem. Fifty-one individuals participated in an initial study of a short, three-module online course. The results showed a highly statistically significant difference between the mean pre-test and post-test score. The outcomes suggest the feasibility and user satisfaction of teaching BI knowledge acquisition online, and thus bolster confidence that future, larger-scale curricula aimed at teaching BI in a distance-learning format is warranted.
Early identification and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children younger than age 3 years is becoming an increasingly common area of concern and study. Research suggests that systematic, early intervention can significantly improve outcomes and reduce the cost of caring for children with ASD through the lifespan. Therefore, it is imperative that evidence-based practices (EBPs) for this young age group are translated effectively into community settings. One method of promoting EBPs and developing capacity for implementation is active collaboration between researchers and community stakeholders. This requires a precise understanding of the perspectives of stakeholders regarding the benefits and barriers of specific practices and early intervention in general. In the current study, we gathered feedback from families and a multidisciplinary group of community providers regarding early intervention values for infants/toddlers at risk for ASD and their families through focus groups. The opinions and values of the community sample were examined using mixed qualitative and quantitative methods to facilitate efforts to build long-term capacity for implementing efficacious ASD intervention for children younger than 3 years. Results indicated that, the values of community providers and parents were highly similar and were aligned with EBP strategies. Recommendations for translating EBPs for this population into community settings are discussed.
As a result of increasing numbers of young children with special health care needs being served under Part H programs, early Intervention professionals are being confronted with requests to implement Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders. This article reviews the legal Issues raised when parents or guardians request that their child's order be implemented by program staff. Because there is no definitive legal guidance on implementing DNR orders in community settings, the authors call for open discussion of the issue and the development of clear policy. Divergent viewpoints are explored, and recommendations for administrative procedures are provided. (C)1995Aspen Publishers, Inc.
A systems perspective is put forward designed to place the many diverse conceptual and practice approaches and accomplishments in the early intervention field within a common framework. Complex reciprocal patterns of influence are described emphasizing risk and protective factors operating at 3 levels: child social and cognitive competence, family patterns of interaction, and family resources. It is argued that this framework can provide an understanding with respect to why early intervention works when it does as well as establish a new assessment and intervention approach firmly grounded in developmental science.
High-quality parent-infant interaction has been linked to resilient outcomes characterized by secure infant attachments and infant and child cognitive and social-emotional development. The purpose of this article is to show that high-quality parent-infant interaction is important in the promotion of child resiliency, and ought to be promoted in family-centered early intervention. Research is reviewed that shows the relationship between high-quality parent-infant interaction and resilient outcomes. Potent risk factors that threaten the quality of parent-infant interaction and thus resiliency in infants and young children are also reviewed. Finally, clinical guidelines for assessing and intervening to promote parent-infant interaction are suggested.
Measuring parent satisfaction with services is essential in the evaluation of early intervention programs. However, there is a paucity of satisfaction measures specifically developed for this purpose, and the psychometric properties of existing measures have not been widely examined. The aim of this study was to further investigate the internal consistency of 1 such measure, the European Parent Satisfaction Scale about Early Intervention (EPASSEI). A slightly modified version of the EPASSEI was completed by 112 carers (mainly mothers) of children with physical disabilities receiving early intervention services in Queensland, Australia. Internal consistency of the measure was examined using the Cronbach α. Internal consistency among items was very high (the Cronbach α = .98), with little evidence of item redundancy. Individual subscales were also shown to have a high degree of internal consistency and internal consistency was similar across the 3 service provider organizations participating in this study. The present study examined the internal consistency of an instrument measuring parent satisfaction with early intervention services. While additional examination of the validity of the measure is required, this study lends further support to the use of this measure in evaluating early intervention services for children with physical disabilities.
This article presents a description of a university-based Pediatric Oral-Motor Feeding Clinic established in response to concerns from parents in the local community regarding accessibility of resources and expertise in the area of pediatric feeding disorders. We outline how one group of professionals in a rural area, with limited resources, organized the interdisciplinary feeding clinic and discussed the process of creating the clinic, the administrative and personnel considerations, and training issues. The feeding clinic follows a model of interdisciplinary assessment, and culturally competent, family-centered, community-based practice and training. The development of this Clinic-facilitated care to community families who otherwise would have to travel more than 80 miles for an evaluation. The clinic team includes a developmental pediatrician, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a psychologist, a registered dietitian, and a speech-language pathologist. Families are the center of the evaluation. In addition to the formation of a clinic, changes in university curriculum in the departments Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education and Psychology have ensued. Involvement in the USU Feeding Clinic prepares students from a variety of disciplines to work with children who have oral-motor/sensory feeding difficulties.
Parents of young children with special needs are thrust into the world of disability-a life experience with many strong emotional responses and challenges. Parent to Parent programs provide emotional and informational support to parents of children with special needs by matching a trained veteran parent in a one-to-one relationship with a parent newly referred to the program. This article reports the results of a national survey of veteran and referred parents participating in Parent to Parent programs and discusses how Parent to Parent support is an important part of comprehensive family-centered services for parents and providers. (C)1995Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Parent to Parent programs facilitate connections between parents who have young children with special needs by carefully matching an experienced parent in a one-to-one relationship with a parent newly referred to the program. Using national survey results, this article examines the preferences referred parents have for various kinds of emotional and informational supports provided through Parent to Parent programs and the impact of the child's age and severity of disability on parental preferences. Parents preferred a wide range of supports, with the child's age and severity of disability contributing to differences in their preferences. Supports to families must, therefore, be individualized and responsive to child and family characteristics (C)1996Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Providing a transdisciplinary early intervention program in natural environments through relationship-based services traverses a fluid and dynamic course. During the first phase of this process, programs integrate natural environment principles into service delivery. As this is accomplished, new responsibilities emerge through recognition that relationships exist beyond daily interactions with infants, toddlers, and their families. Identifying and exploring these relationships enables providers to support the new level of service delivery required in everyday routines, relationships, activities, places, and partnerships. From living room floors to over-crowded bedrooms to parks and play groups, early intervention professionals do an “improvisational dance” with families and with each other to form meaningful learning interactions. Occupational, speech and physical therapists, early educators, mental health providers, and other specialists depend on their mutual relationships to bring coordination and creativity to the dance. They look beyond barriers and find possibilities for intervention in everyday routines, relationships, activities, places, and partnerships. Eventually they discover the deeper implications of teamwork in natural environments and the new challenges to overcome. This transition is part of the ongoing process of relationship-based, family-centered early intervention.
: This article addresses the usefulness of the term natural environment. An analysis of the literature suggests that it is a code word for inclusion and that placement in inclusive settings supersedes other considerations. An alternative is offered in which the delivery of specialized and individualized services consistent with family needs and values is of first-order importance. Further, it is argued that the use of authentic intervention activities will produce better outcomes for children and families than focusing on placements that must include chronologically aged peers. (C)2001Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Scabies and lice cause bothersome symptoms among millions of children each year. This article outlines the epidemiology of these infestations, the biology of the parasites, and the clinical clues for suspecting these diseases. Early diagnosis and institution of appropriate treatment will cure these infestations and prevent spread to others. (C)1992Aspen Publishers, Inc.
This article discusses a new approach to knowledge translation using Web 2.0 technologies in an online Community of Practice (CoP). The purpose of the CoP is to promote wisdom-based action, a process that encourages people to engage with knowledge, match it to their own values, vision, and contexts, make a well-informed decision, and act on that decision. We use our own Early Childhood Family Support CoP as a case study.
Practitioner research has the potential to facilitate the ongoing knowledge and skill development of preservice and in-service early childhood education and care teachers. The purpose of this systematic literature review is to describe the landscape of practitioner research conducted in the United States. This study synthesizes more than 20 years of practitioner research conducted by practitioners in the "birth to five" context. Critical components that help understand (a) who engages in practitioner research, (b) under what structural conditions practitioner research occurs, and (c) how practitioner researchers actively query their context and collect and analyze data are described. Following the review of the literature, a summary of what is known and implications for expanded understanding are discussed.
This article presents a pilot study of the 3M Preschool Routines Functioning Scale (3M) with Spanish children. Twenty teachers and 285 children, from 6 early childhood education centers in Valencia, Spain, participated. The teachers completed one 3M scale on each child in their classrooms. We studied the internal consistency of the scores of the scale items, the factor structure, and the sensitivity of the scale to identify differences on children's functioning level in relationship to their age. The 3M produced scores with strong internal consistency and an exploratory factor analysis resulted in 4 factors: Sophisticated Engagement, Personal-Social, Average Engagement, and Independence. The 3M total score had strong internal consistency, and the strong correlations among the factors and with the 3M total score suggested that the scale measured 1 dimension of child functioning, which we identified as participation.
Marketing research provides important ideas for those involved in planning and carrying out public awareness promotion efforts to early intervention. However, successful efforts depend on an understanding of the complexity of social marketing and on finding ways to approximate scientific methodology in the planning and evaluation of promotion efforts with often-limited resources. (C)1990Aspen Publishers, Inc.
This article provides a brief background on information and referral (I & R); and describes a model information and referral system for people with special needs and its application under Public Law 99-457, Part H. In addition, the paper offers a brief discussion of the issues related to implementing the central directory requirement of this legislation. The multitude of services available and the complexities of these services make it very difficult for an individual or service provider to be aware of all the specialized community services. The system described provides a model that blends features such as toll-free access, trained information specialists, and a computer database offering benefits to families, professionals, and planners (C)1990Aspen Publishers, Inc.
The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe early childhood special education service providers' perceptions of the use of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) in their preschool classrooms as a result of participation in MELD (Multimodal Early Language Development) AAC professional development. MELD is a multicounty project that provides professional development to support service providers to meet the needs of preschool children with complex communication needs. Results indicate, in general, that the service providers felt the professional development met their individual needs to be successful in embedding the use of AAC in each of their preschool special education classrooms. The study extends past research about the components needed in effective early childhood professional development that results in teacher implementation of new instructional strategies to include the use of AAC strategies and adds new information about the context that may be needed. That context includes a positive and supportive relationship between coaches and service providers and a recognition of positive changes in the behavior of children by service providers. Implications for providing professional development and for future research are discussed.
The policy innovations of Public Law 99-457 call for dramatic changes in early intervention services for the families of handicapped and "at-risk" infants and toddlers throughout this country within the next several years. A conceptual framework that can integrate the positive aspects of the child-centered approach with the new family-centered approach is needed. The Double ABCX Model of Family Adaptation is presented as a mulcidisciplinary, integrated approach for use in PL 99-457 service provision. (C)1992Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate movement difficulties in addition to problems with social communication and interactions, and repetitive or restrictive behaviors. The goal of early intervention for children with disabilities is to promote participation in routines and activities, but little is known about the role gross motor abilities contribute to participation for young children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between gross motor abilities and participation in preschool-aged children with ASD. Twenty-two children with ASD participated in the study. Gross motor skills were measured using the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, Second Edition. Participation was measured using the Preschool Activity Card Sort. Children who had greater gross motor skills also demonstrated greater participation in self-care, high demand leisure, and social interaction activities. Results also identified activities that may be difficult for preschoolers with ASD. Findings suggest that early childhood intervention providers consider the impact of gross motor deficits within the context of participation in daily routines and activities.
Communication deficits are frequently associated with externalizing behavior problems in preschoolers but, in most cases, unsuspected in clinical practice. This exploratory study evaluated the effectiveness of a relatively brief parent-implemented language intervention on preschoolers at risk for behavior problems. Participants were randomly allocated either to an experimental group (n = 16) or to an untreated control group (n = 16). An intervention of eight group sessions, aiming at enhancing parent verbal responsiveness and communication strategies, was implemented over 2 months. Results showed that this intervention created several improvements such as an enhancement of parental responsiveness and a trend toward increased child referential communication abilities and decreased child behavior problems. These effects persisted 6 months after the intervention. Despite some limitations and the need for a replication of these results, the findings highlight the importance of preventive interventions on parent-child communication and interactions in supporting the communication needs of children with externalizing behavior difficulties.
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare genetic syndrome that confers risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Delays in social communication and early cognitive abilities are observable as early as 9 months of age in children with TSC; however, there have been no studies of early behavioral intervention in TSC. We conducted a pilot study of an evidence-based, parent-mediated behavioral intervention focused on improving early social communication and play skills in 5 children with TSC (aged 1–3 years). Participants showed maintenance and sometimes gains in developmental abilities, relative to peers, following intervention. Parents generally found the intervention to be helpful and were able to administer the intervention with fidelity. Preliminary results demonstrate initial feasibility of an early play-based, parent-mediated intervention and support the need for a large-scale, randomized clinical trial in TSC.
Mixed methods were used to study the impact of the Project Approach, a curriculum component that can engage and motivate children to participate in learning activities, on the play behaviors and language development of preschoolers. Participants included 4 children with disabilities and 4 children identified as at-risk. Six adults received support to implement the Project Approach. Choice time was videotaped over 14 weeks to assess the impact of the Project Approach on play levels and MLUm. Results showed that play behavior and language development were positively affected following implementation of the Project Approach. In addition, adults perceived the Project Approach as having a positive impact on children's vocabulary development and play behavior. Limitations and suggestions for research and practice are discussed.
Approximately 2.7 million cases of child abuse are reported each year, 20% of which are cases of sexual abuse. This is probably a minimum estimate because many cases, particularly those involving intrafamilial abuse, go unreported. Identification of sexual abuse depends upon a high index of suspicion. Occasionally a child spontaneously discloses the abuse. Others, especially young children, may manifest specific behaviors indicative of abuse, such as sexual acting-out, or less specific behaviors suggesting psychologic stress. Only a small proportion of children have genital findings or sexually transmitted diseases indicating sexual contact. The evaluation of such cases requires special skills of a number of professionals who understand the legal, social, psychologic, and medical ramifications of this information. (C)1992Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Issues related to diagnosis and treatment of young children, preschool to latency age, who have been sexually abused, are discussed. An effort has been made to incorporate a developmental perspective and to highlight problems relevant to decisions about interventions. Case material is used to illustrate points made in the article. In recent years, much attention has been given to the problem of child sexual abuse. Accounts of adult survivors are a major source of information about this problem. There is no doubt about the importance of this source. However, the anecdotal nature of this information calls for caution when decisions about interventions are to be made. Disciplined research in this area is needed. (C)1993Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Intervention services positively impact outcomes of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. However, families face many burdens when accessing high-quality intervention services such as availability of providers, time, and cost; these burdens are often magnified for underserved families. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the acceptability (n = 17) and cost-effectiveness (n = 18) of a 12-week telehealth intervention among families of young children with ASD. To understand the acceptability of the intervention, caregivers completed a questionnaire about the process and content of the intervention. We then used descriptive statistics to calculate estimated cost differences between a Clinic-based Model, an In-Home Model, and a Telehealth Model. Results suggest that families found the intervention highly acceptable and effective, and telehealth would result in exponential savings for both families and providers. Telehealth provides a promising method for serving an increased number of families, particularly those in underserved and rural areas.
Low-risk infants discharged from a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can include infants whose stay was due to late-Term prematurity, suspicion of sepsis, breathing issues, and/or feeding challenges. This study aimed to identify the degree to which sociodemographic and medical factors contribute to low-risk NICU graduates being accepted into Part C early intervention services. Family sociodemographic and child medical factors were examined for 3,826 low-risk graduates of NICUs in 1 Midwestern state. These NICU graduates were compared with the general population of children birth to age 3 years in the state for rates of enrollment in Part C programs. Low-risk NICU graduates had significantly higher early intervention acceptance rates than children in the general population. Neonatal intensive care unit graduates residing in an urban area were more likely to be accepted into early intervention services than those residing in a rural area. The length of NICU stay also predicted acceptance into services; the likelihood of acceptance into early intervention programs increased for each additional day a child stayed in the NICU. Low-risk NICU graduates should be monitored routinely after discharge for developmental delays and the need for referral to Part C early intervention programs any time in the children's first 3 years of life.
The Part H program is a coordinated system of early intervention for children with disabilities from birth to age 3 and their families. The Minnesota Part H admission rate in 1995 was approximately 13.5 per thousand. There is a wide variation in individual county rates, which may imply access issues. Our findings show that the variation of rates was not due to chance alone, and a lower rate in a county was correlated with a lower percentage of abnormal conditions at birth, a higher percentage of African-American children birth to 3 years, being in rural areas, and not participating in a collaborative tracking program. This implies counties have various degrees of success in identifying children for Part H. An idea of using the Part H dollars to develop a comprehensive identification and evaluation system is discussed (C)1999Aspen Publishers, Inc.
This review addresses the question of how early access to sign language influences the development of deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) by examining the literature surrounding the topic across the domains of spoken/written language development, cognitive development, and sociocultural development. Although research in the realm of language development is mixed, there appear to be few potential detriments to sign language access that may not be mediated by other aspects, such as age of implantation. Early sign language access, furthermore, shows potential to prevent developmental delays in general as well as specific cognitive functioning, and the current article speculates that claiming a Deaf identity (to which sign language is vital) may act as a protective factor against the stress of stigma surrounding hearing loss. Based on the relative insufficiency of current research to offer undisputable long-term concerns regarding the impact of sign language on development, as well as the existing evidence that suggests that early access to sign language may act as a protective factor against delays in multiple developmental domains, this review concludes that the potential benefits of allowing deaf children with CIs early and comprehensive access to sign language outweigh any possible risks.
Recommendations for achieving integration into the mainstream community for infants and toddlers with special needs based on experiences in a large early intervention program are presented. These recommendations include making a philosophic commitment to integration, broadening early intervention program options to include regular community services while re-examining existing program options with the commitment to integration in mind, shifting the roles of early interventionists from primary service providers to consultants when working with families as well as with community programs, and providing information and support to families to facilitate their central role in their child's life. (C)1992Aspen Publishers, Inc.
The Early Childhood Personnel Center (ECPC) was funded by the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education to provide technical assistance to State Systems of Early Childhood Intervention and Institutions of Higher Education on issues related to personnel development. One initiative of the ECPC has been to collaborate with professional organizations to identify core cross-disciplinary competencies for all personnel serving infants and young children aged birth through 5 years with disabilities and their families. Seven national organizations representing disciplines providing services in early childhood intervention have been participating in this initiative: the American Occupational Therapy Association; the American Physical Therapy Association; the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; the Council for Exceptional Children and the Division for Early Childhood; the National Association for the Education of Young Children; and Zero to Three. Alignments of personnel standards, practice guidelines, and competencies yielded 4 areas of competence that are common across service providers serving infants and young children with disabilities and their families. These are: Collaboration and Coordination; Family-Centered Practice; Evidence-Based Practice; and Professionalism.
This study investigates the use of a situated coaching protocol in Early Head Start (EHS) classrooms to increase teachers' use of communication facilitation strategies with children identified with delays during typical play and caregiving routines. A single-case, multiple baseline design across 3 EHS teachers and children with communication delays was used to examine the effectiveness of coaching on teacher strategy use and child outcomes. A situated coaching approach that included directly teaching naturalistic communication strategies, demonstrating, observing, offering feedback, and facilitating teacher reflection, was implemented with fidelity in the classroom. The teachers increased their use of the communication facilitation strategies in both types of routines, although rates of implementation were higher in play than in caregiving activities. The child participants increased their rates of communication during the 6-week intervention. Teachers maintained strategy use in a follow-up 3 months after the study.
The unexpected delivery of an infant with Down syndrome challenges families to call on adaptive strengths rarely needed in other situations. During this time when families are most deeply affected, professionals are also experiencing acute emotional responses. This article describes a process, adapted from the Family Administered Neonatal Activities (FANA), to support mothers and fathers during the immediate postpartum period. The process combines emotional support with the opportunity for parents to engage in an exploration of their infant's behavior. The professional role and parental responses are described for this hospital-based approach to family support (C)1992Aspen Publishers, Inc.
Embedded learning opportunities are one evidence-based practice for addressing individualized education program goals for young children with special needs. In this study, we used quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze 8 early childhood special education teachers' use of embedded learning opportunities during the usual conditions of typical classroom activities. We analyzed video-recorded 10-min segments of adult-directed, child-directed, and routine activities for each teacher's use of embedded learning opportunities to address their children's individualized education plan goals. In addition, we gathered qualitative data on teachers' perceptions, barriers, and needed supports regarding embedded learning opportunities. Teachers used embedded learning opportunities infrequently, but there was significant variation among teachers. Teachers used verbal antecedents (e.g., directives, questions, and models) most frequently and were most likely to address children's communication goals. There were no differences in the rate of teachers' use of embedded learning opportunities across activity types. Teachers reported needing supports such as training and additional staff to implement embedded learning opportunities. Implications for teacher training and research are discussed.
This study examined the relationship between parents' perspectives of early childhood special education (ECSE) and their engagement in everyday learning activities with kindergarten performance of children with disabilities in one Midwestern state. Findings show that although parents' perspective of ECSE and their engagement in everyday learning activities significantly predicted children's academic and social-behavioral skills, the strength of the relationships were limited. Engagement in everyday learning activities accounted for 4% of the variance in academic and social-behavioral skills. Parents' perspectives of ECSE also accounted for 4% of the variance in academic skills. Parents' perspective of ECSE was more strongly associated with children's social-behavioral skills and accounted for 9% of the variance in social-behavioral scores. Implications for policy and practice are discussed. Copyright
The most important adaptation task that all families must undertake is the construction of a sustainable, meaningful, and congruent daily routine of family life (R. Gallimore, T. Weisner, L. Bernheimer, D. Guthrie, & K. Nihira, 1993). The aim of this mixed-method study was to understand, from the perspective of parents, how families adapt their family routines to rearing a 3- to 5-year-old child with intellectual or developmental disabilities to guarantee a sustainable family routine. Accordingly, this study focused on accommodations—changes that parents make or do not make because of the child's disabilities; ecological and cultural elements explaining why parents make or do not make a specific accommodation; and the sustainability of the family routine. Eighteen families with a preschooler who attended an early intervention center in Catalonia, Spain, participated in interviews and completed a series of questionnaires. The main instrument used was the Ecocultural Family Interview adapted for the Catalonian context. Results show the importance of different cultural and ecological elements in the family's accommodation processes, such as parents' jobs, services for the child, perceived support, information, and—especially—the need for professionals (and researchers) to understand family adaptation in terms of the importance of building a sustainable family routine.
Many aspects may interfere with siblings' adaptation when an infant is born prematurely and hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). During this critical period, siblings may have sudden change of behaviors if their needs are not adequately met. Parents and neonatal nurses are often unaware of the importance of supporting siblings in the NICU. In this narrative review, siblings' needs and interventions to support them in the NICU will be synthesized and discussed. A total of 14 articles were reviewed to better understand siblings' needs and discuss findings related to interventions supporting siblings' adaptation in the NICU. Further studies should be conducted with validated and reliable evaluation tools to validate these findings. Overall, interventions for siblings in the NICU appear to be beneficial for siblings and their parents.
Adapting traditional paper–pencil instruments to computer-based environments has received considerable attention from the research community due to the possible administration mode effects on obtained measures. When differences due to mode of completion (i.e., paper–pencil, computer-based) are present, threats to measurement validity are posed. In this research, administration mode effects of web-based and conventional paper–pencil versions of a parent-completed developmental questionnaire, the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), were estimated. Setting this study apart from similar studies reported in the literature, the ASQ requires parents to observe and rate their children's behavior. Most measures adapted for web-based administration are not observational. Using item response model invariance testing procedures, analyses tested whether ASQ items administered via the Internet function differently from corresponding traditional paper–pencil items. Analyzing the 4-, 12-, and 24-month ASQ intervals, statistically significant differences (i.e., DIF, or differential item functioning) were obtained on 10 of the 90 items examined in this study. Although DIF was observed for some items, the overall DIF model was rejected for all domains. On the basis of these results, the paper–pencil and web-based measures can be considered equivalent and the mode effect is not present; ASQ measures obtained from either mode are therefore interchangeable. Noteworthy remedies are considered for web-based administration of the 10 specific items lacking invariance.
This article describes novel methods of applying the Ages and Stages Questionnaire—3rd edition (ASQ-3) to assess and quantify developmental delay among children following the 2015–2016 Zika virus outbreak in Brazil. Many of the children with Zika virus infection were expected to have severe developmental delay. However, administering the ASQ-3 to caregivers of these children according to standard protocol would have screened for the overall presence of delay but not the severity of delay. We adopted an amended protocol for administration of the ASQ-3 to quantify the developmental functioning of children severely affected by Zika virus infection in this investigation. Protocols for administering the ASQ-3 among this population were drafted in consultation with developmental measurement experts and are presented here. Specific developmental estimates are discussed, including developmental age equivalents, developmental quotients, and developmental quotient z scores. The calculations of these estimates are presented with examples in the context of the 2015–2016 Zika virus outbreak and associated microcephaly among prenatally infected children from 2 states in northeastern Brazil. Potential applications of these methods for estimating developmental ability among similar pediatric populations are discussed.
Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social-Emotional (ASQ:SE) is a widely used screening instrument for detecting social-emotional difficulties in infants and young children. To use a screening instrument across cultures and countries, it is necessary to identify potential item-level biases and ensure item equivalence. This study investigated the cultural equity of the 60-month interval of the ASQ:SE by examining whether the items functioned differently in the original English version compared with 5 adapted translated versions (i.e., Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese), as well as exploring cultural considerations resulting from identified differences. The research team analyzed differential item functioning (DIF) in a total of 25,042 sixty-month ASQ:SE questionnaires drawn from extant data sets of 6 different language versions. Results indicated that a large portion of items were identified with DIF, suggesting that when participating parents/caregivers rated the social-emotional competence of their children, diverse cultural values, beliefs, and expectations affected their responses. This study provides implications for professionals and developers when using translated/adapted instruments in diverse cultures.
Early learning guidelines (ELGs)-documents that describe the skills, characteristics, and dispositions adults seek to foster in young children-are increasingly common. Although less prevalent than ELGs for 3- and 4-year-old children, ELGs for infants and toddlers have been developed in more than half of the 50 states. Given this momentum, a study was launched to examine the content of infant-toddler ELGs published as of July 2007 to determine what areas of development and learning the guidelines have addressed. On the basis of analyses of 21 sets of ELGs, the authors determined that the documents have most commonly addressed 4 developmental domains-physical development and motor skills, social and emotional development, language and communication development, and cognitive development and general knowledge-while far fewer ELG items have addressed children's approaches toward learning. The analyses also suggested that specific indicators within each of the domains have been addressed more often than others. Results from this Study have important implications for programs serving children with disabilities. Early learning guidelines that address content related to the required Individuals with Disabilities Education Act child outcome areas can facilitate service providers' efforts to Support children's progress on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act outcome measures.
Although many children live in healthy, supportive environments, far too many are exposed to or experience biological and/or psychosocial risk factors (e.g., infectious diseases, maternal depression). To evaluate the effectiveness of early childhood programs that are established to support these vulnerable children, funding agencies and nongovernmental organizations are increasing their focus on the development and implementation of interventions aimed at supporting the development of infants and toddlers and need a means for evaluating the effectiveness of the programs. However, there is a lack of psychometrically sound, easy-to-administer, change-sensitive measurement tools to assess the developmental outcomes of children from birth to 3 years. The Ages & Stages Questionnaires: INVENTORY (ASQ:I) is a new measure that was designed to meet this need. The ASQ:I is a continuous measure that was developed by combining items from the Ages & Stages Questionnaires. The ASQ:I is intended to be used for evaluating and monitoring the development of children from 1 to 36 months of age using naturalistic methods that incorporate and capitalize on parent participation. This study presents preliminary evidence for the technical adequacy of the ASQ:I.
The article suggests that a cumulative risk exists when infants are born prematurely to adolescent mothers. The factors that contribute to this risk are discussed, and parameters that should be considered in developing services for these families are elaborated. Finally, the Parents and Infants Responding Project, which was developed as a model program in accordance with the parameters discussed, is described. (C)1993Aspen Publishers, Inc.