Article

Least Restrictive and Natural Environments for Young Children With Disabilities: A Legal Analysis of Issues

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Abstract

Providing appropriate programs for young children with disabilities is a priority of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (IDEA), recently reauthorized as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) of 2004. The IDEIA requires that programs be provided in natural or least restrictive environments, and issues concerning this area have been the focus of recent litigation. In this article, the author explores the issues surrounding this litigation and offers recommendations for developing Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for young children with disabilities. An analysis of administrative and judicial decisions revealed four themes: placement decisions were based on the potential for academic and nonacademic benefits, placement decisions were based on readiness for inclusion, placement decisions were based on instructional approaches, and placement decisions must be based on the considerations of a full continuum of options. Guidelines for promoting inclusive placement decisions include expanding professional development, improving the “readiness” of inclusive placements, and coordinating the exploration of natural and inclusive environments.

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... The debate has centered on access to language (Johnson et al., 1989, p. 3) and the (mis)application of LRE in cases involving deaf children (Cerney, 2007, p. 22). Etscheidt (2006) cites two court cases that ruled in favor of placing preschoolers who were deaf in inclusion settings on the premise that the children would have access to language models (i.e., hearing classmates) in the inclusion setting. 19 The former ...
... Etscheidt (2006) argues that the LRE is also the "natural environment" for children with disabilities because it serves as "a setting that is typical for the child's same-age peers without disabilities" (p. 167). ...
... The two cases cited byEtscheidt (2006) are New Britain Board ofEducation (2003) and Board of Education of the Frewsburg Central School District(1997). ...
Article
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Language policy implementation is a complex, multilayered process. Understanding this process can be achieved by identifying the agents, layers, and processes of language planning and policy activities, analyzing the layers independently, and examining the relations among the layers. Considering these dimensions, this article explicates how U.S. special education policy functions as de facto language policy for deaf students. Turning to implementation in local contexts, data from a larger multi-sited, qualitative case study of a Texas school district is presented to show how individuals act as policy-implementing agents and how their beliefs about language and education policy influences the policy discourses they take up and the degree to which they open up multilingual, multimodal ideological and implementational spaces within deaf education policies.
... While much has been learned about how to educate children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and program successes are widely touted, children and youth with ASD are nonetheless at heightened risk for poor academic outcomes, including conflictual relationships with general education teachers [1] and more restrictive classroom placement [2]. Such outcomes are likely due to the presence of substantial social difficulties that are inherent to the ASD diagnosis [3], as well as behavioral difficulties that children with ASD often display [2,4]. ...
... While much has been learned about how to educate children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and program successes are widely touted, children and youth with ASD are nonetheless at heightened risk for poor academic outcomes, including conflictual relationships with general education teachers [1] and more restrictive classroom placement [2]. Such outcomes are likely due to the presence of substantial social difficulties that are inherent to the ASD diagnosis [3], as well as behavioral difficulties that children with ASD often display [2,4]. Indeed, it has been documented that individuals with ASD have significantly higher behavior problems than those with intellectual disability and those with typical development [5]. ...
... Inherent to the definition of LRE is the notion that a child with special needs should be educated in an environment containing same-aged typically developing peers. Many school districts have implemented a full-inclusion policy for young children with disabilities, including those receiving services for ASD [2], in order to comply with this mandate. These policies are not without challenges. ...
... While much has been learned about how to educate children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and program successes are widely touted, children and youth with ASD are nonetheless at heightened risk for poor academic outcomes, including conflictual relationships with general education teachers [1] and more restrictive classroom placement [2]. Such outcomes are likely due to the presence of substantial social difficulties that are inherent to the ASD diagnosis [3], as well as behavioral difficulties that children with ASD often display [2,4]. ...
... While much has been learned about how to educate children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and program successes are widely touted, children and youth with ASD are nonetheless at heightened risk for poor academic outcomes, including conflictual relationships with general education teachers [1] and more restrictive classroom placement [2]. Such outcomes are likely due to the presence of substantial social difficulties that are inherent to the ASD diagnosis [3], as well as behavioral difficulties that children with ASD often display [2,4]. Indeed, it has been documented that individuals with ASD have significantly higher behavior problems than those with intellectual disability and those with typical development [5]. ...
... Inherent to the definition of LRE is the notion that a child with special needs should be educated in an environment containing same-aged typically developing peers. Many school districts have implemented a full-inclusion policy for young children with disabilities, including those receiving services for ASD [2], in order to comply with this mandate. These policies are not without challenges. ...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews educational strategies and legal policies impacting effective schooling for children, youth, and young adults. Emphasis is on the classroom manifestation of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and how general education teachers can effectively facilitate learning. Within early school years, the importance of positive student-teacher relationships (STRs) in the face of challenging behaviors is discussed, including ways to build positive STRs. In middle and high school, social relationships serve as protective factors against mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety). Literature on this topic, including issues related to bullying, is presented. In postsecondary settings, young adults with ASD continue to have poor outcomes (e.g. loneliness, unemployment); strategies for helping adolescents transition to adulthood is discussed. While there are many other aspects to educational program appropriate for individuals with ASD (e.g., curriculum content), this chapter highlights recent issues that may be informative to a wide audience-school teachers and staff, researchers, and parents.
... Progress and/or the value of the progress can be measured differently depending on the students and teachers involved. According to Etscheidt (2006), measuring the progress students made on their goals and objectives was essential in determining if the placement was appropriate. ...
... The literature treated LRE in the context of its legal definition, which involves a student's right to be educated with students who are not disabled-that the student's removal from a regular education classroom occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability, with appropriate support and services, prevents the student from making satisfactory progress (DeMonte, 2010;Etscheidt, 2006;Smith, 2006;Weintraub, 2012;Zigmond, 2003). The same authors never clearly defined how to establish the LRE for students with disabilities or defined what criteria are required to place a student with a disability along the continuum of placements. ...
... (1962) original continuum included 10 steps, or places, that corresponded to the severity of the student's disability: hospital and/or treatment centers, hospitals, residential, special day school, full-time special class, part-time special class, regular class plus resource room, regular class with supplementary support and services, and regular class with consultative services. The majority of the literature subscribed to the notion that the LRE is the general education classroom (Etscheidt, 2006;Jordan, Schwartz, & McGhie-Richmond, 2009;Taylor, 2004;Zigmond, 2003), and this may influence teachers when they make placement recommendations. ...
Article
The implementation of Public Law 94-142 in 1974 guaranteed that students with disabilities had the right to be educated alongside their peers in the least restrictive environment. However, decades later, administrators, teachers, and parents continue to struggle to resolve the issue on how to include students with disabilities in general education classrooms, as well as how to recognize why students with cognitive disabilities were embodied more in self-contained classrooms than in comprehensive environments. In this study, I aimed to understand how special education teachers’ attitudes about inclusion, LRE, and students with cognitive disabilities influence placement recommendations. Through the qualitative thematic analysis performed on the interviews with the six participants, the researcher found that teachers still have a passionate attitude towards students with cognitive abilities. It was also established that teachers employ their knowledge about the condition and progress about the student as the main determinant when making placements. Finally, teachers also employ knowledge about the condition as guide to the next actions to take. With the findings, it can be inferred that teachers try their best to provide a fair process when making recommendations. Schools can then utilize this current study to determine the needs of the teachers. The responses of the participants in the study indicated the aspects that worked and did not work for the teachers when dealing with students with cognitive disabilities; therefore, schools can take the reflections of the teachers in improving their system with the records of the students to make the process easier and reasonable.
... Generally, despite the similarities between IFSP and IEP (parents are member of the team of IFSP and IEP, IFSP and IEP are written documents which are developed by team, etc.), there are differences between two documents:  IFSP is for aged of 0-3 infants and young children; it is an important context of early intervention. IEP is for school aged children with special needs who are aged of 3-22 and it is an important context of special education (Bruder et al., 2011;Etscheidt, 2006).  Programs for infants and young children who get early intervention services developed in IFSP meetings under Part C of IDEA. ...
... IEP focuses on educational hours of child (West Virginia Early Childhood Transition Steering Committee, 2008).  IDEA requires that early intervention services for infants and young children must be provided in natural environments within the scope of IFSP; IDEA requires that special education services must be provided in least restrictive environment within the scope of IEP (Etscheidt, 2006). So, natural environment is emphasized in IFSP; least restrictive environment is emphasized in IEP. ...
... With the passage of IDEA came new changes to special education law. Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) became a mandate to all students with disabilities (Etscheidt, 2006). Etscheidt considers "appropriate" to be determined by benefits academically, non-academically or both. ...
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This qualitative study focused on student knowledge and perceptions of the resource room in a private school. Students on an IEP or eligible for an IEP and that had attended the resource room were interviewed on the five constructs: knowledge, perceptions, benefits, limitations, and suggestions for improvement. Teachers and administrators were surveyed regarding these same five constructs. This study represents a small private K-12 school of approximately 170 students where the main service model is the resource room. Analysis of the results revealed that students perceived the resource room teacher, the ability to receive help and the quiet atmosphere as benefits of the resource room. Limitations and suggestions for improvement are also included. These results can be used to effectively structure the resource room to best meet the needs of students with disabilities.
... The European Agency also refers to the trend in all the countries studied of still placing the students with the most severe SEN in special education schools (European Agency for Special Needs Inclusive Education, 2018). The use of special education or support classrooms has traditionally been linked to the concept that the particular needs of students with SEN are best met in specially designed environments adapted to their abilities (Etscheidt, 2006). However, studies in education have shown that the segregation of groups of students, including students with SEN, decreases their opportunities for learning and interaction with society (Fitch, 2002;Bossaert et al., 2015). ...
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Children with special educational needs (SEN) achieve lower educational levels than their peers without special needs, leading to a higher risk of social exclusion in the future. Inclusive education aims to promote learning and to benefit the cognitive development of these students, and numerous research studies have indicated that interactive environments benefit inclusion. However, it is necessary to know how these inclusive environments can positively impact the academic improvement and development of these students' cognitive skills. This article provides a review of the scientific literature from Web of Science, SCOPUS, ERIC, and PsychINFO to understand the impact of interactive environments on the academic learning and cognitive skill development of children with SEN. A total of 17 studies were selected. Those studies showed the effectiveness of interactive learning environments in promoting instrumental learning, increasing academic involvement, and improving the cognitive development of children with disabilities. Based on these results, it can be concluded that interaction-based interventions with an inclusive approach nurture the learning and cognitive development of students with SEN.
... On entering the school system, the services that children with ASD receive are outlined in an individualized education program (IEP). 30 It is possible for a child with ASD to be deemed ineligible for special education services following a comprehensive evaluation by the educational team; IDEIA includes a clause requiring "adverse educational impact" to be present for special education eligibility. School-based services may be provided directly through in-house providers (eg, speech and language pathologists). ...
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Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with complex medical problems that are often exacerbated by a range of other intellectual and psychiatric comorbidities. These children receive care for their physical and mental health from a range of providers within numerous child-serving systems, including their primary care clinic, school, and the home and community. Given the longitudinal nature in which care is provided for this chronic disorder, it is particularly necessary for services and providers to coordinate their care to ensure optimal efficiency and effectiveness. There are 2 primary venues that serve as a “home” for coordination of service provision for children with ASD and their families—the “medical home” and the “educational home.” Unfortunately, these venues often function independently from the other. Furthermore, there are limited guidelines demonstrating methods through which pediatricians and other primary care providers (PCPs) can coordinate care with schools and school-based providers. The purpose of this article is 2-fold: (1) we highlight the provision of evidence-based care within the medical home and educational home and (2) we offer practice recommendations for PCPs in integrating these systems to optimally address the complex medical, intellectual, and psychiatric symptomology affected by autism.
... Although many special needs advocates determined the LRE to be a large human rights victory for students with disabilities, many lawmakers are now discovering that the challenges associated with this law are far greater than the benefits. An increase in school litigation since the original 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has alerted researchers and educators that the least restrictive environment still holds many limitations for students with special needs (Etscheidt, 2006). ...
Conference Paper
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There is a dearth of literature about special education practices in international schools. However, literature reflecting case study data on a school or regional practice does exist. Two quantitative global studies on special education practices also exist (Gaskell, 2017; International School Collaborate [ISC], 2017). The current study compared its findings with Gaskell (2017) and ISC (2017). Forty participants representing 33 host countries and 10 different affiliated countries participated. The study found similar findings as the Gaskell (2017) and ISC (2017) studies. However, statistical data could not be correlated due to inconsistency in disability language. A unique aspect of this study includes the personal experiences of international school educators as they work with children with disabilities. This study found recurring themes of belonging, support systems, and admission limitations in international schools. Personal experiences show how children with disabilities change educators’ perspectives and/or how perseverance and open mindedness create successful pathways for children with disabilities in international schools. Keywords: international schools, special education, disabilities, inclusion, school culture
... From a legal perspective, federal law mandates that children with special needs be presented with educational services in the LRE. Etscheidt (2006) asserted that the term LRE, as it pertains to preschoolers, decrees that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with special needs-inclusive of those individuals attending public or private care facilities-should be educated with typically developing peers. Etscheidt also firmly stated that service delivery models other than those occurring in the general education environment should transpire only when the nature or severity of the special need is so extreme that the child cannot achieve academically with the use of supplementary aides and/or services. ...
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In the quest to restructure educational programming toward higher student outcomes for preschoolers with special needs, professional educators are continuously challenged to provide with integrity a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restricted environment (LRE) as mandated by law. This study analyzed the effectiveness of an inclusive programming model for preschoolers with special needs by examining achievement gains in the developmental domains of adaptive, motor, and cognitive skills as assessed by the Battelle Developmental Inventory, Second Edition. Analysis of an inclusive learning environment for six preschoolers with special needs as guided by IEP committee recommendations occurred. In order to analyze progress, the developmental quotient was assessed by juxtaposing pretest and posttest functioning. A paired samples t test indicated no significant gains in the performance of preschoolers with special needs receiving services in an inclusive learning environment with respect to adaptive, motor, and cognitive skills. The results of this study indicate that an inclusive learning environment did not facilitate an increase in the progress of preschoolers with special needs. Suggestions for further research are also included.
... There has been an increase of students with disabilities in integrated academic, social, and community environments both nationally and internationally (Cramer and Nevin 2006;Etscheldt 2006;Lindsay 2007;US Department of Education 2007). This inclusion of students with special needs was never envisioned when Public Law 94-142, Education of All Handicapped Act (EHA), was written over 30 years ago (Fisher, Frey, and Thousand 2003). ...
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Inclusive education is defined as educating students with disabilities in general education programmes with their non‐disabled peers. In order to create a successful learning environment for all children, general and special educators must be responsive to all students’ needs. Although inclusive education practices were developed over 15 years ago, some educators may be unwilling or unprepared to employ this model. A total of 546 teachers from 54 schools in southern New Jersey in the United States completed surveys to determine whether they displayed the dispositions, knowledge and skills necessary to implement inclusive education. Results of the surveys were analysed to determine whether significant differences in attitude and skill levels exist between special and general educators and the impact of their years of teaching on their readiness for inclusion. The analysis yielded an agreement that children with disabilities profit from interactions with non‐disabled peers. Although special educators appear more knowledgeable of inclusive practices, they are more likely to see the benefit of a segregated environment. Teachers with greater than seven years of experience voiced the continued need for administrative support, planning time and professional development opportunities.
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Early childhood transition policies provide an excellent case study of the types of events that can lead to policy change over time. This article describes the types of early childhood transitions that have received policy development and the types that remain unguided by federal or state policy. Some of the influences on the evolution of transition policy, including model demonstration and technical assistance projects, research data, and positions of professional organizations are examined. The authors suggest that bidirectional influences on transition policy have connected the decisions of policymakers at multiple levels with the actions and advocacy of family and practitioner stakeholders. New federal policies have stimulated state policy development. The article describes current challenges to effective transitions in early childhood and explores the characteristics of guidelines that may make a positive difference for young children and families in transition. Finally, the authors suggest areas in which additional research and policies might improve transitions for children, families, and service providers.
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Effective service integration between Part C programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities and Early Head Start (EHS) offers opportunities to serve children with disabilities in natural environments and to provide a full range of comprehensive services for low income families. This study was a qualitative inquiry in five states and six local communities to learn how state and local administrators, direct care providers, and parents perceive the process of service integration in Part C and EHS. Through open-ended interviews, respondents shared perceptions of collaboration between the two programs at referral and intake, evaluation and individualized planning, service delivery, and transition out of the programs. Researchers sorted narrative material into categories through both thematic analysis and computerized software. Respondents perceive effective service integration to include administrative structures (e.g., interagency agreements, personnel policies), and interpersonal relationships among the direct providers and families involved. Parents emphasized structural factors such as a stable staff with minimal turnover, and interpersonal factors such as a comfortable and harmonious atmosphere among themselves and staff from the two programs. Staff stressed informal and open channels of communication, as well as clear and understandable procedures. Administrators highlighted joint trainings, policies coordinating schedules for evaluation and planning, and mutual respect for each other's programs. Research, policy, and practice implications of the identified factors are discussed.
Article
Two studies examined developmental outcomes associated with services in inclusive and self-contained preschool classrooms. In Study 1, the effects of classroom inclusion on the developmental and social growth of preschool children with disabilities were investigated on 15 pairs of children (N = 30) matched for chronological age, gender, initial level of functioning, related services received, and attendance schedules. Progress was measured with the Brigance Diagnostic Inventory of Early Development-Revised using a pre-post design. Results indicated that children functioning at a lower level of social and emotional functioning performed equally well in inclusive and specialized settings, while children functioning at a relatively higher level performed better in inclusive settings than in specialized settings. In Study 2, the relationships between developmental progress and the length of the school day and the amount of related services received per week were investigated on 66 participants. Children in full-day classrooms had greater developmental delays but achieved higher rates of progress than their half-day peers in the areas of social and emotional development and overall development.
Article
University faculty were surveyed to ascertain the degree to which students in early childhood special education, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech—language pathology, and multidisciplinary personnel preparation programs received training in five early intervention practices (family-centered, individualized family service plans, natural environments, teaming, and service coordination). Findings indicated a primary emphasis on family-centered practices across disciplines, with minimal emphasis on service coordination and teaming practices. Findings also showed that physical therapy faculty provided the least amount of training in the majority of early intervention practices as compared to faculty in other disciplines. Implications for improving student training are described.
Article
This article reviews the literature comparing outcomes for young children with disabilities in integrated and segregated settings. An examination of research methodology, dependent measures, and programmatic variables is used to analyze the effects of preschool integration across 22 studies. Despite some methodological weaknesses, an analysis of findings provides support for the benefits of preschool integration with respect to social and other behavioral outcomes. Children's developmental outcomes over time have not been shown to vary as a function of integrated versus segregated placement. The article concludes with a discussion of these findings and their implications for future research and practice in early intervention.
Article
In family childcare, the program of services is situated within in the providers' own homes. The purpose of this inquiry is to review the literature from special education in light of current practices in family childcare. In addition, key characteristics unique to the provider's care giving program will be examined in relation to the needs of children with disabilities and their families. Finally, recommendations for establishing coordinated efforts among professional support systems and providers on behalf of such children will be defended.
Article
Practitioner beliefs about and understanding of natural environment interventions were examined. Sixteen early intervention practitioners from two programs in a southeastern state were interviewed about their understanding and use of natural environments as sources of learning opportunities for young children. Practitioners in one program had considerable experience with natural environment interventions, whereas those in the other program had little or no experience with natural environment interventions. Results indicated considerable variability and understanding between experienced and novice practitioners about the sources and characteristics of natural environment practices. Implications for promoting practitioners' understanding and adoption of natural learning environment practices are described.
Article
The relationships between several different person and environment characteristics of everyday natural learning opportunities and changes in both child learning opportunities and child behavior and performance were examined in an intervention study lasting 19 to 26 weeks. Participants were 63 parents or other caregivers and their infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities or delays. Findings showed that learning opportunities that were interesting, engaging, competence-producing, and mastery-oriented were associated with optimal child behavioral change. Implications for early intervention practices are discussed.
Article
Practitioners' personal perspectives may serve as a lens through which they reject practices that do not match their beliefs or filter the ways in which new practices are interpreted and implemented. The perspectives of 241 multiple-discipline early intervention practitioners were elicited by asking them to describe "three wishes" they would make to change early intervention so that children and families received quality services. Their statements were transcribed and categorized into six major themes: (a) work environment, (b) services, (c) teaming, (d) training, (e) center-based service models, and (f) parent participation. With few exceptions, practitioner perspectives conflicted with accepted early intervention best practices such as family-centered intervention or provision of services in natural environments.
Article
The investigation described here focused on effects of the First Step to Success early intervention program designed for kindergartners who show the early signs of emerging antisocial behavior at the point of school entry. First Step is a collaborative home and school intervention that was developed to address the needs of such children and was evaluated over a 4-year period. Two studies are reported herein, involving two sets of identical twins enrolled in regular kindergarten programs. The results of these studies indicated that exposure to the First Step program produced powerful behavior changes that were maintained throughout the program's duration. Limitations of the studies are discussed, as well as questions for future research.
Article
This article shares examples of how technology has been integrated into the curriculum. The impact of technology has personalized and differentiated instruction. This document provides some suggestions for others and concludes with possibilities for the future. At University Primary School, the use of technology as Mindtools has been a particularly good match for channeling students' creativity and critical thinking. Students use technology individually and collaboratively to produce reflections of their own learning and representations of their thinking. They enjoy becoming technology-literate. In addition, technology has enhanced the differentiation of the curriculum by facilitating open-ended activities and creative production such as writing, drawing, photojournaling, bookmaking, and webbing. Technology has supported students in moving from concrete experiences to abstract concepts. Just like adults, 3- to 7-year-olds use technology to research answers to their own questions and produce representations of their findings. Students have gone beyond gaming and consuming. They have grown socially, emotionally, and cognitively as they used technology to create, collaborate, and problem solve in order to express their ideas.
Article
Inclusion of children with disabilities in early childhood classrooms with typically developing peers has become a primary service option in early childhood special education. The author briefly describes what is known on the subject from the literature about outcomes of inclusion, social integration patterns, placement, definition, quality , instruction, teacher attitudes, family attitudes, community participation, policy factors, and cultural influences. The concluding discussion addresses ongoing issues related to definition quality, intensity and instruction, outcomes and goals, social integration and costs and funding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Determined whether instruction in a problem-solving strategy would affect children's alternative solutions to social interaction conflicts and assessed whether this skill would generalize to typical preschool settings. An A-B single-S design was replicated 4 times with 4 preschool Ss (aged 3 yrs 11 mo-4 yrs 10 mo) who exhibited aggressive methods for resolving social interaction conflicts. A nontreatment group of 4 Ss (aged 4 yrs 5 mo-4 yrs 11 mo) who also exhibited aggressive behavior was added for comparison. Ss were given daily 10-min instructional sessions. Children's stories provided the context for teaching the 4-step strategy. Individual probe sessions measured the effect of the strategy on the types of solutions that Ss generated. Treatment Ss' frequency of aggressive responses decreased, and a corresponding increase in prosocial responses was observed during individual probes. The treatment Ss' rates of aggressive behaviors also decreased in typical play activities. In contrast, the nontreatment Ss' solutions showed little or no change in prosocial or aggressive solutions. The implication is that children's aggressive behaviors are affected when a context for problem-solving is paired with the problem-solving strategy. A sample script is appended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A participant-observer spent 11 weeks as a teacher''s assistant in a preschool classroom that utilized full inclusion and integrated therapy. Observations focused on three children with special learning needs. Qualitative analysis of the participant-observer''s field notes yielded six themes: (1) integrated therapy and teacher facilitation are highly similar interventions, (2) integrated therapy and teacher facilitation require the same set of components, (3) social competence is the ultimate goal of services, (4) receptive language creates a feedback loop between social competence and services, (5) behavioral consultation occurs between the therapist and the teacher, and (6) teachers imitate therapists much more than vice versa. These themes were integrated in a descriptive model of early intervention services. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Article
In the United States, services for infants, toddlers, disabilities in their preschool setting. The literature indiand young children with disabilities or who are at risk cates that both children with disabilities and children for disability are provided (generally) in accordance without disabilities benefit from each other’s presence with the provisions of the Federal Individuals with Disa- in some ways. bilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA’97)
Article
Inclusion of preschoolers with disabilities in programs for typically developing children has a strong legal, rational, moral, and empirical basis. Despite this compelling foundation, however, the desirability of inclusion continues to be debated and acceptable options for inclusive placements are often difficult to find. In this paper, we argue that professionals and parents are often placed in a position in which inclusion must be weighed against other compelling values in making decisions about placements for children. We describe three competing values—high-quality programs, specialized services, and family-centered practices—and demonstrate how in many communities these values and inclusion are difficult to achieve simultaneously. We argue that placement in inclusive settings should be a goal for all children with disabilities, but that placements should also be of high quality, sufficiently specialized, and consistent with family priorities. We conclude with a series of recommendations for changes needed if this goal is to be attained.
Article
Contenido: Parte I.Cuestiones conceptuales en la investigación cualitativa: Naturaleza de la investigación cualitativa; Temas estratégicos en la investigación cualitativa; Diversidad en la investigación cualitativa: orientaciones teóricas; Aplicaciones cualitativas particulares. Parte II. Diseños cualitativos y recolección de datos: Estudios de diseños cualitativos; Estrategias de trabajo de campo y métodos de observación; Entrevistas cualitativas. Parte III. Análisis, interpretación e informe: Análisis cualitativo e interpretación; Incrementar la calidad y la credibilidad del análisis cualitativo.
Article
Qualitative descriptions of the consonant inventories of 12 children who have used cochlear implants for at least 5 years are provided, together with description of sound correspondences between children's systems and the ambient language (English). Productions of English words were elicited in a picture-naming task, and a consonant inventory for each child was determined. Results showed that the consonant inventories of children who use cochlear implants are not simply subsets of the inventory of the ambient language, but rather unique sets of segments that may include consonants not in the ambient inventory. Comparison of the inventories of oral communication users and total communication users revealed qualitative differences between the 2 groups, based on the presence or absence of both English and non-English sound segments. Inventories of oral communication users tended to contain more English segments (e.g., alveolar fricatives, velar stops, velar nasals) than did the inventories of total communication users. Conversely, specific non-English segments, such as uvular stops, tended to occur in the inventories of total communication users more than in inventories of oral communication users. Therefore, a complete understanding of the phonological systems of children who use cochlear implants depends on full accounts of their segment inventories. Such understanding may affect decisions regarding habilitation procedures, insofar as successful acquisition of a linguistic system involves not only the inclusion of all ambient sound segments, but also the exclusion of all nonambient ones.
  • Smith, S.W.