Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Feature: Teaching Children With Language Delays to Say or Sign More: Promises and Potential Pitfalls

teacher and young children
Photo credit: Division for Early Childhood

FRIDAY FEATURE: Today’s article is from the Division for Early Childhood’s practitioner journal, Young Exceptional Children:

Teaching Children With Language Delays to Say or Sign More: Promises and Potential Pitfalls
(Lederer, 2015)

My guess is that almost any early intervention provider has taught a child and family how to use the sign “more” for a child with language delays. Lederer (2015) discusses the strategy of teaching the word/sign “more” and its research rationale, according to the following perspectives: semantic (words and their meanings), pragmatic (how words are used to communicate in conversation), and concept representation (using pictures or signs). (p. 1)

While those of us who have used the strategy with families recognize the benefits and have likely communicated these benefits to families, did you know that there are some potential disadvantages?

Table 1 in the article summarizes the promises, potential pitfalls, and recommendations for the strategy in light of the semantic, pragmatic, and concept representation perspectives. Potential pitfalls include:

  • Semantically, the use of “more” as a general all-purpose (GAP) word and/or sign can cause communication to break down.
  • Pragmatic: “more” cannot be the first turn in a conversation.
  • Concept representation: child lacks the motor skill to use the sign or child does not understand the concept

(Lederer, 2015, p. 5)

The table also discusses recommendations to address each of the pitfalls.

DEC members can access YEC articles for free. Please note that we are unable to post the entire article here due to copyright restrictions. If you are not a member, a few options include:

  • Public library database
  • University/college library database
  • Your agency might have an organizational subscription to the journal
  •  Your supervisor or administrator might be a member of the Council for Exceptional Children or Division for Early Childhood

Thursday, May 18, 2017

From Zero To Three: Maternal and Child Health Virtual Event Series: Early Feeding Practices

From Zero To Three:

Supporting Early Feeding Practices: The Link to Learning, Growth, and Lifelong Habits

Wednesday, May 31, 2017, 2:00-3:00 pm EDT

Below is the description from Zero To Three:

"Join experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics and ZERO TO THREE to learn more about feeding practices including recently published recommendations. This live virtual event will explore the science behind early feeding recommendations, the link to learning and developmental outcomes, and offer practical guidance and resources for pediatricians and professionals serving families."

The May 31st presentation is free (others in the series are free to Zero To Three members only).

Click HERE to register and learn about future events in the Maternal and Child Health Virtual Event series.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Division for Early Childhood's 33rd Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families

Register for the DEC 2017 Conference today - early bird registration ends June 1st!

DEC 2017 Conference, Portland OR
Image credits: Division for Early Childhood

DEC's annual conference is an excellent opportunity to learn about current evidence-based practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education, network with others, and grow as a professional.

Stay tuned for future announcements on Special Interest Group events or meetings at the conference.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday Tidbit: Recommended Practice in Working with Families

Tuesday Tidbit: From the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices Document with Embedded Examples (2016):

Strand: FAMILY

mother and young child
Photo credits: Division for Early Childhood, 2015

"F5: Practitioners support family functioning, promote family confidence and competence, and strengthen family-child relationships by acting in ways that recognize and build on
family strengths and capacities.

  • A developmental specialist focuses on sharing information and providing support so that the family feels confident they can assist their child in-between visits.
  • A family educator helps the family identify ways to share their parenting accomplishments and successes with other parents experiencing similar challenges.
  • A physical therapist asks the family what types of activities they currently use to support their child’s efforts to walk and then provides the family with strategies they can use to increase the child’s participation in those activities.
  • An early interventionist acknowledges a family’s strengths and expertise in addressing the child’s challenging behaviors and supports the family in using these skills to address the child’s
    sleeping difficulties."

(DEC, 2016, p. 18)

Download the full document here:

Question to reflect on:
What are some ways in which you support family functioning, promote family confidence and competence, and strengthen family-child relationships?

We would love to hear additional examples from our EI SIG participants. Please share your ideas in the comments section below - it would be great to use this space to inspire each other's work.

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Webinar: Early Screening, Detection and Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with or at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Announcing a Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Early Intervention Special Interest Group Webinar:

Please register for Early Screening, Detection and Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with or at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT.

Presenter: Jennifer L. Stapel-Wax, Psy.D.
Associate Professor, Division of Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
Director of the Infant Toddler Community Research Core Marcus Autism Center/ Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Agenda: In this 1-hour presentation, we hope to increase your understanding of:

  1. Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants and Toddlers
  2. Early Screening and Detection of ASD in infants and toddlers
  3. Promising early intervention methodologies for children at risk for ASD
  4. Community-based integrated models to empower and bring capacity to providers, caregivers, and families of children with ASD

Cost: NONE

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.

Hope to see you there!

**See our archived meetings/events (including recorded presentations) here.

Telepractice Resources

Many DEC Early Intervention Community of Practice (CoP) members have asked for telepractice resources as temporary changes in how we provide...