Adapting Early Childhood Curricula for Children with Special Needs: Pearson New International Edition

Ruth E. Cook / M. Diane Klein / Deborah Chen  
Total pages
November 2013
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Adapting Early Childhood Curricula for Children with Special Needs: Pearson New International Edition
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For students taking courses in early childhood special education.


A practical, activity-based approach to early childhood special education built on a foundation of theory and research.


This comprehensive text on early childhood special education emphasizes a developmental focus over a disability focus. The authors believe that children are more alike than different in their developmental processes and avoids the negative impact of labeling children with disability categorical names. The authors have produced a book that offers educators a practical and effective guide to finding learning opportunities within daily curriculum activities and routine. The current edition maintains the focus on inclusive, family-centered, real-world approaches that are also theoretically based. The text also provides ample detail related to specific intervention strategies that enhance teachers’ ability to work with young children with special needs and their families.  Readable and practical, the illustrations of techniques and strategies throughout make this text a valuable resource long after students leave their formal education.


A developmental focus rather than a disability focus presents readers with an understanding of typical/atypical development and curricular adaptations through a developmental domain orientation.


·   An integrated, but non-categorical approach assumes that children are more alike than different in their development and avoids the negative impact of labeling children with disability categorical names. 


·   An inclusive focus assumes that attitudes, environments and intervention strategies can be adapted so that all young children with special needs can be included so that inclusion becomes the typical practice.


·   An overview of models, strategies and challenges for providing inclusion support to young children with disabilities served in a variety of community settings introduces readers to the critical role of collaboration, consultation and problem solving in support of young children with special needs. 


·   Information on working in collaboration with families as well as professionals from a variety of disciplines teaches readers skills in listening, communication, conflict resolution and problem solving as it relates to working with others to achieve goals.


·   Highly readable and well-researched content presents students with clear, easy-to-understand material that focuses on child and family strengths, relationship-focused interventions, family-centered approaches, standards, evidence-based practices and coordinated, interdisciplinary services.


New to this Edition

 Vignette features located throughout the text further assist students in applying theory to practice.


·   Updated legal requirements related to IDEA and RTI (Chapter 1) prepares students to understand the legal requirements of their profession.


·   A new chapter devoted to low incidence disabilities (Chapter 8) increases competencies of students to include children with less common disabilities and special needs.


·   Increased emphasis on linking assessment to intervention and progress monitoring (Chapter 3) assists students in understanding how to utilize assessment information to build intervention into daily activities.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 Educating Young Children with Special Needs: The Challenge


Viewing the Child with Special Needs as a Child First

Inclusion of Young Children with Special Needs in Community-Based Settings

Philosophy of This Text

Early Childhood Special Education: An Evolving Field

   Pioneering Influences

   Casa dei Bambini

   Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

   Recognition of the Role of Early Experiences

   Project Head Start: A Breakthrough


   Impact of Early Intervention

   Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities

   Relationship-Focused Models of Early Intervention

Changing Policies: The Enabling Impact of Public Pressure and Legislation

   Development of Professional Groups

   The Power of Private Citizens

   The First Chance Program

   Public Law 94-142: The Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975

   Public Law 99-457: The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986

   Public Law 101-476: The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1990

Public Law 102-119: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1991

Public Law 105-17: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997

Public Law 108-446: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004

Public Law 101-336: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

Evolving Trends in Early Childhood Special Education

   Family-Centered Services

   Community-Based Inclusive Services

   Interdisciplinary Collaboration

   Culturally Responsive Practices

   Coordinated, Comprehensive Services

   Evidence-Based Practices

   Routines-Based or Embedded Interventions

   Standards-Based Curriculum

   Child Outcomes

   Recognition and Response

Building on Recommended Practices

Collaboration Between Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education Professionals

   A Cautionary Note

Service Delivery

   Child-Focused Approaches

   Caregiver-Focused Approaches

   Services for Infants and Toddlers

   Services for Preschoolers

Meeting Young Children’s Needs in Inclusive Settings

   Unique Challenges Involved in Supporting Early Childhood Inclusion

   Redefining the Role of the Early Childhood Special Educator

   The Case for Specific Training Related to Inclusion Support


Discussion Topics and Activities


Chapter2: In Partnership with Families


A Personal Perspective on Raising a Child with Developmental Challenges

Emotional Supports for Families with Children Who Have Special Needs

   Basic Needs

   Failure to Consider Basic Needs

   The Need for Emotional Support

Parental Reactions; Dealing with Grief and Other Feeling States

   Shock, Disbelief, and Denial

   Anger and Resentment


   Depression and Discouragement

   Adaptation and Adjustment

   A Father’s Perspective


The Family as a System

Extended Family and Sibling Needs and Reactions


Parents as Team Members

   Family Outcomes

Options for Family Involvement

   A Continuum

   What Fathers Say About Their Involvement

   Home-Based Intervention Programs

   Additional Important Considerations When Making Home Visits

   Supporting and Partnering with Parents in Early Intervention Programs

   Conferences with Parents

   Involving Parents in Group Meetings

Working with Culturally Diverse Families

   Cultural Models and Child-Rearing Practices

   Language Differences

   Parents’ Expectations of the Preschool Curricula

Working with Special Family Populations

   Parents with Developmental Disabilities

   Teen Parents

   Foster Caregivers

Understanding the Impact of Poverty




Chapter3: Developing Individualized Intervention Plans and Programs and Monitoring Progress


The Individualized Family Service Plan Process for Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families

   The IFSP Process

   Participants in Initial and Annual IFSP Meetings

   Identifying Family Concerns, Priorities, and Resources

   The IFSP Document

   Developing Outcome Statements

Service Coordination

   Who Can Become Service Coordinators?

   Models of Service Coordination

Promoting Essential Interagency Collaboration

Developing Individualized Education Programs for Preschoolers

   The Interdisciplinary IEP Team Meeting Process

Considering Darren

   Background Information

Required Contents of the IEP

   Purposes and Limitations of the IEP

   Considerations Beyond the IEP

Writing Program Objectives (Benchmarks)

   Basics of Writing Behavioral Objectives

   Guidelines for Choosing and Writing Behavioral Objectives

Becoming a Skilled Observer

   Observing How Children Perform a Task

   Considering the Special Challenges When English Is the Child’s Second Language

   Realizing Environmental Influences on Child Performance

   Recognizing the Interrelationship of Skills

   Guidelines for Successful Observation

   The Portfolio and Its Use with Young Children

   Types of Observation Samples

Recording Children’s Progress

Linking Assessment to Curriculum

Facilitating Transitions

   Steps in Transition to Center-Based or Public School Services

   The Role of the Early Childhood Special Educator in Facilitating Transitions



Chapter4: Designing Instructional Programs




   Choosing a Curriculum

   Considering Children with Special Needs

   Philosophy of This Text

General Instructional Strategies


   Applied Behavior Analysis

   Social Mediation of Experience

   Adult–Child Communication Strategies


Play as an Important Teaching Context

Arranging the Physical Environment to Maximize Learning

   The Physical Environment

   Grouping Children

   Sound and Lighting

   Visual Materials

   Special Considerations for Infants and Toddlers

Creating a Positive Social-Emotional Environment

   Anticipate Children’s Questions

   Encourage Children with Specific Positive Feedback

   Provide Opportunities for Self-Efficacy and Decision Making

Designing the Teaching-Learning Environment: Universal Design for Learning

Embedding Teaching and Learning Opportunities

   Scheduled Plans Promote Desired Consistency in Routines

Providing a Variety of Activities to Accomplish Any One Outcome or Objective

   Terminal Objective

   Individual (En Route) Objectives

   The Activity: Bathing a Doll

   Evaluating the Effectiveness of Each Activity

   Using an Activity to Achieve More Than One Objective



Chapter 5: Considerations for Teaching Children withSpecific Disabilities


Getting Started: Gathering Information About the Child

   Learn from the Family

   Collaborate Among Team Members

   Plan and Conduct Observations

Suggestions for Teaching Children with Specific Disabilities

   Health Impairments

   Hearing Loss

   Difficulties in Learning

   Physical Disabilities

   Visual Impairments

   Autism Spectrum Disorders

   Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Teaching Children with Severe and Multiple Disabilities

   Provide Opportunities for Children to Make Choices

   Ecological Inventory and Discrepancy Analysis

   Analyze a Child’s Lack of Response

   Principle of Partial Participation

   Prompting and Fading Procedures

   Errorless Learning

   Communication Strategies

Tips for Promoting Children’s Participation in the Classroom



Chapter6: Promoting Emotional and Social Development


Becoming Emotionally Secure


   Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development

   Greenspan’s Model of Affective Development

Building a Healthy Environment

   Structure and Consistency



   Constructive Consequences

   Logical Connections


Avoiding Frustration

Building Emotional Literacy

Promoting Appropriate Behavior Modeling

Facilitating Social Skills

   Use of Environmental Structuring

   Use of Typical Peers as Medicators of Social Skills

Encouraging Developmental Play Behavior

   The Importance of Play

   Development of Social Interaction Skills Through Play

   The Nature of Play

Helping Children with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges

   Individual Temperament

   Children Who Lack Self-Control

   A Word About Medication: Caution

   Children Who Are Reluctant to Participate

Use of Reinforcement

   Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

   Ignore Minor Disruptive Behaviors

   Minimize the Use of Negative Consequences

Positive Behavior Support

   Using Behavioral Analysis to Understand Disruptive Behavior

   Designing Positive Behavior Support Plans

Use of Social Stories

Special Considerations for Working with Children Who Have Been Abused and Neglected



Chapter7: Helping Young Children Develop Motor and Self-Help Skills


The Development of Motor Skills

   Sequential Trends of Motor Development

   Helping Parents Understand

   Reflexive Development

   Developing Gross Motor Skills

   Developing Fine Motor Skills

Atypical Motor Development

   Problems in Muscle Development

Assessment of Motor Abilities

   Infants and Toddlers

   Severe Motor Impairments

   General Considerations for Assessment of All Young Children

   Play-Based Assessment

Physical Therapy Intervention

   Role of Therapists

   Approaches to Therapy

   Sensory Integration

   Positioning and Handling

   Proper Lifting

   Adaptive Equipment and Assistive Technology Devices

Development of Adaptive Behavior Skills

   Use of Task Analysis




Adapting the Environment

   The Classroom or Center

   The Home

   Movement Skills and Music

   Movement Skills and Imagination

   Adaptations in Movement Education



Chapter8: Nurturing Communication Skills

The Subskills of Language

   Content, Use, and Form






Contribution of Social Interaction Theory to Understanding Early Communication Development

Stages of Development of Communication Skills in Young Children

   Prelinguistic Communication

   The Onset of Language

   Combining Words

Necessary Conditions for the Development of Communication Skills

   Characteristics That Can Interfere with Language Development

Characteristics That Can Interfere with the Production of Speech

Nurturing Speech, Language, and Conceptual Skills

The Important Role of Caregiver–Child Interaction

General Classroom Strategies That Encourage and Support Communication

   Beginning Where the Child Is

   Conversing with the Child

   Choosing What to Talk About


   Developing Pragmatic Skills

   Expanding Skills

Communication Interventions for Young Children with Intensive Needs

   Communicating with Children Who Have Severe Disabilities

   Techniques for Teaching Expressive Communicative Behaviors: “Output Strategies”

   Identifying Behaviors That Can Be Used Communicatively

   Teaching Communicative Behaviors: Creating Opportunity and Need for Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems

   Steps in Developing an AAC System

   Classroom Strategies That Facilitate Augmentative Communication Skills

   Using the Picture Exchange Communication System

Working with Children with Hearing Loss

   Specific Strategies for Working with Children with Hearing Loss

   Facilitating Comprehension of Speech

   Hearing Aids

   Cochlear Implants: Amazing Advances in Technology

   Supporting Spoken English

   Children with Intermittent Hearing Losses

Working with Children with Visual Impairments

Working with Children with Autism

   Use of Behavior Analysis Approaches with ASD

Working with Children with Severe Motor Disabilities

Working with Children with Language Differences

   Learning a New Language

   Stages of Second Language Learning

   Dual Language Learning and Home Language Maintenance

   Collaborative Consultation with Speech-Language Specialists



Chapter9: Encouraging the Development of Cognitive Skills and Literacy


What Is Cognition?

Basic Cognitive Processes



Development of Cognitive Skills

   The Developmental Theory of Piaget

Demonstration of Cognitive Skills Through the Developmental Stage of Children’s Play

   Simple Manipulation

   Exploratory Play

   Functional Play

   Symbolic Play

Facilitating the Development of Cognitive Skills in Infants and Toddlers


   Means–End Behavior

   Trial-and Error Exploration

   Object Permanence

   Deferred Imitation

Facilitating the Development of Cognitive Skills in Preschoolers

   Symbolic Representation

   Problem Solving

Working with Children Who Have Cognitive Disabilities

   Characteristics of Children with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

   Adapting Instruction

Facilitating Cognitive and Information-Processing Subskills Related to Academic Achievement

   Facilitating Children’s Engagement

   Structuring Learning Experiences

Emergent Math and Science

   Classification, Seriation, and Concept Development Facilitating Classification

   Problem Solving in a Montessori Classroom

   Facilitating Seriation

   Facilitating Concept Development

Development of Literacy

   The Precursors of Reading and Writing

   Relationship Between Oral Language and Literacy

   The Nature of School Language

Cultural Differences in Early Language and Literacy Experiences

   Differences in Children’s Early Use of Narratives

   Cultural Difference in Early Caregiver–Infant Interaction

   Cultural Differences in Uses of Print

Teaching Strategies That Facilitate Emergent Literacy Skills

   Whole-Language Versus Phonological Approaches to the Development of Literacy

   Teaching Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

   Developing Sight Word Vocabulary



Chapter10: Teaming: Collaboration, Problem Solving, and Consultation

Collaboration, Problem Solving, and Shared Decision Making

   Communication Strategies: The Key to Successful Teaming

   Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution

   Dealing with Conflict: Perspective Taking and the Process of Conflict Resolution

   Problem-Solving Case Study: Paulo

Models for Supporting Children with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings

   No Support

   Use of One-to-One Assistant

   Staff Inservice Models

   Itinerant Consultation Model of Inclusion Support

   Responsibilities of the Inclusion Support Specialist in an Itinerant Consultant Role

   Unique Collaborative Challenges for Inclusion Specialists

   A Note on Disability Specialists and Therapists in Itinerant Service Delivery Roles

   Specific Support Strategies Provided by Itinerants

Coteaching Approaches to Inclusion Support

   Coteaching Defined

   Challenge of Coteaching

   Components of Effective Coteaching

   The IEP: The Key to Successful Inclusion

   Communication and Collaboration in Coteaching Models

   Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution in Coteaching Models

   Administrative Issues

   Stages of the Coteaching Relationship

Effective Teaming with Interdisciplinary Specialists

Working with Paraprofessionals

   Who Are the Paraprofessionals?

   Designing and Defining Jobs

   Communicating Expectations

   Discovering and Using Special Skills and Talents

   Defining the Teacher’s Responsibilities to Paraprofessionals

   Being an Appropriate Role Model

   Allowing for Sufficient Planning Time

   Providing Constructive Feedback: Coaching and Mentoring the Paraprofessional

Paraprofessionals as One-to-One Assistants

   Supervision of One-to-One Assistant in Inclusive Settings

   Guidelines for Use of One-to-One Assistants

Evaluating Paraprofessional Services

   Using Self-Evaluations

   Teacher-Initiated Evaluations of the Paraprofessional

   Paraprofessional’s Evaluation of the Teacher

   Preventing Paraprofessional Burnout




Appendix A: Chart of Typical Development

Appendix B: Find Your Child’s Speech and Hearing Age

Appendix C: Reflexes, Reactions, and Implications

Appendix D: Referral Signals Checklist

Appendix E: Competencies for Trainees in Early Childhood Special Education

Appendix F: Building Collaborative Relationships and Conflict Resolution: Effective Communication Strategies

Appendix G: Strategies for Helping Children with Specific Disabilities Participate in Inclusive Settings

Appendix H: Common Sequence of Training Steps Used in Milieu Approaches

Appendix I: Inclusion Support Itinerant Procedures

Appendix J: Web Sites Related to Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families

Appendix K: Periodicals Relevant to Early Childhood Special Education




Name Index

Subject Index