Essay Title: 

issues in early intervention for special needs children

April 3, 2016 | Author: | Posted in environmental issues, nature

Running head : Issues in Early Intervention for Special Needs Children

Issues in Early Intervention for Special Needs Children

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Early Intervention in the United States

The development and implementation of early intervention activities for young children who have a delay or who are at risk for future delays are relatively recent phenomena in the United States . Early intervention as an applied and academic field has developed primarily within the specialty area of early childhood special education (ECSE , a field [banner_entry_middle]

br comprised of professionals from many disciplines . The genesis of ECSE in the United States may be traced to the formation , in 1968 , of the Handicapped Children ‘s Early Education Program (HCEEP ) branch within the United States Department of Education . Although other work had occurred in early intervention prior to this time , the establishment of HCEEP provided national recognition and federal funds to address early intervention issues

Since 1968 , rapid changes have occurred in the field of early intervention . The most significant event impacting on early intervention was the passage of Public Law 99-457 (P .L . hereafter ) in 1986 . This law mandates education for handicapped children aged three to five years and provides both impetus and funding for early intervention for children younger than age three

From the viewpoint of an outside observer , the passage of only eighteen years from the establishment of a specialty area to that specialty area demonstrating efficacy such that its tenets become law is admirable However , these tenets , and the practices derived from them , are based on research that has recently received negative reviews . It is clear that ECSE has done well , but many challenges remain to be met . Failure to conquer these challenges could result in a loss of valuable ground that many have worked hard to achieve

Early Evidence for Early Intervention

As the fields of special education and early childhood education evolved , evidence were accumulating that early intervention could be effective . In a classic study , Skeels (1966 ) examined the effects of environmental stimulation on two comparable groups of infants . Mentally retarded females acted as surrogate mothers for one group (n 13 providing these children with attention and stimulation . Twelve infants with average IQs remained in a nonstimulating orphanage environment Eighteen months later , the stimulated infants gained an average 27 .5 IQ points while the control group dropped 26 .2 points

Twenty-one years later , Skeels (1966 ) continued to find differences between those who were placed in the enriched environment and those who were not . Of those in the experimental group , all were found to be self-supporting as adults . Four of these adults had completed college and , as a group , had a median high-school education . Of those in the control group , four adults had been institutionalized . The median education for these adults was at the third-grade level

Additional evidence came from the work of Kirk (1965 , who studied handicapped preschoolers . He compared institutionalized mentally handicapped preschoolers who received a preschool program with a comparable… [banner_entry_footer]

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