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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 4, Lesson 1

Curricula available for all Infants and Toddlers

Deciding on which curriculum to use is based on appropriate assessments. During the team meeting, professionals and parents engage in problem solving to arrive at the best curriculum or curricula to use for their child, using a systematic problem solving method (McConnell, McEvoy, Carta, Greenwood, Kaminski, Good, & Shinn, 1998).

Mother and baby on bedWhile no one curriculum may be applicable for the services needed to support each family's needs or child's interests, the following are two types of infant/toddler curricula:

  1. curricula with corresponding assessment tools and
  2. holistic curricula that individualize for ALL infants and toddlers and offer activities and advice that can be used in the development of the IFSP or daily activity planning.

Curricula with Corresponding Assessment Tools

The following curricula are designed around an assessment tool. The team can address the family's desired functional outcomes with activities that correspond to the infant or toddler's strengths and areas of challenge determined by the assessment.

Bricker, D., Cripe, J., Slentz, K. (1993) Assessment, evaluation, and programming system (AEPS) measurement for birth to three years. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.

The AEPS test was designed to be used in conjunction with the AEPS Curriculum for Birth to Three Years or other similar curricula. It covers the developmental progress of children's functional skills in six key domains (fine motor, gross motor, adaptive, cognitive, social-communication, and social development).

Pretti-Frontczak, K. & Bricker, Diane D. (2004) An Activity Based Approach to Early Intervention, 3rd Ed. Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.

This provides guidance for early childhood professionals to seamlessly link assessment, goal development, intervention, and evaluation for children from birth to age 5 - while developing individualized IEP/IFSP goals, creating multiple and varied learning opportunities, and working as a team. Activity-based intervention is defined as a "child-directed, transactional approach that embeds intervention on children's individual goals and objectives in routine, planned, or child-initiated activities, and uses logically occurring antecedents and consequences to develop functional and generative skills". Bricker and Cripe maintain that a true activity-based intervention model consists of four key elements:

  • activities and actions initiated by children are more likely to attract and hold a child's attention and as a result maintain their involvement.
  • training and intervention (addressing IFSP/IEP goals and objectives) are embedded within routine, planned, or child-initiated activities.
  • involves the systematic use of appropriate antecedents and consequences which naturally occur during ongoing classroom activities.
  • address skills for the child that are functional and generative.

Johnson-Martin, N.M, Jens, K.G., Attermeier, S.M., Hacker, B.J. (1991). The Carolina curriculum for infants and toddlers with special needs, 2nd Ed. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

Child playing with soccer ballThe third edition, scheduled for 2004 publication includes 24 logical teaching sequences covering five developmental domains: cognition, communication, social adaptation, fine motor, and gross motor. Curricular sequences each consist of an introduction that explains why that sequence is important; suggested adaptations for children with visual, motor, and hearing impairments; and a list of behaviors associated with that sequence. For each behavior, users get a criterion that pinpoints the objective, a list of suggested materials for eliciting that behavior, procedures that help, and functional activities for encouraging that behavior within the child's daily routine. Appendices cover play and children with motor impairments, using object boards for teaching children with motor impairments, and more.

Linder, T.W. (1993). Transdisciplinary play-based assessment (TPBA) and Transdisciplinary play-based intervention (TPBI). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

The TPBI helps parents and professionals translate the assessment data generated from TPBA into an effective play-based intervention program for children from infancy to 6 years of age. With the skillfully organized TPBI Planner, team members can choose from a wealth of fun activities to design meaningful IFSPs. As IFSPs are developed, corresponding intervention strategies and ideas are recorded on TIP Sheets for use at home and at school. The strategies and ideas can easily be modified based on families' needs and preferences.

Parks, S. (1997). Hawaii early learning profile (HELP). Palo Alto, CA: VORT Corporation (www.vort.com) adapted from Furuno, Sl, O'Reilly, K.A., Hosaka, C.M., Inatsuka, T.T., Allman, T.L., & Seisloft, B. (1979). Hawaii early learning profile. Palo Alto, CA: VORT.

HELP is a curriculum-based assessment consisting of 685 developmental skills and behaviors covering six traditional child developmental domains: cognitive, language, gross motor, fine motor, social-emotional, and self-help. The developmental skills are organized by skill domains and, within skill domains, by "conceptual strands." Within each strand, the skills are sequentially ordered by age.

Parks, S., Furuno, S., O'Reilly, K., Takayo Inatsuka, O.T.R., Carol Hosaka, Barbara Zeisloft-Falbey, B. HELP at Home. Vort Corporation (www.vort.com)

HELP at Home offers 540 pages of reproducible, ready-to use handouts linked to each of the HELP skills to give parents an opportunity to work on skills at home in conjunction with program planning. This user-friendly and convenient binder includes: activities for parents to encourage, support and facilitate child development skills; anticipatory guidance and development techniques such as reading infant cues, sibling rivalry, tantrums, separation anxiety, consolation, explaining disabilities, safety, dental care and feeding problems; step-by-step instructions for body positioning and special handling techniques including jaw control, holding, feeding and play.


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