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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 4, Lesson 1

Activity #4
Steps to Coaching

Go back to review the article, Practitioner as Coach: Our Role in Early Intervention You will remember reading this article by Shelden and Rush (2004) in Module 2, Lesson 2.

Reflect on the five steps for the coaching process as outlined by Shelden and Rush.

  1. Initiation
  2. Observation
  3. Action
  4. Reflection
  5. Evaluation

Consider application of these steps with Mandy, a 14 month old infant with Down syndrome.

Mandy lives with her mom, Elizabeth, her dad Ralph and her dog RuffRuff. Elizabeth works outside the home and her dad Ralph has a part-time business he runs from home. Ralph provides most of the caregiving and is open to any help. Mandy is very friendly, but has a heart condition that doesn't allow her much very active play. She loves to play with RuffRuff and the dog tolerates a lot from this toddler. Mandy also loves to look at picture books and play with one special doll.

The IFSP team has agreed that you, the ITDS, will do most of the coaching with this family. Write out some specific beginning questions/statements you might formulate to ask /share with this family for each of coaching steps? Since the coaching relationship is reciprocal, consider what the family might ask/share with you as well.


Activity #5
Families Questions about Early Intervention

The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities provides a great resource for families. One document which is available is A parent's guide: Accessing programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities. Part 1: Questions and Answers About Early Intervention Services For Infants and Toddlers Who Have a Developmental Delay or Who Are At Risk of a Developmental Delay (Ages Birth Through 2 Years Old.)

Read the list of questions in Part I - NICHCY This is a great list. Perhaps you have been asked some of these questions too.

Based on your experiences and insights, consider three other questions families might ask that are not in the list.


Lesson 1 Highlights

  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children that supports the field of Early Childhood, the Council for Exceptional Children that supports the Special Education field and Head Start/Early Head Start) all impacted the field of Early Childhood Special Education.
  • In the 1990's, a few pioneering institutions realized that fundamental systems changes were needed to merge early childhood and early childhood special education teacher preparation so that both children with special needs and those typically developing could benefit from best practices - individually and developmentally appropriate.
  • The Division for Early Childhood (DEC) established a set of recommended practices, DEC Recommended Practices: Indicators of Quality in Programs for Infants and Young Children with Special Needs and their Families (DEC Task Force on Recommended Practices, 1993)
  • Many of the same policies and practical strategies related to DAP can apply to ALL infants/toddlers with adaptations for individuals' development and culture.
  • Though DAP practices are good for ALL children, adaptations for a child with special needs in everyday routines, activities and places may be necessary.
  • Curriculum for infants and toddlers is not like school, but includes all everyday routines and places that infants/toddlers participate with adults, siblings, and other children - the planning for activities remains "a place to begin" and is flexible and responsive to each infant/toddler's personality, development, and family culture.
  • The adult role in play and daily living as engaging, encouraging and stimulating development is critical.
  • The IFSP is the foundation for the curriculum for each infant/toddler with special needs. The team approach to assessment and planning goals for each infant/toddler with special needs provides a spectrum of activities for which persons responsible for the child's development have input.
  • Coaching is a mind-set for providing intervention and supports that shifts the service delivery model from expert-driven to learner-focused. The coach must possess certain skills to be effective.


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