header spacer
Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
highlights left shadow
Happy baby; Text - Providing health care services that ensure our children start out healthy Four Medical Professionals; Text - Creating a place where health care professionals connect Four girls smiling; Text - Providing extraordinary care so children can lead ordinary lives
highlights right shadow
navigation left shadow Home family left spacer Families family left spacer Providers MMA left spacer navigation right shadow
left menu shadow menu spacer content left spacer
content right spacer content right spacer

Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 5, Lesson 1


Lesson 1 examines the perspectives and characteristics of families of young children with disabilities. Understanding these can help assure that families and children in the Early Steps service delivery system receive services that meet their unique needs. Viewing families from a "strength-based" perspective and acknowledging the family's expertise with regard to their child sets the framework for working with them in a family-centered manner.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, you will be able to:

  1. Identify IDEA federal and state policies with regard to family and community partnerships in all areas of the Early Steps system.
  2. Recognize families as authentic experts about their children's history, strengths, needs, progress and potential.
  3. Describe common ecologies and characteristics of families who have young children with disabilities.
  4. Determine the effect of family stressors.
  5. Describe the roles of family members - fathers, siblings, extended family, etc.
  6. Identify how the cultures, ethnicities and experiences of families affect their interactions and view of the world.
  7. Describe the concept of "family adjustment."
  8. View families from a "strengths-based perspective."


The following resources are necessary for the completion of this lesson. Learners may wish to access and print a hard copy of the resources prior to beginning the lesson and for future reference. Some resource documents can be found in the Resource Bank. Others are available online.

Note: One article for this lesson is only available in a hard-copy professional journal. It is suggested that the learner visit a community college or university in their area to obtain the article. See Activity 1 for details.

Key Words

Definitions of key words are found in the glossary.

  • Family Systems Theory
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • Cultural Reciprocity


Nextprevious | nextNext