spectrum disorder is characterized by persistent deficits in social interactions and communication across multiple contexts, including deficits in social reciprocity, nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, and skills in developing, maintaining and understanding relationships. In addition to the social communication deficits, the diagnosis of autism
spectrum disorder requires the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). While IDEA 2004 does not mandate inclusion in the legislation, there is accepted movement by families, professionals and advocacy groups such as Council for Exceptional Children-Division for Early Childhood (2001) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Brendekamp and Copple 1997), to include young children with disabilities in early childhood programs. Young children with autism
are being increasingly included in early childhood programs with typically developing peers. Early childhood educators have risen to face the challenge, and this has resulted in enhanced learning for young children autism
in the regular classroom. As collaboration becomes more defined it changes the dynamics of teaching from one of working alone in the classroom to sharing duties such as planning, instruction, responsibility for students, assessment of student learning, problem solving, and classroom management (Ripley 1991).
This assignment focuses on the multiple roles of early childhood educators as they work with the diverse needs of young children with autism
in their classrooms.
The following is a fictitious scenario which exemplifies the needs and services often encountered in today's early childhood public school setting. This vignette specifically identifies that service provision for children with disabilities must be a collaborative effort. Service provision is a team effort and must include everyone. "Everyone" is defined as early childhood educator, intervention specialist, related services/support personnel, administrators and parent(s).
Cody is a 4 year old child who attends preschool. The preschool teacher, Mrs. Benedetti, has observed that Cody is not demonstrating the skills typical and expected of a child of his age level. He repeats most of what was said to him, does not know his colors, and does not play with the other children. He makes little eye contact and his attention span is much shorter than that of his peers. He also has frequent temper tantrums when asked to transition from one activity to another. This is Cody's first experience in a preschool or child care setting. Mrs. Benedetti has observed these behaviors and expressed concerns to her building administrator within the first weeks of the school year. Nonetheless, she decided to wait for a couple of weeks to make sure that Cody was not just experiencing adjustment problems. Cody's behaviors did not change, so the administrator organized a meeting with Mrs. Benedetti, the speech and language therapist, the school psychologist, and Cody's mother, Katie, to discuss Cody's behaviors and plan strategies to support his learning.
The team decided to observe Cody in a variety of situations and use some basic strategies that might help with his language and socialization skills. These strategies included structured play in which language and social skills were embedded, positive behavioral supports and a weekly progress report to Cody's mother. The team suggested that Katie consider taking Cody for a comprehensive evaluation from a developmental pediatrician.
The team met again a month later. It was determined that the intervention they tried had not been successful and decided to proceed with individual psychological and speech and language evaluations. In the meantime, Cody's mother had also taken him to a developmental pediatrician who diagnosed Cody with autism
. The results of these evaluations and with the recommendations of his team qualified him as eligible for special education services.
Cody displayed the following characteristics. in his interactions in the classroom. He often did not respond to oral communication, his speech was echolalic, where he repeated the last two words heard with little understanding, and he avoided eye contact. Cody's plan was extremely ritualistic and lacked imagination. he spent most of his time lining up toys or stacking blocks in a specific order. When other children entered his play area Cody immediately left the setting. He did not participate in group activities including circle time. Transitions were difficult and he had frequent tantrums.
Initially, Katie was reluctant to identify Cody as a student with special needs because had negative memories of special education and children being isolated in separate classrooms. Eventually, she agreed to the identification because Cody would be able to stay in his regular classroom. In this environment, he received speech and language therapy through a speech and language pathologist. In addition, he was provided with specific educational interventions for the development of his academic and social skills through the services of an itinerant early childhood intervention specialist. An IEP (Individual Education Program) was developed in order to document his level of functioning, needs and goals/objectives. Katie agreed to this IEP as a result of a successful team meeting with all stakeholders.
1. Develop an IEP for Cody.
One of the early steps to successful collaboration and effective practices, of which the parent is an active partner, is the implementation of the Individual Education Program (IEP).
Write an IEP to meet Cory's unique needs including identifying eligible special education services in the regular education setting with typically developing peers. Fill in the blank form provided to create Cody's IEP. DO NOT COMPLETE PAGE 6 OF THE IEP WHICH IS ABOUT STATE EXAMS. You will type into the IEP document all of the responses.
2. Collaborating with Cody's family.
Collaboration is the banding together of the team of practitioners and parents to better plan and meet the needs of their students (Friend and Bursuck 2009) It is the sharing of resources, skills and various perspectives of the team to enhance learning (Ripley 1997). The last several years has seen the role of teachers redefined to reflect issues such as inclusion which necessitates collaboration among professionals, students, families and community agencies (Salend 2008).
a) Describe how you can involve Cody's family in functional skills such as language, self-help, and social/behavioral skills.
b) Describe how you can create opportunities for Cody's parents to share their needs, expectations, and values, and for school personnel to listen.
3. Physical Environment.
As the suggestion of the itinerant early childhood intervention specialist, Mrs. Benedetti replaced the tube lights with softer lamps when natural lighting was insufficient. While Cody was impacted more light, certain sounds also bothered him at times. During those times Cody was allowed to wear headphones or earplugs to reduce distress caused by the noise.
Since Cody had significant qualitative differences with social interactions and language, the natural environment, the classroom, must include opportunities for Cody to use language and interact with his peers through materials and topics which are of high interest to him during play.
Describe how you would address these needs in the 3 sections below?
1. Daily routines.
3. Learning centers. Ex. Dramatic play, blocks, etc.
When done addressing on the three, How would you begin to transition the child into an activity set up for the child?
To the writer
Part 1: IEP forms then you will respond to
Part 2: The collaboration with parts a and b. Then you will respond to
Part 3: Physical environment of a preschool classroom with parts 1, 2, and 3.
The IEP is about 9 pages to fill in responses. The other questions in part 2 and 3 are about a page each.
I will email the IEP forms now.
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