This session will include a parent panel reflecting on their child's experiences in inclusive education. Parents will share lessons learned from first hand experiences with IEPs, special and regular education, and from their children's preparation and transition to post-secondary education and employment. Parents will discuss their children's early intervention, elementary, and secondary experiences focusing on the successes and challenges in transitioning the young adult with disabilities toward a self sufficient and rewarding inclusive adulthood.
21st Century AT for young children – cutting edge technologies that support children’s access to learning opportunities
The assistive technologies of today represent a diverse range of products, people and potentials never before seen in the field. This presentation will discuss a variety of timely technology trends that are shaking up the assistive technology field and creating newfound possibilities for children with any disability. Trends discussed may include: wearable technology, 3D printing, the internet of things, telepresence and robotics, and the crowdfunding and do-it-yourself movements.
Practitioners play a critical role in children’s use of the technologies. This highly interactive session will inform the design of a set of Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services for young children intended to allow practitioners and programs to assess their current practices and plan for improvement. Objectives: Introduce the the school-age Quality Indicators of Assistive Technology (QIAT), what they are, how they are used and their utility for the birth - five population; Share examples of what assistive technology for young children looks like in the 21st century;and... more
The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) and the Governor’s Early Childhood Advisory Councils (ECAC) emphasize the importance of strong, quality, cross sector early childhood systems of professional development (PD) at the local, regional and state level. This session will share strategies used in one state to develop such a system and provide participants an opportunity to share what is happening in their states. Tools developed by the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) through their work with 8 states to support cross sector PD system development... more
Response to Intervention (RTI) and Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) are buzz words in education that recently have generated widespread interest in the early childhood field. Best understood as organizing frameworks, these approaches to tiered instruction are designed to help practitioners connect formative assessments with specific teaching and behavioral interventions and supports. Join us for an introduction to the newly released CONNECT Module 7 on Tiered Instruction. This session will demonstrate how videos, dilemmas, research summaries, activities, and other resources organized around... more
In this plenary session, Janelle Rethwisch will share her powerful story on the inclusion of her daughter, Lydia Rose, and will address key themes related to inclusive practices for children with special needs from the perspective of a parent and former Special Educator. Videos, personal anecdotes, and the DEC Recommended Practices will illustrate the following themes: Children and families must be recognized for their uniqueness, not by their diagnosis; Parents must be honored as experts and decision-makers for their children; “Collaboration” must be supported by specific practices; In early... more
A Place to Be and Something to Do: Evidence-based Practices for Children with ASD in Preschool Settings
Inclusive settings offer many potential learning opportunities for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, simply placing a child with ASD in such settings without accompanying supports can be a challenge for both the program and the child. In this presentation, a model for designing programs for young children with ASD will be described. Based on the work of the National Professional Development Center on ASD, participants will learn about assessing quality of programs, designing measurable objectives, and linking objectives to evidence-based practices recently... more
Working with and caring for infants, toddlers and their families is relationship-based and requires us to engage our emotions as well as our intellect. This interactive session will provide early care and educational professionals an opportunity to apply a self-reflective process through which they will learn to recognize the personal factors that influence their caregiving practices and decisions. User-friendly tips and tools will be provided through the use of case scenarios and videos and offer opportunity for reflection and dialogue as participants determine what infant, toddler and... more
Every student has strengths but these may get overlooked as we focus on needs and difficulties. Learn how to systematically and intentionally observe students as “at potential” vs. “at risk”!! Use the TOPS (Teachers Observation of Potential in Students) to see and document student’s strengths to plan strength-based instructional experiences. Reflect with your colleagues on how a strength-based approach to children and learning impacts classroom practices!
How can we help teachers and program leaders understand more about how children spend their time in school? This is particularly important when we think about children with special needs in inclusive settings. How do we know that such children are having meaningful experiences? How do we move from token inclusion to authentic inclusion? In this session, we will introduce and discuss the EduSnap, a tool that provides a minute-by-minute picture of how children spend their day in school, allowing educators to examine the degree to which those experiences are similar or different when... more