Early Intervention in Transition: Current Perspectives on Programs for Handicapped Children

Early Intervention in Transition: Current Perspectives on Programs for Handicapped Children

Early Intervention in Transition: Current Perspectives on Programs for Handicapped Children

Early Intervention in Transition: Current Perspectives on Programs for Handicapped Children

Synopsis

The growing prominence of ecological and social systems perspectives in the child development and family studies fields is having a significant impact on the conceptualization and delivery of early intervention services. The exclusive focus on the handicapped or developmentally delayed child is gradually giving way to a much broader focus on the family as a system. This book brings together the conceptual and empirical work of a number of scholars whose current research is at the leading edge of these shifts. Marfo's volume has an international appeal--but perhaps more significantly it affords American researchers a unique opportunity to learn more about the intervention field.

Excerpt

Within the relatively short history of the early intervention movement in the United States, we have witnessed many notable developments. The last two decades have been marked by rapid expansion in services for children with developmental disabilities. Research activity on programs for these children and their families has increasingly taken on an identity of its own, having been closely intertwined with research on services for socioculturally disadvantaged populations for a better part of the history of the field. Traditional approaches to the design and delivery of services are currently being reexamined in light of newly emerging theoretical perspectives in the primary disciplines that inform the field. Some of these changing perspectives have influenced early intervention practice by first shaping social policy. The directions for early intervention set forth in Public Law 99-457 provide a good illustration of this development. Equally noteworthy are the conceptual and methodological shifts that are beginning to occur in the area of efficacy research.

In any field, it takes time for conceptual and philosophical shifts to fully manifest themselves so that researchers and practitioners alike can draw readily on the new ideas to further advance the field and extend existing applications. Periodic state-of-the-art publications, such as this one, can help bridge the time lag between the emergence of new perspectives and their applications to service delivery. In the hope of fulfilling this role, the present volume was developed to inform early intervention professionals about some of the key transitions cur-

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