Celebrating Inclusivity at the Preschool Level: Early Intervention Success at St. Louis's Childgarden Child Care Center

By Ebsworth-Goold, Erika | The Exceptional Parent, December 2009 | Go to article overview

Celebrating Inclusivity at the Preschool Level: Early Intervention Success at St. Louis's Childgarden Child Care Center


Ebsworth-Goold, Erika, The Exceptional Parent


Like any other parent, Alexis Duncan has always had high hopes for her daughter Ellie, always expected her to be ahead of the curve. That expectation began to change when her first-born was just 5 months old. Ellie lagged behind in her gross motor milestones. Equally alarming, she had stopped thriving, falling off the growth chart completely.

"As she progressed through the first year, she still couldn't move on her own," says Duncan. "Ellie could not get into a sitting position from lying down. And when she fell over, she wouldn't try to catch herself."

When Ellie was 11 months old, she had a complete developmental assessment, which revealed a more than 50 percent delay in her gross motor skills and an additional, lesser delay in her fine motor skills. For most parents, this would mean the beginning of an exhaustive, time-consuming, and stressful search for special services and supports. But for Alexis Duncan, getting Ellie's therapy started was as simple as calling her daughter's child care center.

Childgarden Child Development Center is located in the heart of St. Louis. It's a cheery, bright place with colorful self-portraits by pintsized Picassos hanging from every wall. More than 120 children aged six weeks to eight years old gather at Childgarden each day to learn all about themselves and the world around them. In many ways, it looks like a typical child care center. But Childgarden is a rarity in the field: a completely inclusive center.

Thirty percent of the children who attend Childgarden have some sort of developmental delay. Their diagnoses run the gamut from Down syndrome to autism spectrum disorders to cerebral palsy. There is no segregating the special-needs students. They attend class with their typically-developing peers and receive a variety of early intervention therapies on site. Although the concept may seem daunting, center director Ann Bingham says it's actually quite simple: everyone is welcome.

"Many times, kids with disabilities have an extremely difficult time finding and staying in good early childhood programs," Bingham explains. "Typical programs are really hesitant to serve kids with disabilities. They don't feel that the staff can meet their needs."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"Our philosophy at Childgarden is that kid is just a kid," says Bingham. "When you are focusing on good developmentally appropriate practices, it's really not such a long walk to be able to serve a child with disabilities in much the same manner you'd serve a typically developing child. The child just learns differently and might need additional supports, but serving that child really isn't so very difficult."

Childgarden employs seven therapists who work on site. They provide special education supports, as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy. A support web of state funding, insurance companies and donors helps pay for those supports, which take place in the classroom as often as possible. On any given day, you might see a child working on muscle strengthening exercises as the class takes part in a similar physical activity, such as dancing or stretching. Another youngster might take part in speech therapy at the same time classmates are practicing their speaking skills. According to Bingham, integrating the therapy helps the entire class.

"Therapy isn't this mystery for the kids," says Bingham. "It isn't frightening and the child getting support doesn't become different and unusual. It becomes part of our daily life and so when we are doing those activities, it helps the other children to understand that diversity and disability is a part of our daily life."

Many children come to Childgarden after they've been diagnosed with a developmental delay or disorder, often after being turned down for or even kicked out of another center. But sometimes, the delays are discovered in children already enrolled at Childgarden. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Celebrating Inclusivity at the Preschool Level: Early Intervention Success at St. Louis's Childgarden Child Care Center
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.