The Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA) mandates coordinated, multidisciplinary, and interagency
systems to deliver specialized early intervention services or early
childhood special education (EI/ECSE) to all eligible children displaying
cognitive, behavioral, and/or physical developmental delays or disabilities.
In 2012, 333,982 children ages 0 to 3 received EI services
through Part C of IDEA, and 730,562 children ages 3 to 5 received ECSE services through Part B.
Funding for these services is from both federal and state sources including educational funds, Medicaid funds, and other health insurance funding depending on the service or support given to each child. Although the U.S. Department of Education anticipates providing states with close to 9 million dollars to fund services for children with disabilities, this amount does not cover the costs of services.
Preliminary evidence indicates that EI/ECSE services positively affect children’s development. For example, 74% and 82% of children receiving EI and ECSE, respectively, display greater-than-expected growth in their reasoning, problem solving, and early literacy and mathematics knowledge, and 54% and 52% of children exiting EI and ECSE, respectively, display age-appropriate levels of cognitive, behavioral, and social -emotional functioning.
The availability of high-quality EI/ECSE developmental and family services has the potential to significantly enhance the lives and well-being of young children, and make a difference in the lives of their families. High-quality services strengthens cognitive and language development; increases school readiness and subsequent academic success; builds self-esteem and achievement motivation; and improves health, social-emotional development and behavior. It also significantly narrows the gap in school readiness and educational performance and strengthens family life. High-quality programs influence the way parents support their children’s education, how often they read to their children, and the way they participate in their children’s schooling.
As an elective within the Education Minor within the College, EDIJ 253 provides a comprehensive overview of neurodevelopmental disabilities and evidence-based practices from an interdisciplinary perspective. It covers service delivery to young children with disabilities and their families from birth through age 5 and emphasizes family-centered, community based, and culturally and linguistically competent services and supports.
The course is offered each Spring.
At the completion of this course you will:
- Describe the major developmental disabilities identified in the first five years of life;
- Describe the impact these developmental disabilities have on the child’s function, the family, and the community;
- Identify the services and supports available for infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities;
- Discuss the impact of the history of developmental disabilities on contemporary services and supports;
- Describe laws, policies, and regulations that guide the provision of services and supports to young children, birth through age 5.
Toby Long, PhD, PT, FAPTA
Center on Child and Human Development