Preschool through Kindergarten NE/LRE Team Decision Making Module  

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Support Interaction and Learning for all Children

Children at every level of development must learn to cope with the changes related to their physical growth, the complexities of family life, and new experiences. A child's ability to cope in a new setting/program develops over time with support from adults and peers. How much support each child may need to participate fully in inclusive early childhood settings depends on:

  • developmental and personal strengths
  • his or her ability to cope with change
  • expectations and supports from the implementation team.

Cohen et al, 2005 ; Head Start, 2000; Williamson, 1994


Remember this...



A child's ability to cope in a new setting/program develops over time with support from adults and peers, and specialized intervention, as needed.  


Reflect on this...

  • Identify how the adaptations for Eduardo and Jhumpa illustrate:
  • Developmentally appropriate practice
  • Principles of universal design 
  • Positive behavior support (Acknowledgement )
  • Embedded intervention

Adjust expectations for a child's behavior and ability level

Early childhood programs must look carefully at their environments, schedules, and activities to consider the adaptations and accommodations appropriate for each child. Children with special needs may require extra time, repetition, or other program modifications to successfully participate. 


Instructional practices supporting services in inclusive early childhood settings provides numerous examples of practices for all young learners and specialized intervention for children with disabilities.


Build on a child’s emerging skills
Three year old Eduardo has delayed receptive and expressive language and does not easily follow requests or directions. His behavior becomes particularly challenging during transitions from one activity to another or at the end of the day.

His teacher identifies that Eduardo is a visual learner, and watches other children to see what they do. She uses a buddy system during transitions to prompt all her students, and makes sure that Eduardo’s buddy knows the class routines. She acknowledges Eduardo’s positive behavior with “high fives” and “I did it!” stickers and develops a social story for him with his mother’s input about following directions.


Embedded adaptations
Jhumpa spends her choice time only in the music corner, and plays the same tune on the keyboard day after day. She refuses to try new activities, ultimately ending in tantrums.

Her teacher confers with Jhumpa’s mother and special education consultant. Together they decide to use her strong interest in music to help improve her visualization and anticipation of class routines and schedules. They find that Jhumpa responds to an advance prompt i.e., hearing a timer bing or a set combination of musical notes on the keyboard, especially when she can play the notes or set the timer herself.