Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

Early Intervention Related Abstracts

8 The Importance of Development Evaluation to Preterm Children in Remote Area

Authors: Chung-Yuan Wang, Min Hsu, Bo-Ya Juan, Hsiv Ching Lin, Hsveh Min Lin, Hsiu-Fang Yeh


The success of Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI) system attracts widespread praise from the international society. However, the availability of medical care in a emote area is limited. Without the convenient public transportation system and mature social welfare policy, these people are difficult to regain their health and prevent disability. Preterm children have more risk to get development delay. Preterm children in a remote area have the human right to get rehabilitation resources as those in the city area. Therefore, the aim of this study was to show the importance of development screening to preterm children in a remote area and a tract the government to notice the issue. In Pingtung, children who are suspected development delay would be suggested to take a skillful screening evaluation in our hospital. Those preterm children (within 1-year-old) visited our pediatric clinic would also be referred to take the development evaluation. After the physiatrist’s systemic evaluation, the subjects would be scheduled to take the development evaluation. Gross motor, fine motor, speech comprehension/expression and mental study were included. The evaluation was in-charged by a physical therapist, occupational therapy, speech therapist and pediatric psychologist. The tools were Peabody developmental scale, Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (Bayley-III) and Wechsler Preschool & Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R). In 2013, 459 children received the service in our hospital. Among these children, fifty-seven were noted with preterm baby history (gestation within 37 weeks). Thirty-six of these preterm children, who had never receive development evaluation, were included in this study. Thirty-six subjects (twenty-six male and ten female) were included. Nineteen subjects were found development delay. Six subjects were found suspected development delay. In gross motor, six subjects were development delay and eight were suspected development delay. In fine motor, five subjects were development delay and three were suspected development delay. In speech, sixteen subjects were development delay and six were suspected development delay. In our study, through the provision of development evaluation service, 72.2% preterm baby were found their development delay or suspected delay. They need further early intervention rehabilitation service. We made their parents realize that when development delay was recognized at the early stage, they are often reversible. No only the patients but also their families were improved their health status. The number of the subjects was limited in our study. Further study might be needed. Compared with 770 physical therapist (PT) and 370 occupational therapy (OT) in Taipei, there are only 108 PT and 54 OT in Pingtung. Further, there are much fewer therapists working on the field of pediatric rehabilitation. Living healthy is a human's right, no matter where does he live. For those development delay children in remote area, particularly preterm children, early detection, and early intervention rehabilitation service could play an important role in decreasing their disability and improving their quality of life. Through this study, we suggest the government to add more national resources on the development evaluation to preterm children in a remote area.

Keywords: Development, Rehabilitation, Early Intervention, preterm children

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7 Early Intervention for Preschool Children of Parents with Mental Illness: The Evaluation of a Resource for Service Providers

Authors: Stella Laletas, Andrea Reupert, Melinda Goodyear, Bradley Morgan


Background: Many people with a mental illness have young children. Research has shown that early childhood is a particularly vulnerable time for children whose parents have a mental illness. Moreover, repeated research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a multiagency approach to family focused practice for improving parental functioning and preventing adverse outcomes in children whose parents have a mental illness, particularly in the early years of a child’s life. However, there is a paucity of professional development resources for professionals who work with families where a parent has a mental illness and has young children. Significance of the study: This study will make a contribution to addressing knowledge gaps around resource development and workforce needs for early childhood and mental health professionals working with young children where a parent has a mental illness. Objective: This presentation describes a newly developed resource, 'Pathways of Care', specifically designed for early childhood educators and mental health workers, alongside pilot evaluation data regarding its effectiveness. ‘Pathways of Care’ aims to promote collaborative practice and present early identification and referral processes for workers in this sector. The resource was developed by the Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) National Initiative which is funded by the Australian Government. Method: Using a mixed method design, the effectiveness of the training resource is also presented. Fifteen workers completed the Family Focus Mental Health Practice Questionnaire pre and post using the resource, to measure confidence and practice change; semi-structured interviews were also conducted with eight of these same workers to further explore the utility of the resource. Findings: The findings indicated the resource was effective in increasing knowledge and confidence, particularly for new and/or inexperienced staff. Examples of how the resource was used in practice by various professions emerged from the interview data. Conclusions: Collaborative practice, early identification and intervention in early childhood can potentially play a key role in altering the life trajectory of children who are at risk. This information has important implications for workforce development and staff training in both the early childhood and mental health sectors. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.

Keywords: Evaluation, Early Intervention, preschool children, parents with mental ilnesses

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6 Development and Validation of Family Outcome Survey – Revised Taiwan Version

Authors: Shih-Heng Sun, Hsiu-Yu Chang


“Family centered service model” becomes mainstream in early intervention. Family outcome should be evaluated in addition child improvement in terms of outcome evaluation in early intervention. The purpose of this study is to develop a surveys to evaluate family outcomes in early intervention. Method: “Family Outcomes Survey- Revised Taiwan Version” (FOS-RT) was developed through translation, back-translation, and review by the original author. Expert meeting was held to determine the content validity. Two hundred and eighty six parent-child dyads recruited from 10 local Early Intervention Resource Centers (EIRC) participated in the study after they signed inform consent. The results showed both parts of FOS-RT exhibits good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The result of confirmatory factor analysis indicated moderate fit of 5 factor structure of part A and 3 factor structure of part B of FOS-RT. The correlation between different sessions reached moderate to high level reveals some sessions measure similar latent trait of family outcomes. Correlation between FOS-RT and Parents‘ Perceived Parenting Skills Questionnaire was calculated to determine the convergence validity. The moderate correlation indicates the two assessments measure different parts of early intervention outcome although both assessments have similar sub-scales. The results of this study support FOS-RT is a valid and reliable tool to evaluate family outcome after the family and children with developmental disability receive early intervention services.

Keywords: Early Intervention, family service, outcome evaluation, parenting skills, family centered

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5 Bahasa Melayu Hand Coded and Malaysian Sign Language Acquisition of Hearing Impaired Students at Early Intervention

Authors: Nordin Mamat, Abdul Rahim Razalli, Lee Kean Low


The objective of the study is to examine the acquisition of Bahasa Melayu hand coded and Malaysian Sign Language of hearing impaired children and the factors that influencing the acquisition of Malay language at early intervention. A qualitative research design was chosen to answer two research questions. Two sets of instruments have been used to obtain information of proficiency and factors that influence it. Five children with hearing problems, four teachers and three parents were selected as the respondents through purposive sampling technique. The findings show that pupils with hearing problems who mastered Bahasa Melayu hand coded have better acquisition of Bahasa Melayu as compared to those who acquired Malaysian Sign Language. The study also found that the parents, pupils, teachers and environmental factors have an impact on the acquisition of Bahasa Melayu hand coded. The implications of this study show that early intervention of Bahasa Melayu hand coded and the parents, pupils, teachers and environmental factors do help in the language proficiency of children with hearing problems. A more comprehensive study should be undertaken at a higher level to see the impact on an early intervention program for Malay language acquisition of hearing impaired children.

Keywords: Early Intervention, Bahasa Melayu hand coded, Malaysian sign Language, hearing impaired children

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4 Tablet Computer Based Cognitive Rehabilitation Program, Injini, for Children with Cognitive Impairment

Authors: Eun Jae Ko, In Young Sung, Eui Soo Joeng


Cognitive impairment is commonly encountered problem in children with various clinical diseases, including Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, brain injury, and others. Cognitive impairment limits participation in education and society, and this further hinders development in cognition. However, young children with cognitive impairment tend not to respond well to traditional cognitive treatments, therefore alternative treatment choices are need. As a cognitive training program, touch screen technology can easily be applied to very young children by involving visual and auditory support. Injini was developed as tablet computer based cognitive rehabilitation program for young children or individuals with severe cognitive impairment, which targeted on cognitive ages of 18 to 36 months. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a tablet computer based cognitive rehabilitation program (Injini) for children with cognitive impairment. 38 children between cognitive ages of 18 to 36 months confirmed by cognitive evaluations were recruited and randomly assigned to the intervention group (n=20) and the control group (n=18). The intervention group received tablet computer based cognitive rehabilitation program (Injini) for 30 minutes per session, twice a week, over a period of 12 weeks, in addition to the traditional rehabilitation program. The control group received traditional rehabilitation program only. Mental score of Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID II), Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI), Laboratory Temperament Assessment Battery (Lab-TAB), Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire (ECBQ), and Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) were evaluated before and after 12 weeks of therapeutic intervention. When comparing the baseline characteristics, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the measurements of cognitive function. After 12 weeks of treatment, both group showed improvements in all measurements. However, in comparison of improvements after treatment, the intervention group showed more improvements in the mental score of BSID II, social function domain of PEDI, observation domain of Lab-TAB, and GAS, as compared to the control group. Application of the tablet computer based cognitive rehabilitation program (Injini) would be beneficial for improvement of cognitive function in young children with cognitive impairment.

Keywords: Early Intervention, Cognitive Therapy, Tablets, computer-assisted therapy

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3 Factors Affecting Autistic Children's Development during the Early Years in Elementary School: A Longitudinal Study in Taiwan

Authors: Huang Ying


The present study was to investigate factors affecting children's improvement through the first two years of elementary school on a population-based sample of children with autism in Taiwan. All the children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by clinical psychologists according to DSM-IV. Children's development was assessed by the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-Chinese version (VABS-C) on the first and the third grade. Children's improvement was measured by the difference between the standardized total score of the third and the first year. In Taiwan, school-age children with special-education needs will be arranged into different classes, including normal classes (NC), resource classes (RC), and special classes (SC) by the government. Therefore, type of class was one of the independent variables. Moreover, as early intervention is considered to be crucial, the earliest age when intervention begins was collected from parents. Attention was also included in the analysis. Teachers were asked to evaluate children's attention with a 3-item Likert Scale. The frequency of paying attention to the class or the task was recorded and scores were summed up. Additionally, standardized scores of the VABS-C in the first grade were used as pretest scores representing children's developmental level at the beginning of elementary school. Multiple regression was conducted with improvement as the dependent variable. Results showed that children in special classes had smaller improvement compared to those in normal or resource classes. Attention positively predicted improvement yet the effect of earliest intervention age was not significant. Furthermore, scores in the first grade negatively predicted improvement, which indicated that children with higher developmental levels would make less progress in the following years. Results were to some degree consistent with previous findings through meta-analysis that the effectiveness of conventional intervention methods lacked sufficient evidence to support.

Keywords: Attention, Early Intervention, Elementary school, special education in Taiwan

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2 An Exploration of Special Education Teachers’ Practices in a Preschool Intellectual Disability Centre in Saudi Arabia

Authors: Faris Algahtani


Background: In Saudi Arabia, it is essential to know what practices are employed and considered effective by special education teachers working with preschool children with intellectual disabilities, as a prerequisite for identifying areas for improvement. Preschool provision for these children is expanding through a network of Intellectual Disability Centres while, in primary schools, a policy of inclusion is pursued and, in mainstream preschools, pilots have been aimed at enhancing learning in readiness for primary schooling. This potentially widens the attainment gap between preschool children with and without intellectual disabilities, and influences the scope for improvement. Goal: The aim of the study was to explore special education teachers’ practices and perceived perceptions of those practices for preschool children with intellectual disabilities in Saudi Arabia Method: A qualitative interpretive approach was adopted in order to gain a detailed understanding of how special education teachers in an IDC operate in the classroom. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with experienced and qualified teachers. Data were analysed using thematic analysis, based on themes identified from the literature review together with new themes emerging from the data. Findings: American methods strongly influenced teaching practices, in particular TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped Children), which emphasises structure, schedules and specific methods of teaching tasks and skills; and ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis), which aims to improve behaviours and skills by concentrating on detailed breakdown and teaching of task components and rewarding desired behaviours with positive reinforcement. The Islamic concept of education strongly influenced which teaching techniques were used and considered effective, and how they were applied. Tensions were identified between the Islamic approach to disability, which accepts differences between human beings as created by Allah in order for people to learn to help and love each other, and the continuing stigmatisation of disability in many Arabic cultures, which means that parents who bring their children to an IDC often hope and expect that their children will be ‘cured’. Teaching methods were geared to reducing behavioural problems and social deficits rather than to developing the potential of the individual child, with some teachers recognizing the child’s need for greater freedom. Relationships with parents could in many instances be improved. Teachers considered both initial teacher education and professional development to be inadequate for their needs and the needs of the children they teach. This can be partly attributed to the separation of training and development of special education teachers from that of general teachers. Conclusion: Based on the findings, teachers’ practices could be improved by the inclusion of general teaching strategies, parent-teacher relationships and practical teaching experience in both initial teacher education and professional development. Coaching and mentoring support from carefully chosen special education teachers could assist the process, as could the presence of a second teacher or teaching assistant in the classroom.

Keywords: Early Childhood, Special Education, Early Intervention, Intellectual Disabilities

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1 Play-Based Intervention Training Program for Daycare Workers Attending to Children with Autism

Authors: Raymond E. Raguindin


Objective: This research studied the teaching improvement of daycare workers in imitation, joint attention, and language activities using the play-based early intervention training program in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija. Methods: Focus group discussions were developed to explore the attitude, beliefs, and practices of daycare workers. Results: Findings of the study revealed that daycare workers have existing knowledge and experience in teaching children with autism. Their workshops on managing inappropriate behaviors of children with autism resulting in a general positive perception of accepting and teaching children with autism in daycare centers. Play based activities were modelled and participated in by daycare workers. These include demonstration, modelling, prompting and providing social reinforcers as reward. Five lectures and five training days were done to implement the training program. Daycare workers’ levels of skill in teaching imitation, joint attention and language were gathered before and after the participation in the training program. Findings suggest significant differences between pre-test and post test scores. They have shown significant improvement in facilitating imitation, joint attention, and language children with autism after the play-based early intervention training. They were able to initiate and sustain imitation, joint attention, and language activities with adequate knowledge and confidence. Conclusions: 1. Existing attitudes and beliefs greatly influenced the positive delivery mode of instruction. 2. Teacher-directed approach to improve attention, imitation, joint attention, and language of children with autism can be acquired by daycare workers. 3. Teaching skills and experience can be used as reference and basis for identifying future training needs.

Keywords: Language, Early Intervention, Imitation, joint attention

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