Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4239

Search results for: early intervention

4239 Effect of Early Therapeutic Intervention for the Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Quasi Experimental Design

Authors: Sultana Razia


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of early therapeutic intervention on children with an autism spectrum disorder. Participants were 140 children with autism spectrum disorder from Autism Corner in a selected rehabilitation center of Bangladesh. This study included children who are at aged of 18-month to 36-month and who were taking occupational therapy and speech and language therapy from the autism center. They were primarily screened using M-CHAT; however, children with other physical disabilities or medical conditions were excluded. 3-months interventions of 6 sessions per week are a minimum of 45-minutes long per session, one to one interaction followed by parent-led structured home-based therapy were provided. The results indicated that early intensive therapeutic intervention improves understanding, social skills and sensory skills. It can be concluded that therapeutic early intervention has a positive effect on diminishing symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Keywords: autism, m-chat, reciprocal social behavior, CRP

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4238 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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4237 Identifying Family Needs, Support, and Barriers for More Effective Involvement in Early Intervention Services

Authors: Sadeem A. Alolayan


The purpose of early intervention (EI) programs and services is to minimize the impact of disability on children ages 0-5 and to reduce future special education costs. This literature review identifies the status of families of children with special needs. Four major themes emerged from this literature review. The first was the family’s needs and the expressed desire for services to be obtained or outcomes to be achieved. The second was family support, meaning any information or skills needed to facilitate parents’ role as professionals in order to enable them to train and provide their child with the best quality of life. The third theme, barriers, was defined as parents’ actions or life circumstances that hindered families in obtaining appropriate EI services. The conclusions derived from the recommendations are that effective parent participation involves careful planning, establishing and maintaining a trusted rapport between parents, and EI providers that understand parents’ individual needs and interests, thus motivating effective parent involvement in early intervention programs.

Keywords: early intervention, individuals with disabilities education act, parents, recommendations

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4236 Levels of Family Empowerment and Parenting Skills of Parents with Children with Developmental Disabilities Who Are Users of Early Intervention Services

Authors: S. Bagur, S. Verger, B. Mut


Early childhood intervention (ECI) is understood as the set of interventions aimed at the child population with developmental disorders or disabilities from 0 to 6 years of age, the family, and the environment. Under the principles of family-centred practices, the members of the family nucleus are direct agents of intervention. Thus, the multidisciplinary team of professionals should work to improve family empowerment and the level of parenting skills. The aim of the present study is to analyse descriptively and differentially the level of parenting skills and family empowerment of parents using ECI services during the foster care phase. There were 135 families participating in the study. Three questionnaires were completed. The results show that the employment situation, the age of the child receiving an intervention, and the number of children in the family nucleus or the professional carrying out the intervention are variables that have a differential impact on different items of empowerment and parenting skills. The results are discussed and future lines of research are proposed, with the understanding that the initial analysis of the variables of empowerment and parenting skills may be predictors for the improvement of child development and family well-being. In addition, it is proposed to identify and analyse professional training in order to be able to adapt early care practices without depending on the discipline of the professional of reference.

Keywords: developmental disabilities, early childhood intervention, family empowerment, parenting skills

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4235 Early Intervention and Teletherapy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Stephen Hernandez, Nikita Sharma


The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emerged as a worldwide pandemic at the beginning of 2020. The pandemic and its impact reached the shores of the United States by the second week of March. Once infections started to grow in numbers, early intervention programs, including those providing home-based services, recognized that to reduce the spread of the virus, many traditional in-person therapeutic interventions were going to be impossible due to social distancing and self-quarantine requirements. Initially, infants, toddlers, and their families were left without any services from their educators and therapists, but within a few weeks of the public health emergency, various states, including New York, approved the use of teletherapy/virtual visits for early intervention service provision. This paper will detail the results of a survey from over 400 E.I. service providers about their experiences utilizing teletherapy to deliver services to children in early intervention programs. The survey questions focused on how did COVID-19 stay-at-home orders impact E.I. services for young children with special needs? Sub-questions included topics such as availability of the parents, the amount of time that babies remained engaged, as well as the perceived success of teletherapy as a viable option to provide service by both parent and professional. The results of this study found that therapists found teletherapy to be a viable manner of providing services and could be very effective on a case by case basis.

Keywords: early intervention, teletheraphy, telehealth, COVID-19

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4234 Anxiety and Depression in Parents of Children with Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood

Authors: S. Bagur, S. Verger, B. Mut


Early childhood intervention (ECI) is the set of actions aimed at children aged 0-6 years with special needs, the family, and the environment that aim to improve child development and family well-being. Socio-educational intervention with children with disabilities and their families should be understood through the principles of family-centered practice (FCP). The multidisciplinary team of professionals carries out the intake, assessment, and intervention, understanding that families may experience mental health problems, parental role incompetence, or feelings of exclusion. This study examines the relationship between caregivers' levels of anxiety and depression and child development during the fostering and assessment phase. The design is quantitative, non-experimental, and cross-sectional. The sample consisted of 135 family members (78.5% female, 21.5% male) users of child development services in the Balearic Islands (Spain). Three questionnaires were completed: Anxiety and Depression Scale, Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL 1½-5), and sociodemographic questionnaire. The main results show that parents of children with special needs score higher on anxiety than on depression. It should be noted that professional discipline is a variable to be taken into account in relation to parents' perception of the improvement of their child's development. In addition, there is an association between the developmental subscales, where the more the child is affected, the more the parents' mental health is affected. In short, we propose a reflection on the application of FCP during the intervention, understanding the lack of professional training as a predictor of quality in early intervention. Likewise, future lines of research are proposed to improve early care practices.

Keywords: anxiety, depression, early childhood intervention, family

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4233 Using Problem-Based Learning on Teaching Early Intervention for College Students

Authors: Chen-Ya Juan


In recent years, the increasing number of children with special needs has brought a lot of attention by many scholars and experts in education, which enforced the preschool teachers face the harsh challenge in the classroom. To protect the right of equal education for all children, enhance the quality of children learning, and take care of the needs of children with special needs, the special education paraprofessional becomes one of the future employment trends for students of the department of the early childhood care and education. Problem-based learning is a problem-oriented instruction, which is different from traditional instruction. The instructor first designed an ambiguous problem direction, following the basic knowledge of early intervention, students had to find clues to solve the problem defined by themselves. In the class, the total instruction included 20 hours, two hours per week. The primary purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of student academic scores, self-awareness, learning motivation, learning attitudes, and early intervention knowledge. A total of 105 college students participated in this study and 97 questionnaires were effective. The effective response rate was 90%. The student participants included 95 females and two males. The average age of the participants was 19 years old. The questionnaires included 125 questions divided into four major dimensions: (1) Self-awareness, (2) learning motivation, (3) learning attitudes, and (4) early intervention knowledge. The results indicated (1) the scores of self-awareness were 58%; the scores of the learning motivations was 64.9%; the scores of the learning attitudes was 55.3%. (2) After the instruction, the early intervention knowledge has been increased to 64.2% from 38.4%. (3) Student’s academic performance has positive relationship with self-awareness (p < 0.05; R = 0.506), learning motivation (p < 0.05; R = 0.487), learning attitudes (p < 0.05; R = 0.527). The results implied that although students had gained early intervention knowledge by using PBL instruction, students had medium scores on self-awareness and learning attitudes, medium high in learning motivations.

Keywords: college students, children with special needs, problem-based learning, learning motivation

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4232 Bahasa Melayu Hand Coded and Malaysian Sign Language Acquisition of Hearing Impaired Students at Early Intervention

Authors: Abdul Rahim Razalli, Nordin Mamat, 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: Bahasa Melayu hand coded, Malaysian sign Language, hearing impaired children, early intervention

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4231 Early Identification and Early Intervention: Pre and Post Diagnostic Tests in Mathematics Courses

Authors: Kailash Ghimire, Manoj Thapa


This study focuses on early identification of deficiencies in pre-required areas of students who are enrolled in College Algebra and Calculus I classes. The students were given pre-diagnostic tests on the first day of the class before they are provided with the syllabus. The tests consist of prerequisite, uniform and advanced content outlined by the University System of Georgia (USG). The results show that 48% of students in College Algebra are lacking prerequisite skills while 52% of Calculus I students are lacking prerequisite skills but, interestingly these students are prior exposed to uniform content and advanced content. The study is still in progress and this paper contains the outcome from Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. In this paper, early intervention used in these classes: two days vs three days meeting a week and students’ self-assessment using exam wrappers and their effectiveness on students’ learning will also be discussed. A result of this study shows that there is an improvement on Drop, Fail and Withdraw (DFW) rates by 7%-10% compared to those in previous semesters.

Keywords: student at risk, diagnostic tests, identification, intervention, normalization gain, validity of tests

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4230 Effectiveness of an Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention Program on Infants with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Dongjoo Chin


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) program on infants with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to explore the factors predicting the effectiveness of the program, focusing on the infant's age, language ability, problem behaviors, and parental stress. 19 pairs of infants aged between 2 and 5 years who have had been diagnosed with ASD, and their parents participated in an EIBI program at a clinic providing evidence-based treatment based on applied behavior analysis. The measurement tools which were administered before and after the EIBI program and compared, included PEP-R, a curriculum evaluation, K-SIB-R, K-Vineland-II, K-CBCL, and PedsQL for the infants, and included PSI-SF and BDI-II for the parents. Statistical analysis was performed using a sample t-test and multiple regression analysis and the results were as follows. The EIBI program showed significant improvements in overall developmental age, curriculum assessment, and quality of life for infants. There was no difference in parenting stress or depression. Furthermore, measures for both children and parents at the start of the program predicted neither PEP-R nor the degree of improvement in curriculum evaluation measured six months later at the end of the program. Based on these results, the authors suggest future directions for developing an effective intensive early intervention (EIBI) program for infants with ASD in Korea, and discuss the implications and limitations of this study.

Keywords: applied behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorder, early intensive behavioral intervention, parental stress

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4229 Introduction of a Multimodal Intervention for People with Autism: 'ReAttach'

Authors: P. Weerkamp Bartholomeus


Autism treatment evaluation is crucial for monitoring the development of an intervention at an early stage. ‘ReAttach’ is a new intervention based on the principles of attachment and social cognitive training. Practical research suggests promising results on a variety of developmental areas. Five years after the first ReAttach sessions these findings can be extended with qualitative research by means of follow-up interviews. The potential impact of this treatment on daily life functioning and well-being of autistic persons becomes clear.

Keywords: autism, innovation, treatment, social cognitive training

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4228 Investigating the Role of Social Media in Supporting Parents and Teachers of Students with Down Syndrome: Focus on Early Intervention Services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: Awatif Habeeb Al-Shamare


The number of social media users amongst special education teachers and parents of children with Down Syndrome (DS) is increasing annually. This is also the case in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). However, according to the best of the author’s knowledge, there are no qualitative studies which testify to the true nature of the interaction between teachers and parents when using social media, nor the role of social media in supporting and assisting parents and teachers with regards to the children’s educational needs in KSA. Therefore, this ongoing study aims to identify the role of social media in supporting parents and teachers of DS students, with a special emphasis on early intervention services in KSA. By bridging the knowledge gap on social media and special education in KSA and presenting socially relevant and applied information on the topic, this research provides a theoretical and practical base for the establishment of appropriate and effective programmes between the ministries of Information and Special Education in particular. A qualitative approach was selected because it was the most suitable approach for exploring the participants’ experiences, which could not be determined through scientific tests. Interviewing, chosen as the research instrument, allowed the researcher to obtain a detailed understanding of the topic linked to the study objectives. Initially, a pilot study was conducted at the Daycare Center in May 2016. Its aim was to examine and refine the methodology and assess whether the questions were understood with the potential for re-drafting them, if necessary. The main study consists of five teachers and five mothers with experience of using social media and with links to the Daycare Center. Thematic Analysis has been chosen for analysing the findings because it is a flexible method that allows themes to emerge from the data. Results of the current study are still in the initial stages, but the preliminary findings are as follows: (1) social media is an important tool in encouraging parents and teachers to access the necessary information and knowledge about, and experience in, early intervention services; (2) it acts as a support network for the parents; (3) it helps raise awareness about DS and the need for early intervention; (4) it can be used to put pressure on the government for an expansion in early intervention services, and finally (5) its use can be problematic in that parents and teachers face some difficulties and challenges when using the different platforms. It can be concluded that social media plays a significant role in the lives of teachers and parents with special needs children in KSA.

Keywords: down syndrome, early intervention services, social media, support parents and teachers

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4227 Effect of Timing and Contributing Factors for Early Language Intervention in Toddlers with Repaired Cleft Lip and Palate

Authors: Pushpavathi M., Kavya V., Akshatha V.


Introduction: Cleft lip and palate (CLP) is a congenital condition which hinders effectual communication due to associated speech and language difficulties. Expressive language delay (ELD) is a feature seen in this population which is influenced by factors such as type and severity of CLP, age at surgical and linguistic intervention and also the type and intensity of speech and language therapy (SLT). Since CLP is the most common congenital abnormality seen in Indian children, early intervention is a necessity which plays a critical role in enhancing their speech and language skills. The interaction between the timing of intervention and factors which contribute to effective intervention by caregivers is an area which needs to be explored. Objectives: The present study attempts to determine the effect of timing of intervention on the contributing maternal factors for effective linguistic intervention in toddlers with repaired CLP with respect to the awareness, home training patterns, speech and non-speech behaviors of the mothers. Participants: Thirty six toddlers in the age range of 1 to 4 years diagnosed as ELD secondary to repaired CLP, along with their mothers served as participants. Group I (Early Intervention Group, EIG) included 19 mother-child pairs who came to seek SLT soon after corrective surgery and group II (Delayed Intervention Group, DIG) included 16 mother-child pairs who received SLT after the age of 3 years. Further, the groups were divided into group A, and group B. Group ‘A’ received SLT for 60 sessions by Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), while Group B received SLT for 30 sessions by SLP and 30 sessions only by mother without supervision of SLP. Method: The mothers were enrolled for the Early Language Intervention Program and following this, their awareness about CLP was assessed through the Parental awareness questionnaire. The quality of home training was assessed through Mohite’s Inventory. Subsequently, the speech and non-speech behaviors of the mothers were assessed using a Mother’s behavioral checklist. Detailed counseling and orientation was done to the mothers, and SLT was initiated for toddlers. After 60 sessions of intensive SLT, the questionnaire and checklists were re-administered to find out the changes in scores between the pre- and posttest measurements. Results: The scores obtained under different domains in the awareness questionnaire, Mohite’s inventory and Mothers behavior checklist were tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis. Since the data did not follow normal distribution (i.e. p > 0.05), Mann-Whitney U test was conducted which revealed that there was no significant difference between groups I and II as well as groups A and B. Further, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test revealed that mothers had better awareness regarding issues related to CLP and improved home-training abilities post-orientation (p ≤ 0.05). A statistically significant difference was also noted for speech and non-speech behaviors of the mothers (p ≤ 0.05). Conclusions: Extensive orientation and counseling helped mothers of both EI and DI groups to improve their knowledge about CLP. Intensive SLT using focused stimulation and a parent-implemented approach enabled them to carry out the intervention in an effectual manner.

Keywords: awareness, cleft lip and palate, early language intervention program, home training, orientation, timing of intervention

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4226 Causal-Comparative Study on the Benefit of Faculty Intervention on Student Academic Performance

Authors: Anne Davies


Numerous students matriculating into university programs are surprised to find they are underprepared for the academic challenges of undergraduate studies. In many cases, they are unaware of their weaknesses as a scholar and unsure of how to develop their skills to succeed academically. Hypothesis: Early proactive intervention from faculty and staff members can mitigate academic issues and promote better student success outcomes. Method: After three weeks in their first semester, first-year students struggling-academically were recruited to attend individual weekly remediation sessions to develop effective learning practices. A causal-comparative methodology was used to evaluate their progress as compared to prior students with similar academic performances. Observations: Students welcomed the intervention from faculty and staff to remediate their individual needs. Those who received help in the third week had better outcomes than previous students with comparable performances who did not receive any interventional support. At the end of the semester, most students were back on track to complete their chosen degree programs. Conclusions: Early intervention by faculty and staff can improve the success of students in maintaining their status in their programs. In the future, this program will be incorporated into all first-year experience courses.

Keywords: Academic outcomes, program retention, remediation, undergraduate students

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4225 Gender Diversity in Early Years Education: An Exploratory Study Applied to Preschool Curriculum System in Romania

Authors: Emilia-Gheorghina Negru


As an EU goal, gender diversity in early year’s education aims and promotes equality of chances and respect for gender peculiarities of the pupils which are involved in formal educational activities. Early year’s education, as the first step to the Curriculum, prints to teachers the need to identify the role of the gender dimension on this stage, depending on the age level of preschool children through effective, complex, innovative and analytical awareness of gender diversity teaching and management strategies. Through gender educational work we, as teachers, will examine the effectiveness of the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) curriculum the gender development of school-aged children. PATHS and a school-based preventive intervention model are necessary to be designed to improve children's ability to discuss and understand equality and gender concepts. Our teachers must create an intervention model and provide PATHS lessons during the school year. Results of the intervention will be effective for both low- and high-risk children in improving their range of math’s skills for girls and vocabulary, fluency and emotional part for boys in discussing gender experiences, their efficacy beliefs regarding the management of equality in gender area, and their developmental understanding of some aspects of gender.

Keywords: gender, gender differences, gender equality, gender role, gender stereotypes

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4224 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: parents with mental ilnesses, early intervention, evaluation, preschool children

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4223 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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4222 Effect of Community Education and Early Intervention and Rehabilitation in Minimising the Impact on Mental Illness

Authors: Akanle Florence Foluso, Richard Oni, Ola Tolulo, Lani Ofie


Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Society’s attitude to mental health and primary prevention is the key instrument in a better understanding of the mental illness. This paper attempted to investigate the effect of community education and early intervention and rehabilitation in minimizing the impact of mental illness. The study involved 50 adolescents who were randomly selected and assigned to two groups, the control and the experimental. Subjects in the experimental group were exposed to treatment, while those in the control group were not. The subject exposed to treatment had an increased understanding of what mental illness is. Those with mental illness were better understood, less feared, less discriminated against, and tertiary prevention strategies were reported to minimize the impact of mental illness when it occurs

Keywords: community, health, improve, status

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4221 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: early intervention, imitation, joint attention, language

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4220 The Joint Attention Training as Early Occupational Therapy Intervention in Children with Autism

Authors: Sumeyye Belhan, Sema Gul Turk, Esma Ozkan, Mahmut Yaran


The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of joint attention training on communication skills and visual perception skills in autistic children. Eight children between 4 and six years of age participated in the study. Sociodemographic information form, Social Communication Questionnaire, Autism Behavior Checklist (ABC) and Motor-Free Visual Perception Test 4 (MVPT-4) were applied to the participants before intervention and after the intervention. Joint attention training was given three times a week for six weeks in total 18 sessions. Four of the children with autism who participate in the study (50%) were male, four (50%) were female and the mean age was 5,25±0,70. The Social Communication Scale score for children with autism was 13.62 ± 3.73 before the joint attention training and 11.37 ± 4.10 after the training. It was observed that social communication skills improved, but this improvement was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Pre-education autistic children's Autism Behavioral Control score was 55,37 ± 9,94, whereas it was 40,12 ± 15,57 after training. There was a statistically significant improvement in sensory, relationship building, body and object use, language skills, social and self-care skills of autistic children in the autistic behavior checklist subscale after joint attention training (p < 0.05). MVPT 4 score before intervention in children with autism was 14.62 ± 6.65; and 19,50 ± 5,18 after the intervention. There was a statistically significant increase in visual perceptual skills without a motor in children with autism after the intervention (p < 0.05). This abstract is the pilot study of the joint attention training involving planned long-term (12 weeks) and more autistic children. A greater number of autistic children for longer period suggest that joint attention training will also lead to statistically significant improvements in social communication skills. It is thought that the joint attention training that is applied for a longer period in early childhood occupational therapy in children with autism will be beneficial for social communication, self-care skills and visual perception skills of autistic children.

Keywords: autism, joint attention, social communication, visual perception

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4219 Parents and Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Early Reading Intervention Implemented as a Curriculum for Children with Learning Disabilities

Authors: Bander Mohayya Alotaibi


The valuable partnerships between parents and teachers may develop positive and effective interactions between home and school. This will help these stakeholders share information and resources regarding student academics during ongoing interactions. Thus, partnerships will build a solid foundation for both families and schools to help children succeed in school. Parental involvement can be seen as an effective tool that can change homes and communities and not just schools’ systems. Seeking parents and stakeholders’ attitudes toward learning and learners can help schools design a curriculum. Subsequently, this information can be used to find ways to help improve the academic performance of students, especially in low performing schools. There may be some conflicts when designing curriculum. In addition, designing curriculum might bring more educational expectations to all the sides. There is a lack of research that targets the specific attitude of parents toward specific concepts on curriculum contents. More research is needed to study the perspective that parents of children with learning disabilities (LD) have regarding early reading curriculum. Parents and stakeholders’ perspectives on early reading intervention implemented as a curriculum for children with LD was studied through an advanced quantitative research. The purpose of this study seeks to understand stakeholders and parents’ perspectives of key concepts and essential early reading skills that impact the design of curriculum that will serve as an intervention for early struggler readers who have LD. Those concepts or stages include phonics, phonological awareness, and reading fluency as well as strategies used in house by parents. A survey instrument was used to gather the data. Participants were recruited through 29 schools and districts of the metropolitan area of the northern part of Saudi Arabia. Participants were stakeholders including parents of children with learning disability. Data were collected using distribution of paper and pen survey to schools. Psychometric properties of the instrument were evaluated for the validity and reliability of the survey; face validity, content validity, and construct validity including an Exploratory Factor Analysis were used to shape and reevaluate the structure of the instrument. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) used to find differences between the variables. The study reported the results of the perspectives of stakeholders toward reading strategies, phonics, phonological awareness, and reading fluency. Also, suggestions and limitations are discussed.

Keywords: stakeholders, learning disability, early reading, perspectives, parents, intervention, curriculum

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4218 Detection of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children Aged 4-6 Years by Municipal Maternal and Child Health Physicians: An Educational Intervention Study

Authors: M. Van 'T Hof, R. V. Pasma, J. T. Bailly, H. W. Hoek, W. A. Ester


Background: The transition into primary school can be challenging for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Due to the new demands that are made to children in this period, their limitations in social functioning and school achievements may manifest and appear faster. Detection of possible ASD signals mainly takes place by parents, teachers and during obligatory municipal maternal and child health centre visits. Physicians of municipal maternal and child health centres have limited education and instruments to detect ASD. Further education on detecting ASD is needed to optimally equip these doctors for this task. Most research aims to increase the early detection of ASD in children aged 0-3 years and shows positive results. However, there is a lack of research on educational interventions to detect ASD in children aged 4-6 years by municipal maternal and child health physicians. Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the effect of the online educational intervention: Detection of ASD in children aged 4-6 years for municipal maternal and child health physicians. This educational intervention is developed within The Reach-Aut Academic Centre for Autism; Transitions in education, and will be available throughout The Netherlands. Methods: Ninety-two participants will follow the educational intervention: Detection of ASD in children aged 4-6 years for municipal maternal and child health centre physicians. The educational intervention consists of three, one and a half hour sessions, which are offered through an online interactive classroom. The focus and content of the course has been developed in collaboration with three groups of stakeholders; autism scientists, clinical practitioners (municipal maternal and child health doctors and ASD experts) and parents of children with ASD. The primary outcome measure is knowledge about ASD: signals, early detection, communication with parents and referrals. The secondary outcome measures are the number of ASD related referrals, the attitude towards the mentally ill (CAMI), perceived competency about ASD knowledge and detection skills, and satisfaction about the educational intervention. Results and Conclusion: The study started in January 2016 and data collection will end mid 2017.

Keywords: ASD, child, detection, educational intervention, physicians

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4217 Assessment of the Illustrated Language Activities of the Portage Guide to Early Education

Authors: Ofelia A. Damag


The study was focused on the development and assessment of the illustrated language activities of the 1996 Edition of the Portage Guide to Early Education. It determined the extent of appropriateness, applicability, time efficiency and aesthetics of the illustrated language activities to be used as instructional material not only by teachers, but parents and caregivers as well. The eclectic research design was applied in this study using qualitative and quantitative methods. To determine the applicability and time efficiency of the study, a try out was done. Since the eclectic research design was used, it made use of a researcher-made survey questionnaire and focus group discussion. Analysis of the data was done through weighted mean and ANOVA. The respondents of the study were representatives of Special Education (SPED) teachers, caregivers and parents of a special-needs child, particularly with difficulties in learning basic language skills. The results of the study show that a large number of respondents are SPED teachers and caregivers and are mostly college graduates. Many of them have earned units towards Master’s studies. Moreover, a majority of the respondents have not attended seminars or in-service training in early intervention for them to be more competent in the area of specialization. It is concluded that the illustrated language activities under review in this study are appropriate, applicable, time efficient and aesthetic for use as a tool in teaching. The recommendations are focused on the advocacy for SPED teachers, caregivers and parents of special-needs children to be more consistent in the implementation of the new instructional materials as an aid in an intervention program.

Keywords: illustrated language activities, inclusion, portage guide to early education, special educational needs

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4216 Comparing Two Interventions for Teaching Math to Pre-School Students with Autism

Authors: Hui Fang Huang Su, Jia Borror


This study compared two interventions for teaching math to preschool-aged students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The first is considered the business as usual (BAU) intervention, which uses the Strategies for Teaching Based on Autism Research (STAR) curriculum and discrete trial teaching as the instructional methodology. The second is the Math is Not Difficult (Project MIND) activity-embedded, naturalistic intervention. These interventions were randomly assigned to four preschool students with ASD classrooms and implemented over three months for Project Mind. We used measurement gained during the same three months for the STAR intervention. In addition, we used A quasi-experimental, pre-test/post-test design to compare the effectiveness of these two interventions in building mathematical knowledge and skills. The pre-post measures include three standardized instruments: the Test of Early Math Ability-3, the Problem Solving and Calculation subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement IV, and the Bracken Test of Basic Concepts-3 Receptive. The STAR curriculum-based assessment is administered to all Baudhuin students three times per year, and we used the results in this study. We anticipated that implementing these two approaches would improve the mathematical knowledge and skills of children with ASD. Still, it is crucial to see whether a behavioral or naturalistic teaching approach leads to more significant results.

Keywords: early learning, autism, math for pre-schoolers, special education, teaching strategies

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4215 A Longitudinal Study of Social Engagement in Classroom in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Cecile Garry, Katia Rovira, Julie Brisson


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined by a qualitative and quantitative impairment of social interaction. Indeed early intervention programs, such as the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM), aimed at encouraging the development of social skills. In classroom, the children need to be socially engaged to learn. Early intervention programs can thus be implemented in kindergarten schools. In these schools, ASD children have more opportunities to interact with their peers or adults than in elementary schools. However, the preschool children with ASD are less socially engaged than their typically developing peers in the classroom. They initiate, respond and maintain less the social interactions. In addition, they produce more responses than initiations. When they interact, the non verbal communication is more used than verbal or symbolic communication forms and they are more engaged with adults than with peers. Nevertheless, communicative patterns may vary according to the clinical profiles of ASD children. Indeed, the ASD children with better cognitive skills interact more with their peers and use more symbolic communication than the ASD children with a low cognitive level. ASD children with the less severe symptoms use more the verbal communication than ASD children with the more severe symptoms. Small groups and structured activities encourage coordinated joint engagement episodes in ASD children. Our goal is to evaluate ASD children’s social engagement development in class, with their peers or adults, during dyadic or group activities. Participants were 19 preschool children with ASD aged from 3 to 6 years old that benefited of an early intervention in special kindergarten schools. Severity of ASD symptoms was measured with the CARS at the beginning of the follow-up. Classroom situations of interaction were recorded during 10 minutes (5 minutes of dyadic interaction and 5 minutes of a group activity), every 2 months, during 10 months. Social engagement behaviors of children, including initiations, responses and imitation, directed to a peer or an adult, were then coded. The Observer software (Noldus) that allows to annotate behaviors was the coding system used. A double coding was conducted and revealed a good inter judges fidelity. Results show that ASD children were more often and longer socially engaged in dyadic than in groups situations. They were also more engaged with adults than with peers. Children with the less severe symptoms of ASD were more socially engaged in groups situations than children with the more severe symptoms of ASD. Then, ASD children with the less severe symptoms of ASD were more engaged with their peers than ASD children with the more severe symptoms of ASD. However, the engagement frequency increased during the 10 month of follow-up but only for ASD children with the more severe symptoms at the beginning. To conclude, these results highlighted the necessity of individualizing early intervention programs according to the clinical profile of the child.

Keywords: autism spectrum disorder, preschool children, developmental psychology, early interventions, social interactions

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4214 Conceptual Analysis of the Implications of Black Fathers’ Lifestyles and Their Involvement in their Children’s Early Development

Authors: Chinedu Ifedi Okeke


The behavioural orientations of fathers, which resonate in the way they relate to members of their families and other community members, appear to have a variety of implications for the early development of children. In this paper, a conceptual map of fathers’ lifestyles is adopted to provide an interconnected network of father lifestyles. Empirical evidence from a qualitative case study of 25 Black fathers, who had been purposively selected from a suburb in one rural Eastern Cape municipality in South Africa, is reported in this paper. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were used to obtain data, which was analysed thematically. Findings identify and provide evidence of father lifestyles that are incongruent with the kind of parental behaviour needed to support the healthy early development of children. Findings suggest that these negative lifestyles appear to incapacitate fathers who fail to make a positive contribution to their children’s early development. To ensure that fathers make the expected contributions to their children’s early development, policies aimed at rehabilitating fathers who are involved in the negative lifestyles reported in this paper should be put in place.

Keywords: childhood development, fathering, fathers, intervention strategies, lifestyles, South Africa

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4213 Contribution of Automated Early Warning Score Usage to Patient Safety

Authors: Phang Moon Leng


Automated Early Warning Scores is a newly developed clinical decision tool that is used to streamline and improve the process of obtaining a patient’s vital signs so a clinical decision can be made at an earlier stage to prevent the patient from further deterioration. This technology provides immediate update on the score and clinical decision to be taken based on the outcome. This paper aims to study the use of an automated early warning score system on whether the technology has assisted the hospital in early detection and escalation of clinical condition and improve patient outcome. The hospital adopted the Modified Early Warning Scores (MEWS) Scoring System and MEWS Clinical Response into Philips IntelliVue Guardian Automated Early Warning Score equipment and studied whether the process has been leaned, whether the use of technology improved the usage & experience of the nurses, and whether the technology has improved patient care and outcome. It was found the steps required to obtain vital signs has been significantly reduced and is used more frequently to obtain patient vital signs. The number of deaths, and length of stay has significantly decreased as clinical decisions can be made and escalated more quickly with the Automated EWS. The automated early warning score equipment has helped improve work efficiency by removing the need for documenting into patient’s EMR. The technology streamlines clinical decision-making and allows faster care and intervention to be carried out and improves overall patient outcome which translates to better care for patient.

Keywords: automated early warning score, clinical quality and safety, patient safety, medical technology

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4212 The Effect of Diet Intervention for Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis

Authors: Bok Yae Chung, Eun Hee Oh


Breast cancer patients require more nutritional interventions than others. However, a few studies have attempted to assess the overall nutritional status, to reduce body weight and BMI by improving diet, and to improve the prognosis of cancer for breast cancer patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of diet intervention in the breast cancer patients through meta-analysis. For the study purpose, 16 studies were selected by using PubMed, ScienceDirect, ProQuest and CINAHL. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effects model, and the effect size on outcome variables in breast cancer was calculated. The effect size for outcome variables of diet intervention was a large effect size. For heterogeneity, moderator analysis was performed using intervention type and intervention duration. All moderators did not significant difference. Diet intervention has significant positive effects on outcome variables in breast cancer. As a result, it is suggested that the timing of the intervention should be no more than six months, but a strategy for sustaining long-term intervention effects should be added if nutritional intervention is to be administered for breast cancer patients in the future.

Keywords: breast cancer, diet, mete-analysis, intervention

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4211 An Analysis of a Relational Frame Skills Training Intervention to Increase General Intelligence in Early Childhood

Authors: Ian M. Grey, Bryan Roche, Anna Dillon, Justin Thomas, Sarah Cassidy, Dylan Colbert, Ian Stewart


This paper presents findings from a study conducted in two schools in Abu Dhabi. The hypothesis is that teaching young children to derive various relations between stimuli leads to increases in full-scale IQ scores of typically developing children. In the experimental group, sixteen 6-7-year-old children were exposed over six weeks to an intensive training intervention designed specifically for their age group. This training intervention, presented on a tablet, aimed to improve their understanding of the relations Same, Opposite, Different, contextual control over the concept of Sameness and Difference, and purely arbitrary derived relational responding for Sameness and Difference. In the control group, sixteen 6-7-year-old children interacted with KIBO robotics over six weeks. KIBO purports to improve cognitive skills through engagement with STEAM activities. Increases in full-scale IQ were recorded for most children in the experimental group, while no increases in full-scale IQ were recorded for the control group. These findings support the hypothesis that relational skills underlie many aspects of general cognitive ability.

Keywords: early childhood, derived relational responding, intelligence, relational frame theory, relational skills

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4210 Comparative Study of Music-Therapy Types on Anxiety in Early Stage Cancer Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Authors: Farnaz Dehkhoda


This study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of active and receptive music-therapy on anxiety in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy. 184 young adult patients, who were diagnosed with early stage cancer and were undergoing treatment, were divided into three groups. Two groups received music therapy as a parallel treatment and the third group was control group. In active music-therapy, a music specialist helped the patients to play guitar and sing. In the receptive music-therapy, patients preferred pre-recorded music played by MP3 player. The level of anxiety was measured by the Beck Anxiety Inventory as pre-test and post-test. ANCOVA revealed that both types of music-therapy reduced anxiety level of patients and the active music-therapy intervention found to be more effective. The results suggest that music-therapy can be applied as an intervention method contemporary with cancer medical treatment, for improving quality of life in cancer patients by reducing their anxiety.

Keywords: Anxiety, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Music-therapy

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