Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction

Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction

Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Role of Play in early intervention supports and services One of the implications of the recent advances in brain research is that children benefit from high quality, consistent stimulation. They need a variety of rich and meaningful experiences for optimal development and learning. Children at risk benefit greatly from interactions with warm, responsive dependable caregivers who offer a safe place for the child to explore, problem solve, and learn through daily routines and activities. When we think about daily activities of young children, we naturally think about their play.

What is Play? Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator capitalized on childrens natural curiosity by incorporating carefully constructed sensory and motor activities that were practical life exercises such as caring for plants and animals, cleaning, and pouring water. She gave us the phrase: Play is the Childs Work. (Montessori 1912) Rousseau believed that children have an intrinsic motivation to learn through their own self initiated activities. (Braun & Edwards, 1972) Play is performed for its own sake, undertaken by choice, enjoyable (Bronfenbrenner, 1979)

Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Childrens play takes its meaning from the here and now, they are actively living their lives, expressing desires, hopes anxieties and interpersonal attachments. (Elkind, 2001) Play offers opportunities to practice newly acquired skills and thus achieve mastery of the environment a great self-esteem enhancer. (Landy, 2002)

Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources When children are engaged in daily routines and activities they: Learn about the physical world as they manipulate objects, explore sand, water, dirt, shadows and light Develop fine motor skills as they manipulate crayons, paintbrushes, small rocks and shells, bugs and doll clothes. Learn to think symbolically as they pretend and fantasy play as they drive cars, put out fires, and feed baby dolls. Practice communicating with other children and adults. Develop large muscles and coordination as they

rough house with family and friends, ride tricycles, throw balls, run jump and climb, dig for bugs and rocks. Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Engage with others as they resolve differences, build a mud pie, join in group activities, negotiate roles, and navigate the playground. Practice important social/emotional skills enhancing healthy self esteem as they act out important events in their lives such as rocking a baby doll, scolding a stuffed animal, hitting the clay really hard, talking on the wooden phone, baking a play dough cake for the birthday party, drawing and painting pictures. Gain mastery over the environment

needing less and less adult approval and help as they become more and more independent and autonomous learners. Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Play Activities are: Child-directed Dynamic and based on a lot of interaction with and manipulation of objects, individuals, environment, thoughts Enjoyable and stimulating Enhanced by Props - toys, materials, and people

Based on preferences and interests of child Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources How can early interventionists use routines and activities to achieve outcomes? Follow the childs lead. Observe before entering into play with the child to see what he is trying to do. Show that you honor his choices and preferences by asking if you can play, help roll the snakes, sing his favorite song, or even be the caboose. Early Steps:

Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Initiate interactions based on childs behaviors and response repertoires. Some children enjoy lots of sound, movement, action. Others become overwhelmed and prefer quieter, slower paced activities. Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning

Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Use Scaffolding or Elaboration to build on childs behaviors and response repertoires . Offer lots of pretend and fantasy play by providing props such as dress up clothes, pots and pans, and stuffed animals. Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research

Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Ensure naturally occurring antecedents and consequences and Sufficient (Quality and Intensity) learning opportunities . Patience is key. Children need lots of time to practice skills over and over before they are internalized. Be careful not to therapize all play! Not every play activity is a potential therapy session. Spending time building trust and a relationship with the child and family will play an important part in the effectiveness of supports and services provided. Early Steps: Spectrum of Child Developmen t Introduction Learning Objectives Principles of Child Development Brain Research

Activity Based Early Intervention Modifications and adaptations Learning Styles Early Literacy Post Assessment Resources Carefully select play or integrated supports and services in collaboration with the childs family, who is the childs primary teacher. Make sure activities are selected with the concerns, priorities and resources of that individual family and child in mind. Without full collaboration, intervention services will not be effective or meaningful. It is okay for family or child to say no! Being respectful of families means being flexible and sensitive to that family by asking for their input and thoughts before deciding on a plan for that family.

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