Early Childhood

Mother reading a book to her son in the parkEarly Intervention is important for long-term success for individuals with learning disabilities (LD) and/or ADHD. Early identification includes the evaluation and treatment provided to families and their children under 3 years old who have, or are at risk for having, a disability or delay in speech, language, or hearing. A child can quickly fall behind if speech and language learning is delayed. Early identification increases the chances for improving communication skills. Once disorders are diagnosed professionals can help to remediate and accommodate for success at home and in the classroom.

Days of Summer Fun with Your Early Childhood Learner…

If a child has a learning disability, summer months can be thought of as a period of relaxation away from academics and learning. Although, it is also important to remember that students with learning disabilities can lose critical skills over the summer months. The balance is to find fun and creative ways to keep academic skills sharp during this period of time without seeming like you are doing “school.” Here are some ideas to have fun and be creative this summer with your early childhood LD learner. Another name for…Throughout the day, make a game of vocabulary building with everyday… Read More »

WEBINAR: Transforming Third Grade Common Core Stress to Success for Students with Learning Disabilities

The convergence of Common Core Assessments and Third Grade Retention policies pose a major threat to students with learning disabilities nationwide. Students with LD are likely to be retained and/or fall behind in their reading comprehension. This presentation will focus on how parents, teachers, outside professionals and advocates can help students with learning disabilities using a combination of strategies from early identification, effective interventions, the most effective accommodations, parent and teacher collaboration and other innovative ideas. Our presenters, Mira and Mark Halpert, will share some startling statistics that highlight the risks, share strategies parents and professionals can use and discuss… Read More »

Early Childhood Intervention Makes a Difference

Parents are their child’s first teachers. Understanding what their child must have to grow, learn and thrive can be a tremendous learning process for every parent.  Much is known about how a young child learns and how their brains develop.  We also know that emotional, behavioral, motor and language development all occur differently in each child. Parents need reassurance as issues in development appear.  It is important for parents to find the support needed from their own self education, from family relationships and from their communities. Children develop at their own pace and our first job as parents is to… Read More »

Starting School: Ages 3 to 8

by Meg Carroll, Early Childhood Education Committee Time to start school?  For the first time?  For a new academic year?  Truth be told, there are at least a few students looking forward to school. And they are not all “A” students. Because schools have to coordinate the movement of large numbers of people, schools use routines. Many children find these routines comfortable and empowering. Young children love to tell “what comes next” in a typical school day. That’s why summer, although it’s fun, can also be stressful to some children.  The routine is less apparent, so children don’t feel they… Read More »

Early Childhood Committee Targets National Concerns

Finally Congress and some state and local leaders are starting to understand the importance of early childhood education. Equal access to quality early childhood education is a different matter and certainly dependent on where young children live in this country and what their family’s economic situation is at present. While Washington works through funding issues for early childhood education and hopefully gets promised dollars to the states, it is important for LDA members to work in their own state and community to improve access to quality childhood programs. The LDA Early Childhood Committee is dedicated to helping its state and… Read More »

The Third-Grade Reader

by Margaret Blood and Richard Weissbourd State education officials recently trumpeted gains in 10th-grade MCAS scores, while headlines warned that 6,000 high school seniors have not yet passed the science test now required for graduation. When community-by-community MCAS results are announced today, we should all focus on a number that foreshadows later success – or failure – in school: third-grade reading scores. Third grade marks the critical transition from “learning to read’’ to “reading to learn,’’ as reading begins to underpin instruction in all subjects. Yet 43 percent of Massachusetts third-graders tested last May were not proficient readers. The results… Read More »

What is an Individualized Family Service Plan?

After your young child’s evaluation is complete and he or she is found eligible for early intervention services, you, as parents, and a team will meet to develop a written plan for providing early intervention services to your child and, as necessary, to your family. This plan is called the Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP. The IFSP is a very important document, and you, as parents, are important members of the team that develops it. This webpage focuses on the IFSP–both the process of writing it and what type of information it will contain. The IFSP is a written… Read More »

First Steps for Parents When School Problems Are Observed

If a student is having unusual difficulty in school the parent should discuss the situation with the teacher and other school personnel. Most schools have a problem-solving team which works with families in reviewing and solving problems that affect school performance before beginning a formal process of referral for special education and related services as described in IDEA. Problem-solving activities or strategies used by the regular education teacher to address the child’s difficulty may consist of changes in the physical environment, changes in instructional approaches, short-term remedial activities, peer tutoring, or behavioral management plans. Learn more about who serves on… Read More »

Early Childhood Resource Websites

The following websites regarding early childhood issues provide useful information for parents, teachers, and other interested professionals. Included are general websites from organizations specializing in early education and information for parents, teachers and policymakers; resources on reading to infants and toddlers; and free resources for parents and teachers from the US Office of Education, information on early childhood in IDEA 2004, and a great tool kit developed for parents by the Office of Special Education Programs. Using these resources can lead to additional websites and sources of information to find answers to other questions about the development of babies and… Read More »

Assessment of Readiness Skills During Early Childhood

Young children develop rapidly, frequently experiencing tremendous change and growth physically, cognitively, linguistically, and socially. Preschoolers, for example, seem to race from one milestone to the next. Nevertheless, the rate of growth and development among young children varies greatly. Indeed, as a result of this high variability during early childhood that can be seen in nearly any environment with preschoolers and kindergartners, many professionals balk at labeling children as learning disabled. Studies indicate that early intervention can make a significant difference in a child’s development and many other professionals want to respond promptly when they note developmental delays or see… Read More »