Ensuring that young children with severe and multiple disabilities are active participants in all aspects of their lives and that they make meaningful progress toward valued life outcomes can be a daunting endeavor for families and early educators. In this chapter, we describe evidence-based strategies that can be harnessed to ensure that each child is provided with high-quality inclusive education. Initially, we lay the foundation for the chapter by asserting shared assumptions fundamental to early childhood/early childhood special education practices with topics including strengths-based approach, self-determination, all does mean all, and play as a right for all children. Next, components of a high-quality inclusive program for young children designed to support access, participation, and meaningful progress are described. These components include the following: (1) collaborative teaming; (2) family–professional partnerships; (3) authentic assessment linked to meaningful outcomes; (4) discipline-free, functional outcomes or goals; (5) responsive, developmentally appropriate environments; and (6) levels of instructional support (e.g. universal design for learning (UDL), differentiation, and individualization). A vignette is used to further illustrate how to apply the practices discussed.
Horn, E., Parks, S. and An, Z.(. (2019), "Inclusive Special Education for Young Learners with Severe and Multiple Disabilities", Special Education for Young Learners with Disabilities (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 34), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 119-137. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0270-401320190000034008
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