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Creating Inclusive Learning Environments for Young Children
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Creating Inclusive Learning Environments for Young Children
What to Do on Monday Morning

  • Clarissa Willis - Associate Professor of Special Education, University of Southern Indiana


© 2009 | 240 pages | Corwin
This accessible, reader-friendly resource provides important information and helpful strategies for preschool & kindergarten teachers in inclusive environments who have little or no training in special education and assisting students with special needs. A true introductory guide to inclusive early education, Creating Inclusive Learning Environments for Young Children explains relevant terminology, illustrates how to create appropriate environments, covers building relationships among peers with and without disabilities, and explores how children with disabilities respond to stressful circumstances such as divorce or death. Additional chapters focus on working positively and productively with both families and colleagues who can offer help and support. Each chapter offers a glossary of terms and recommended books.
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Introduction
 
Part I. Children With Special Needs in the Inclusive Classroom
 
1. Working With Children With Special Needs
What Do I Need to Know to Work With Children With Special Needs?  
Setting the Stage for Inclusion  
Inclusion, Blending, and Reverse Mainstreaming  
Why Is Inclusion Important?  
What Is "Meaningful" Inclusion?  
How Do I Develop a Philosophy of Meaningful Inclusion?  
General Strategies for Working With Children With Special Needs  
How Do I Get the Child's Family Involved?  
Resources for Families  
Working to "Enable" and "Empower" Families  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Developmentally Appropriate Practices Must Apply to Everyone  
 
2. Blending the World of Special Education With General Education Services
Best Practices According to NAEYC and DEC  
Constructivism vs. Behaviorism: Blending Without Ignoring Best Practice  
Using Observation Skills to Guide Instruction  
Planning for an IEP Meeting  
The Teacher's Rules of the Road  
Related Services  
The Role of the Special Education Teacher  
Working With Paraprofessionals and Instructional Assistants  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...What Early Childhood Practitioners Think About Inclusion  
 
Part II. Who Are the Children With Special Needs?
 
3. Children With Vision Impairments
How Do Young Children Develop Vision?  
What Causes Visual Impairments in Young Children?  
How Are Vision Impairments Classified?  
What Resources Are Available to Help the Child Function in My Classroom?  
How Do Children With Vision Impairments Learn?  
Preparing the Early Childhood Environment  
Suggestions for Children With Low Vision  
Suggestions for Children Who Are Blind or Severely Vision Impaired  
Summary  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Play Behaviors in Young Children Who Are Blind  
 
4. Children With Hearing Loss
Defining Hearing Loss  
What Determines the Degree of Hearing Loss?  
So, What About Hearing Aids?  
Cochlear Implant  
How Will Hearing Loss Affect Children in My Classroom?  
Social Isolation  
Effects of Hearing Loss on Speech (Oral Language)  
Reduced Academic Achievement  
Suggestions for the Classroom  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Cochlear Implants Can Result in Better Prosody  
 
5. Children With Cognitive Challenges
Understanding the Challenges for Children With Cognitive Delays  
Characteristics of Children With Cognitive Challenges  
Educational Implications  
What Are Functional Skills and Why Are They Important?  
How Do I Teach Everyday Tasks (Functional Skills)?  
What Do I Do First, Before Teaching a New Skill?  
How Exactly Does This All Fit Together?  
Classroom Suggestions for Children With Cognitive Challenges  
Summary  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Social Development Across Time  
 
6. Children With Atypical Motor Development
Causes of Atypical Motor Development  
Muscle Tone  
Cerebral Palsy  
Fine and Gross Motor Skills  
Positioning and Handling  
Adaptive Equipment  
Summary  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Children With Motor Delays Are At-Risk for Social Isolation  
 
7. Children With Communication Delays
What Is Communication?  
Understanding the Child's "Form" of Communication  
Function and Content of Communication  
The Nonverbal Child  
Cleft Lip and Palate  
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Communication Is More Than Just Imitation  
 
8. Children With Emotional/Behavior Disorders
What Are Challenging Behaviors?  
Young Children and Mental Health  
Anxiety Disorders  
Classroom Suggestions for Children with Anxiety Disorders  
Separation Anxiety  
Classroom Suggestions for Children With Separation Anxiety  
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)  
Classroom Suggestions for Children With PTSD  
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)  
Classroom Suggestions for Children With ODD  
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)  
Medication Issues  
Classroom Suggestions for Children With ADHD  
Summary  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Risk Factors for Future Challenging Behaviors  
 
9. Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
What Is a Spectrum Disorder?  
What Is Autism?  
What Are the Five Types of Autism?  
Begin by Looking at the Child's Behavior  
Communication Issues  
Developing Social Skills  
Summary  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...The Role of Attention and Intention in Learning New Words  
 
10. Children With Sensory Integration Disorder
What Exactly Is Sensory Integration?  
Sensory Integration Disorder  
What Can I Do to Make My Classroom Sensory "Friendly"?  
Materials for the "Sensory Friendly" Classroom  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Trauma and Sensory Modulation Disorder  
 
11. Children At Risk for School Failure
Who Are Children At Risk?  
Children Living in Extreme Poverty  
Homelessness  
Family Factors  
Chronic Illness  
Future Learning Disability  
Classroom Suggestions for Children At Risk  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
The Research Says...Teen Mothers Living in Transitional Shelters Need Support  
 
Part III. Strategies for the Inclusive Classroom
 
12. Preparing the Children
Before the First Day of School  
How Do I Prepare Children in a General Education Setting for a Child With Special Needs?  
What Kinds of Activities Teach Tolerance and Acceptance of Others?  
The Socially Competent Child  
Terms Used in this Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
 
13. Preparing the Environment
The Important Role of the Environment  
Maintaining a Balance Between Activities  
The Daily Schedule  
Large Group Time  
Small Group Time  
Individualized Instruction  
Free Choice Time  
Transitions  
Assistive Technology--Adapting Materials  
Summary  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
 
14. The Curriculum
What Role Does the Curriculum Play in Teaching Children With Special Needs?  
Is There a Special "Curriculum" for a Child With Special Needs?  
Curriculum Models  
Differentiated Instruction (DI)  
Response to Intervention (RTI)  
Recognition and Response  
Curriculum Modifications for Children With Special Needs  
Content Area Instruction  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
 
15. Handling Challenging Behaviors
What Is Challenging Behavior?  
What Kinds of Behaviors Can I Tolerate?  
What Is a Functional Assessment?  
Identification of Positive Behaviors  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
Suggested Reading  
 
16. Building Communication
Understanding Communication  
Levels of Communication Development  
How Do You Set Appropriate Goals for Communication?  
What About Children Who Are Nonverbal?  
Low-Tech Methods of Communication  
How Do I Start Helping a Child With Special Needs Use Pictures to Communicate?  
What About Electronic Communication Devices?  
Picture Schedules  
Terms Used in This Chapter  
Resources Used in This Chapter  
 
Suggested Reading
 
Appendix
 
Children's Books That Feature Dynamic Characters With Special Needs
 
Resources for Special Needs Products
 
Index

"Invites teachers to apply appropriate strategies in classroom environments for young children with special needs, setting the stage for future school success!”

Toby Karten, Author, Inclusion Strategies That Work!

“A blend of theory, research, and best practices, wrapped up with a bow that celebrates the diversity of our children with special needs. This book helps teachers better understand specific disabilities and intentional support mechanisms that encourage ALL children to learn and grow in inclusive early childhood environments. It is a resource that I will use for years to come!"

Kim Hughes, Therapeutic Preschool Teacher
Project Enlightenment, Wake County Public Schools, NC

practitioners and students will find this book useful

Dr Chandrika Devarakonda
School of Education, Chester University
June 2, 2015

The book is easy to read and understand by the students. The chapters 12,13,14 and 15 were very useful in my preparation for lectures and tutorials. A must read for teachers who are teaching about Inclusion.

Mrs Asha Bijay
School of Humanities, Ngee Ann Polytechnic
February 16, 2012

Very useful, laid out well.

Dr Jane Bulkeley
Education , Glyndwr University
October 18, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2


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