eNotesJanuary 22, 2024
Updates from the ECTA Center
Childhood Outcomes Instrument Crosswalks
The Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) instrument crosswalks reference the functional skills assessed by various published instruments with the three child outcomes required by OSEP for IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 programs. This resource is a list of all instrument crosswalks requested by states. The crosswalks were generated for instruments based on the frequency of informal requests from states. The list is organized by the date the crosswalk was completed, starting with the most recent. The ECTA Center does not endorse the use of any specific assessment instrument. The two most recent crosswalks are:
- Early Childhood Development Chart-Third Edition
- Measure of Engagement, Independence, and Social Relationships (MEISR)
Think Inclusive Podcast
Lori Miranda, an advocate for inclusive education and the Director of Pre-K Exceptional Student Education (ESE) in Palm Beach County, FL has been instrumental in implementing inclusive practices for young children with disabilities in the county's school district, Head Start programs, and community centers. She is featured on a recent episode of the Think Inclusive podcast: Palm Beach County's Journey Towards Inclusion for Young Learners with Disabilities.
Miranda explains that the traditional model of removing students from their natural environments and sending them to separate special education programs was disruptive and limited socialization and learning opportunities. To address this, Palm Beach County partnered with community centers and Head Start programs to provide inclusive education for young learners with disabilities. She highlights the challenges they faced in implementing this model, such as behavior management, funding, and teacher buy-in.
The Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE) produces Think Inclusive and works to build bridges between families, educators, and people with disabilities to advocate for inclusive education. This is the second in a series which is a partnership between ECTA and Think Inclusive. Valerie Williams, Director of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) shared her insights in a November 16 episode. Future episodes are in the works.
Upcoming National Early Childhood Conferences
As conference season gears up in early childhood, we offer this listing of dates to help you plan.
- National Head Start Association (NHSA), April 15-18, Portland, OR.
- National Training Institute on Effective Practices: Addressing Challenging Behavior (NTI), April 15-19, Tampa, FL, Building Pathways to Belonging.
- International Early Childhood Inclusion Institute, May 7-9, Chapel Hill, NC and virtual; All Means All: Embracing Disability and Intersectionality.
- Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Combined Leadership and Project Directors’ Conference, August 6-8, Arlington, VA, Early Beginnings to Bright Futures.
- Improving Data, Improving Outcomes Conference (IDIO), August 25-30, 2024, New Orleans, LA, Leading for Positive Impact.
- Division of Early Childhood (DEC's) 39th Annual International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families, September 17-20 New Orleans, LA, The Future of Inclusive Practices in Early Childhood (Ages 0-8): Equitable Access, Participation, and Supports.
- National Association of State Directors of Special Educators (NASDSE), October 4-8. Minneapolis, MN.
- National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), October 18-20, Atlanta, GA.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), November 6-9, Anaheim, CA.
Panel Wants To Know How Co-Occurring Conditions Affect Those With Autism
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Office of National Autism Coordination (ONAC) on behalf of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) is seeking public comments to help identify priorities related to physical and mental health conditions, and other related conditions that commonly co-occur with autism. The IACC is requesting public comments on the impact of these co-occurring conditions, as well as research, services, and policy needs that may be helpful to consider in addressing issues related to these conditions. The public may submit comments to the IACC by February 14
News from the Field
State of Babies Yearbook 2023
The fifth edition of Zero to Three's State of Babies Yearbook tells the story of the 11 million babies in the United States and actions needed to address the urgent needs of infants, toddlers, and their families. As we look at the data provided in the Yearbook 2023, we see that:
- The number of infants and toddlers continues to decline.
- Diversity remains the hallmark of America’s babies, a source of strength and renewal.
- Poverty and disparities in access to resources along racial and ethnic lines continue to be defining features of a baby’s experience.
- The state where a baby is born and spends their first years is also a significant indicator as to whether a baby will have a strong start in life.
National Deafblindness Resources Available
The National Center on Deafblindness (NCDB) is part of a network of projects for children and youth (birth through 21) with deafblindness. It supports state deafblind projects. States assist educators, agencies, and organizations in acquiring the knowledge and skills to help children with deafblindness learn, access the general education curriculum, and successfully transition to adult life.
- 2022 National Deafblind Child Count Report offers extensive information on the population of children in the U.S. who are identified as deafblind, ages birth through 21.
- NCDB/ATLAS Brief on Assessing Dual Sensory Loss is the third brief co-produced by the National Center on Deafblindness and Accessible Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Systems (ATLAS). It covers the impact of suspected dual sensory loss on communication and learning and offers recommendations for assessment.
- Tools to Employ and Support Interveners, now available in Spanish, describes the work interveners do to provide one-to-one support for a child who is deafblind. It includes detailed information on interveners' roles and responsibilities, navigating the employment process, and training and certification.
- Identification of Usher Syndrome, now available in Spanish, provides details on the types of Usher, how it is diagnosed, how it impacts learning, and much more.
Investigating the Impact of a Motor Program on Preschoolers With Disabilities
The January issue of Infant & Toddlers features a story on a semi-structured preschool motor program developed in response to the lack of these types of evidence-based programs for preschoolers with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. A randomized controlled trial (RCT) examined the impact of the CHildren in Action: Motor Program for PreschoolerS (CHAMPPS). CHAMPPS is a 21-week intervention of 42 Universal Design for Learning–embedded lessons with suggestions for supporting school readiness skills. Data on 51 children with disabilities provide initial evidence on how CHAMPPS positively impacted children's active engagement and motor and social development. Eight intervention and eight control classrooms across two states participated in the RCT.
NIH Creates Genetic Atlas Detailing Early Stages of Zebrafish Development
Zebrafish provide significant insight into human development and disease. A genetic atlas of zebrafish development published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) details the gene expressions that are activated within nearly every cell type during the first five days of development. "Since zebrafish are visibly transparent, fertilize eggs externally, and are easy to study genetically, they represent a unique and effective way to model human disease," said Jeffrey A. Farrell, Ph.D., an Earl Stadtman Investigator and head of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s (NICHD) Unit on Cell Specification and Differentiation. "From this atlas, we made discoveries about understudied cells, including intestinal cells involved in human diseases, smooth muscle that surrounds the intestine, and cells that surround blood vessels. There are many more advances waiting to be uncovered, and we look forward to seeing what the research community can do with our open-source atlas."