Unit 4: Early Identification and Intervention:

4.1  Concept, need, importance and domains of early identification and intervention of disabilities and twice exceptional children;

4.2  Organising Cross Disability Early Intervention services;

4.3 Screening and assessments of disabilities and twice exceptional children;

4.4  Role of parents, community, ECEC and other stakeholders in early intervention as per RPD- 2016 and NEP 2020;

4.5   Models of early intervention-(home-based, centre-based, hospital-based, combination) with reference to transition from home to school;











4.1 Concept, need, importance and domains of early identification and intervention of disabilities and twice exceptional children

Early Identification refers to a parent, educator, health professional, or other adult’s ability to recognize developmental milestones in children and to understand the value of early intervention.

The earliest years of a child's life are critical. These years determine child's survival and thriving in life, and lay the foundations for her/ his learning and holistic development. It is during the early years that children develop the cognitive, physical, social and emotional skills that they need to succeed in life. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that early childhood is the most important phase for overall development. Factors like disability and malnutrition pose particularly difficult challenges. However, if these problems are solved at an early age, it minimizes developmental risks and enhances child development.

However as per guidelines of IDEA (Individuals with establishing the socio-demographic profiles & the Disabilities Education Act) of United States, "Early pattern of clinical features in children attending EIP. The intervention services are designed to meet the study also sought to assess the profile and expectations of developmental needs of children, from birth to three years people who attended the clinic with the long term of age, who have a delay in physical, cognitive, objective of modifying the program as per their needs. communicative, social, emotional or adaptive development or have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay"Individuals with (Disabilities EducationAct, 2001.

If children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families are not provided with timely and appropriate early intervention, support and protection, their difficulties can become more severe often leading to lifetime consequences, increased poverty and profound exclusion. Typical development is sometimes a struggle. Everyone likes to think that all babies will be okay, that parents will have nothing to worry about. But the reality is that not all babies will keep up, and some will continue to fall further and further behind. Science demonstrates that intellectual and cognitive potential is determined by how the brain develops during the first few years of life. The brain controls the biological effects of all the other organ systems and influences cognition, intelligence, learning, coping and adaptive skills, and behaviour. Because the brain controls these different aspects of human life, impaired brain function leads to impaired physical, mental, and emotional health and decreased functioning in society. Therefore, investments in early childhood to support healthy brain development help to reduce societal costs in remediation, health care, mental health services, and increased rates of incarceration.

There are a number of reasons for this early identification:

·      Early Identification leads to early intervention, which is considered essential in remediation.

·      The children have not yet faced academic failure therefore it becomes easier to work with them as they still retain their motivation to learn. 

·      At that young an age they have not developed the compensatory strategies, which will later form barriers in the remedial process. 

·      Research has shown that children who received assessment and remedial services at a younger age were better able to cope with the disability and had a better prognosis than those who received help later.

To determine eligibility for early intervention, a child will either receive a qualifying diagnosis (such as autism) or greater delay in one or more of the five domains of development. These include: physical, cognitive, communicative, socioemotional, and adaptive. Let’s take a glance at each of these areas, what they entail, and what to look for. 



This domain involves the senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing, and proprioception — or bodily awareness of one’s orientation in space), gross motor skills (major movements involving large muscles), and fine motor skills (involving small muscles, particularly of the fingers and hands). 


Humans develop physical ability directionally, from top to bottom and the center outward. A baby will at first have the ability to turn the head and sit upright, before being able to reach, grab, and eventually walk and run as they progress into toddlerhood (2-3 years). All the while child should be able to instinctively respond and react to stimuli in his or her physical environment. 


The cognitive domain of development refers to the ability to mentally process information — to think, reason, and understand what’s happening around you. Developmental psychologist Jean Piaget divided cognitive development into four distinct stages.

1.     During the sensorimotor stage of cognitive development (0-2 years), humans are essentially limited to perceiving the world on a purely sensory level. And adult makes a funny face at you? Laugh at what you see. Dangles a toy in front of you? Reach for it.

2.     By the time a child reaches the preoperational stage (2-6 years), he or she is beginning to incorporate language into his or her analysis of people and surroundings. However, in most cases, logical functioning isn’t quite there yet — the child may yet have trouble “putting it all together.” 

3.     Prior to hitting puberty, a child should have arrived in the concrete operational stage (7-11 years), where he or she can process events and information at face value, but will still generally not be able to accommodate abstracts or hypotheticals. 

4.     Persons 12 years and up are said to be in the formal operational stage, able to perform the intricate mental gymnastics that make human beings so remarkable. Thinking in the abstract — such as envisioning hypothetical scenarios, forming strategies, and parsing through different viewpoints — becomes a regular part of interfacing with one’s reality. 


The ability to comprehend, utilize, and manipulate language may be the single most powerful skill a person can develop. The four aspects of language development are phonology (forming a language’s constituent sounds into words), syntax (fitting those words together into sentences according to language’s rules and conventions), semantics (meaning and shades of meaning), and pragmatics (how the language is applied in practical and interpersonal communication). The maturation of verbal communication skills can vary markedly between individuals — but by two years, many toddlers are capable of at least telegraphic speech, simple sentences communicating the essence of a want or need. 



To truly thrive, we must learn to exist peacefully within ourselves and coexist with others. As a child develops within the socioemotional dimension, he or she learns how to successfully regulate his or her own internal emotional state and read the social cues of others. Strong emotions can be controlled or expressed properly; confrontation can be managed without violence; we can evolve empathy toward others. 

·       By 6 months, a baby should be reacting to facial expressions and reciprocating. 

·       By a year, clear preferences in terms of likes and dislikes should begin to surface — as well as recognition of the familiar versus the unfamiliar. 

·       By two years, a child should be engaging in parallel play with his or her peers. Each child may be involved in a separate activity, but they are interested in each other’s activities and comfortable in each other’s company.

·       By three years, the awareness of self should have begun to form, and an ability to express feelings. 

·       By four years, the child should be able to cooperate with others, abide by simple rules, and manage emotions without tantrums or aggression.


Adaptive development refers to the self-care component of growing up, taking care of things like eating, drinking, toileting, bathing and getting dressed independently. It also entails being aware of one’s environment and any hazards it may pose, keeping oneself safe and protected. A child should have made significant progress in these areas before his or her fourth birthday.


An intervention is a deliberate process by which change is introduced into peoples' thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Purpose of Intervention

       Identifying curriculum & Instructional practices.

       Developing new, or modifying existing preschool curricula

       appropriate teacher professional development.

       Establishing the efficacy of existing preschool curricula

       Developing and validating early assessment tools


Early Intervention (EI): Supporting infants and toddlers

At some point almost all early educators work with a child who receives or needs early intervention (EI) services. Early intervention consists of services and supports designed to help children who have a developmental delay or special need, and their families. Through collaboration with families and related service providers, supportive practices for infants and toddlers who receive EI services can be implemented within existing routines and across environments.

Early intervention is a resource that increases the likelihood of long-term success as children transition into formal schooling and eventually move into the work force. 

Early Intervention

The introduction of planned program deliberately timed and arranged in-order to alter the anticipated or projected course of development. [Siegal -1972].

·      Preventive – Primary, Secondary

·      Curative – Treatment, Surgery

·      Remedial – Aids & Appliances

·      Alternative methods  

Early intervention can sometimes help a child catch up to peers There are three primary reasons for intervening early with an exceptional child:

1.     to enhance the child's development,

2.     to provide support and assistance to the family, and

3.     to maximize the child's and family's benefit to society.

Effectiveness of Early Intervention

Ø needing fewer special education and other facilitative services later in life;

Ø  being retained in grade less often; and

Ø  in some cases being indistinguishable from non handicapped classmates years after intervention.

Focus of Early Intervention



       Prevention of disability or delay

       Promotion of positive assets of a  developmentally delayed child

       Enhance the capacity of the family to meet the special needs of their infants and toddlers

The IFSP as a guiding tool: Progress-driven vs outcome-focused

An Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a document that accompanies a child with developmental delays/special needs from birth until the age of three. It summarizes the child’s present skills and abilities across the five basic areas of development (cognitive, physical, communication and language, social-emotional, and self-help/adaptive). The IFSP also articulates specific outcomes that a child works toward, with the support of early intervention professionals, family, and community. These outcomes are developed based on assessment, including observation and parent/guardian input, and are specific to the area or areas where a child is not performing as expected.  

When early care and education (ECE) professionals observe a child using his IFSP as a guide, it is important for professionals to:

1.     Communicate often with the parent/guardian about the whole child and how she exhibits specific outcomes. For example, she uses key words or signs such as “please,” “thank you,” and “more” consistently during all meal times.

2.     Keep a running record of observations related to the whole child, not only to the outcome that he is working on.

3.     Utilize the early intervention providers working with the child, ask for support strategies or adaptations for the individual child and, as appropriate, with the whole class.

4.     Identify the child’s interests and motivators, including peers who are often the greatest model and motivator for young children.

5.     Do what works for as long as it works. Reassess often to ensure that supports progress as the child progresses.


Twice-exceptional students (also known as 2e children or students) are among the most under-identified and underserved population in schools. The reason for this is two-fold: (1) the vast majority of school districts do not have procedures in place for identifying twice-exceptional students and (2) inadequate identification leads to the lack of access to appropriate educational services. Additionally, twice-exceptional students, whose gifts and disabilities often mask one another, are difficult to identify. Without appropriate educational programming, twice exceptional students and their talents go unrealized. In this article, we’ll be reviewing common characteristics of twice exceptional students, how these students can be identified and ways to support their development and growth.

What is twice exceptional (2e)?

The term “twice exceptional” or “2e” refers to intellectually gifted children who have one or more learning disabilities such as dyslexia, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder. Twice-exceptional children think and process information differently. Like many other gifted children, 2e kids may be more emotionally and intellectually sensitive than children of average intelligence. At the same time, due to uneven development (asynchrony) or their learning differences, twice exceptional kids struggle with what other kids do easily. Because of their unique abilities and characteristics, 2e students need a special combination of education programs and counseling support.

What are the characteristics of twice exceptional children?

Twice exceptional kids may display strengths in certain areas and weaknesses in others. Common characteristics of twice exceptional students include:

·      Outstanding critical thinking and problem-solving skills

·      Above average sensitivity, causing them to react more intensely to sounds, tastes, smells, etc.

·      Strong sense of curiosity

·      Low self-esteem due to perfectionism

·      Poor social skills

·      Strong ability to concentrate deeply in areas of interest

·      Difficulties with reading and writing due to cognitive processing deficits

·      Behavioral problems due to underlying stress, boredom and lack of motivation


4.2 Organising Cross Disability Early Intervention services




4.3 Screening and assessments of disabilities and twice exceptional children;



Screening refers to the use of standardized assessment to identify delays in development that may indicate the need for further evaluation.

Screening is the first step in the assessment process. It is a fast, efficient way to identify students who may have disabilities and should undergo further testing. It quickly establishes for the assessor that the student may require the services of a professional who will then be able to administer the necessary measures to either diagnose or rule out the presence of a disability. Screening tools are often easy to administer and classroom teachers can be trained to use these effectively to collect the initial impressions and information.

Screening of students may result in either the conclusion that there may be no requirement of further investigation but adjustment of teaching or it may lead to a referral for further, more comprehensive assessment.

Though often they are a part of the same process it is important to distinguish between screening, evaluation and assessment.

“Screening (including developmental and health screening) includes activities to identify children who may need further evaluation in order to determine the existence of a delay in development or a particular disability. Evaluation is used to determine the existence of a delay or disability, to identify the child‘s strengths and needs in all areas of development. Assessment is used to determine the individual child‘s present level of performance and early intervention or educational needs”. [Boyle et al, 2011]

It is usually these teachers who do the screening through their informal measures including classroom tests. They are the ones that observe the students over a period time and can talk of a pattern of behavior, which is so important in the assessment process. Therefore it is appropriate to say that the assessment procedure requires input form both informal measures adopted by teachers for screening and tracking the progress of the student and the formal tests that firmly establish the diagnose and provide the standards for comparison.


 Referral is the initial request to consider a student for a special education evaluation.

It is usual for classroom teachers or parents to make the initial request. This is a follow up of observations over a period of time and collection of initial impressions about the student‘s performance that causes concern. Once a student has been identified by the classroom teacher as showing signs of disabilities, the process of referral is begun. The stages through which the process is completed are as follows:

Assessments of disabilities

"To assess" derives from the Latin verb "Assidere", to sit by (originally, as an assistant-judge in the context of taxes). Hence, in "assessment of learning" we "sit with the learner”,  and that implies that it is something that we do with and for our students rather than to them.

In education, the term assessment refers to the wide variety of methods or tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs of students.


"Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand, and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning."

 (Huba, M. E. and Freed, J. E. (2000).

Major forms of Educational Assessment and Purposes

1.     High-stakes assessments are typically standardized tests used for the purposes of accountability—i.e., any attempt by federal, state, or local government agencies to ensure that students are enrolled in effective schools and being taught by effective teachers. In general, “high stakes” means that important decisions about students, teachers, schools, or districts are based on the scores students achieve on a high-stakes test, and either punishments (sanctions, penalties, reduced funding, negative publicity, not being promoted to the next grade, not being allowed to graduate) or accolades (awards, public celebration, positive publicity, bonuses, grade promotion, diplomas) result from those scores. 

2.     Pre-assessments are administered before students begin a lesson, unit, course, or academic program. Students are not necessarily expected to know most, or even any, of the material evaluated by pre-assessments—they are generally used to (1) establish a baseline against which educators measure learning progress over the duration of a program, course, or instructional period, or (2) determine general academic readiness for a course, program, grade level, or new academic program that student may be transferring into.

3.     Formative assessments are in-process evaluations of student learning that are typically administered multiple times during a unit, course, or academic program. The general purpose of formative assessment is to give educators in-process feedback about what students are learning or not learning so that instructional approaches, teaching materials, and academic support can be modified accordingly. Formative assessments are usually not scored or graded, and they may take a variety of forms, from more formal quizzes and assignments to informal questioning techniques and in-class discussions with students.

4.     Summative assessments are used to evaluate student learning at the conclusion of a specific instructional period—typically at the end of a unit, course, semester, program, or school year. Summative assessments are typically scored and graded tests, assignments, or projects that are used to determine whether students have learned what they were expected to learn during the defined instructional period. Formative assessments are commonly said to be for learning because educators use the results to modify and improve teaching techniques during an instructional period, while summative assessments are said to be of learning because they evaluate academic achievement at the conclusion of an instructional period. Or as assessment expert Paul Black put it, “When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative assessment. When the customer tastes the soup, that’s summative assessment.”

5.     Interim assessments are used to evaluate where students are in their learning progress and determine whether they are on track to performing well on future assessments, such as standardized tests, end-of-course exams, and other forms of “summative” assessment. Interim assessments are usually administered periodically during a course or school year (for example, every six or eight weeks) and separately from the process of instructing students (i.e., unlike formative assessments, which are integrated into the instructional process).

6.     Placement assessments are used to “place” students into a course, course level, or academic program. For example, an assessment may be used to determine whether a student is ready for Algebra I or a higher-level algebra course, such as an honors-level course. For this reason, placement assessments are administered before a course or program begins, and the basic intent is to match students with appropriate learning experiences that address their distinct learning needs.

7.     Screening assessments are used to determine whether students may need specialized assistance or services, or whether they are ready to begin a course, grade level, or academic program. Screening assessments may take a wide variety of forms in educational settings, and they may be developmental, physical, cognitive, or academic. A preschool screening test, for example, may be used to determine whether a young child is physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually ready to begin preschool, while other screening tests may be used to evaluate health, potential learning disabilities, and other student attributes.

Assessments are also designed in a variety of ways for different purposes:

8.     Standardized assessments are designed, administered, and scored in a standard, or consistent, manner. They often use a multiple-choice format, though some include open-ended, short-answer questions. Historically, standardized tests featured rows of ovals that students filled in with a number-two pencil, but increasingly the tests are computer-based. Standardized tests can be administered to large student populations of the same age or grade level in a state, region, or country, and results can be compared across individuals and groups of students.

9.     Standards-referenced or standards-based assessments are designed to measure how well students have mastered the specific knowledge and skills described in local, state, or national learning standards. Standardized tests and high-stakes tests may or may not be based on specific learning standards, and individual schools and teachers may develop their own standards-referenced or standards-based assessments. 

10. Common assessments are used in a school or district to ensure that all teachers are evaluating student performance in a more consistent, reliable, and effective manner. Common assessments are used to encourage greater consistency in teaching and assessment among teachers who are responsible for teaching the same content, e.g. within a grade level, department, or content area. They allow educators to compare performance results across multiple classrooms, courses, schools, and/or learning experiences (which is not possible when educators teach different material and individually develop their own distinct assessments). Common assessments share the same format and are administered in consistent ways—e.g., teachers give students the same instructions and the same amount of time to complete the assessment, or they use the same scoring guides to interpret results. Common assessments may be “formative” or “summative.” 

11. Performance assessments typically require students to complete a complex task, such as a writing assignment, science experiment, speech, presentation, performance, or long-term project, for example. Educators will often use collaboratively developed common assessments, scoring guides, rubrics, and other methods to evaluate whether the work produced by students shows that they have learned what they were expected to learn. Performance assessments may also be called “authentic assessments,” since they are considered by some educators to be more accurate and meaningful evaluations of learning achievement than traditional tests. .

12.Portfolio-based assessments are collections of academic work—for example, assignments, lab results, writing samples, speeches, student-created films, or art projects—that are compiled by students and assessed by teachers in consistent ways. Portfolio-based assessments are often used to evaluate a “body of knowledge”—i.e., the acquisition of diverse knowledge and skills over a period of time. Portfolio materials can be collected in physical or digital formats, and they are often evaluated to determine whether students have met required learning standards.


As individuals, each of us has a unique combination of strengths and weaknesses. But sometimes we are exceptionally strong or weak in certain areas. In the school setting, students with exceptional strengths and weaknesses may have different instructional needs than other students. Twice exceptional or 2e is a term used to describe students who are both intellectually gifted (as determined by an accepted standardized assessment) and learning disabled, which includes students with dyslexia.

The NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) recognizes three types of students who could be identified as 2e:

·       Identified gifted students who have a learning disability

·       Students with a learning disability whose giftedness has not been identified

·       Unidentified students whose gifts and disabilities may be masked by average school achievement

How can we identify 2e students?

Parents and teachers may fail to notice both giftedness and dyslexia. Dyslexia may mask giftedness, and giftedness may mask dyslexia. Some common characteristics of 2e individuals follow:

·       Superior oral vocabulary

·       Advanced ideas and opinions

·       High levels of creativity and problem- solving ability

·       Extremely curious, imaginative, and questioning

·       Discrepant verbal and performance skills

·       Clear peaks and valleys in cognitive test profile

·       Wide range of interests not related to school

·       Specific talent or consuming interest area

·       Sophisticated sense of humor

Key points to consider about assessments:

·       An assessment should be developmentally appropriate. Some tests are better suited for identifying skills in the very young rather than the older

·       Developmental change can cause changes in test scores because the types of variables that tests measure can change with age, and a child’s brain takes time to mature. For example, it is possible for a

child to test as gifted at age 5 but not test as gifted when tested again at age 7. This is one reason that a thorough evaluation that includes more than one aptitude test is very important.

·       The tests used should validly measure the relevant skills. Some schools have a “set in stone” test they use to assess eligibility for gifted services (and the gifted portion of the 2e equation). These tests can be limited in scope and may not tap broad and potential areas of giftedness. For example, nonverbal tests will not adequately measure high verbal intelligence; likewise, relying on superior scores on certain academic achievement

Achievement Tests

Achievement tests determine what the students already have learned and if they are more advanced than their grade level peers.   They may be academic specific (i.e. Math or Language Arts) or standardized tests (such as SATs, ITBS, SRA, and MATs). These assessments should not have a ceiling so students are able to show all of what they know.   Tests specifically designed for the gifted population include Test of Mathematical Abilities for Gifted Students or Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Students (SAGES).

Ability Tests

Intelligence quotient (IQ) or cognitive abilities test scores are also used to identify gifted and talented students. While these tests provide information for the intellectual domain, these tests are not as helpful in identifying someone with creative, leadership, or other abilities.  Typical ability tests include:


·      Stanford Binet (L-M)

·      Wescher Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th Edition.  Read NAGC's position papesr Use of the WISC-V in Gifted Education and the WISC-IV.

·      Woodcock Johnson

·      Nonverbal tests, such as the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test or the Test of Nonverbal Intelligence, may be more effective for students from culturally and linguistically different or low-income backgrounds to eliminate barriers.


·      CogAT

·      Otis-Lennon

·      Hemmon-Nelson

·      Ravens Progressive Matrices

·      Matrix Analogies Test


4.4 Role of parents, community, ECEC and other stakeholders in early intervention as per RPD- 2016 and NEP 2020;

It is observed that though mental illness has been included as a condition of disability, special needs of persons with mental illness (PMI) and their families have not been properly addressed. PWD with mental illness require special and different types of attention and care due to the nature of their illnesses. Frequently, persons with severe mental illness are not in a position to be aware of their illness because of the lack of insight. In these circumstances, their families are great asset in providing them care and support. In our country, where personnel resources in mental health care are extremely scarce, family is a very important asset in the management of mental illness. Family members need to be involved to the greatest extent in the mental healthcare and family support should be encouraged as it provides moral, emotional, and physical support to the PMI. However, the provisions of the section 7(2) of the Act may result in a situation, in which the family members and other caregivers may be less willing to be proactive and rather be scared to provide the required help.

In this way it can be said that RPwD Act, 2016 is praiseworthy step to ensure the aim is to provide social justice, equality and opportunity to all persons with disabilities of India . To fulfill these aims various organizations either government or non-government play a vital role. So, for the implementation of the act at its high and progressive level all these agencies should work hand in hand with firm determination and honesty.


Parental involvement in a child’s education along with environmental and economic factors may affect child development in areas such as cognition, language, and social skills. Numerous studies in this area have demonstrated the importance of family interaction and involvement in the years prior to entering school.

Parental involvement may be different from culture to culture and society to society. Parental involvement may have different types, which might have differential influence on academic performance of their children. Parental expectations have a greater impact on student’s educational outcomes. Parental involvement may include activities like helping children in reading, encouraging them to do their homework independently, monitoring their activities inside the house and outside the four walls of their house, and providing coaching services for improving their learning in different subjects.

·      Parental involvement categorized into four broad strands;

·      Parental involvement in children’s school-based activities,

·      Parental involvement in children’s at home-based activities,

·      Direct parental involvement in academic activities of children and

·      Indirect parental involvement in academic activities of children.

It is true that parental involvement level vary among parents. For example mother parent of young children, educated or uneducated parents, father’s involvement, their economic status, family background, social environment. It is observed that parental involvement with children from early age has been found to equate with better outcomes specially in building their personalities parents are primary guides to them, children try to copy them, and considered them that they are always write so parents can shape their life as they can. Their involvement has positive impact on children academic achievement even when the background factor of such as social class, family size, has been taken into account.

Parents’ collaboration is not only of benefit for children: there are also possible gains for all parties, for instance:

·      Parents increase interaction with their children, become more responsive and sensitive to their needs and more confident in their parenting skills.

·      Educators acquire a better understanding of families’ culture and diversity, feel more comfortable at work and improve their morale.

·      Schools, by involving parents and the community, tend to establish better reputations in the community.

The role of a community towards the disabled individual can be easily elaborated if we emphasize on creating friendly relationships with pure intent and understanding. First of all — the importance of forming a bond has hence permitted the individuals to collaborate and empathize with the disabled individuals which thus automatically creates a sense of worth and belonging. In contrast, a distressed disabled individual won’t be able to be productive if he/she is left alone so therefore, building a connectivity bridge will lead to finding out the similarities and the differences of each and every individual within the community. 

The common ideology of all these platforms is to provide a sense of belonging for the disabled individuals where they can share their real life experiences online in a safe, comforting and friendly environment.

One of the major step towards a collaborative community is to be provided with trained teachers taking the responsibility of engaging the disabled individuals. The importance of a trained teacher is substantial in an inclusive education and the necessity of achieving better results by filling the space for the disabled individual with knowledge and a sense of recognition. The right training of the teachers should not be overlooked by the authorities but instead encourage the trainee/trainers to participate in professional development courses. Hence, teachers are the pioneers of a community in building a common ground for the individuals facing any disability. Thus, with their training, the disabled individuals can succeed and shine in any desired platform.

Special educators

Teachers with a degree in special education are trained to work with children with special needs. There are even specializations within the field of special education for specific disabilities like learning disabilities. Special educators are trained to design IEPs, conduct informal assessments, identify children with disabilities, design intervention and deliver the remedial programme to the children. Schools may employ special educators, or they may work privately to help support children with disabilities.

Role of the Special Education Teacher

Early childhood education

Early Childhood Education or ECE, as it is commonly known, is a stream of education which relates to the formal and informal teaching of children from birth up to the age of eight. This particular field of study originated in European countries and has since gained a lot of popularity. It has now become a norm in most developed and developing countries. A child’s parents play a major role in the first 2 years of their life. They aid in discovering their ‘sense of self’ which in turn helps children to differentiate between themselves and others. But while nothing can beat the love and attention given to a child by his or her mother, research has shown that early childhood education programs not only encourage a passion for learning but also instils good habits that last a lifetime.

Benefits of early childhood education

In order to provide a child with an environment that is supportive, as well as nurturing, it is very important that we understand how crucial these early years are and how we as parents and educators can contribute to making it intellectually stimulating. The power of early year’s education is immense with a plethora of benefits such as better social skills, increased confidence levels, greater coordination, creativity and increased confidence levels.


4.5 Models of early intervention-(home-based, centre-based, hospital-based, combination) with reference to transition from home to school;


In the field of disability, early intervenlion refers to planned and organized efforts to enhance the development of children, who have a disability or who are at risk of developing it. Typically, early intervention programmes focus on children from birth to six years of age.

The aim of early intervention is to provide the child with an environment that fosters his development in all areas; including language, cognitive (mental), behavioural, social and emotional. Thus, the objective is to minimize the negative impact of the impairment or the disabling condition on the overall development of the child, and the inter-relationships within the family. Early intervention thus involves:

(i) providing appropriate stimulation to the child with disability and carrying out individualized educational and therapeutic activities, and

(ii) providing necessary support, guidance, and training to the family.

There are different ways in which early intervention services can be provided. The services can be direct or indirect. When the services are provided by the professional or early intervention team member(s) directly to the child, they are called direct services. When they are provided to the parents or caregivers, who in turn work with the child, they are called indirect services. The services can be provided in the home setting, in a centre, or by adopting an approach that combines the two.

Home-based Intervention

This is a common method of providing intervention - the services are provided to the chiid and the family members at home. The professional intervener visits the house of the child with, interacts with the family members, and observes their routine, practices, cultural and social activities. She/he estimates the available resources in terms of family members, finances, and materials. This helps the professional to understand the background of the child with disability and his family. Also to find out the strengths and needs of the child. If the child needs any medical help, she helps to arrange for it. Her home visit may have been a referral from the Primary Healt , Centre, where the child's medical needs are being taken care of. In such cases, the home intervener helps to ensure follow-up of medical requirements, such as taking medicines on time. She also guides the family in getting the child's hearing loss assessed, and in the procurement of appropriate hearing aids. She evaluates the child to determine what skills and abilities he already has, and which are the ones that he is ready to acquire.

After understanding the family and its environment, assessing the child, and ensuring medical intervention (if needed) and the acquisition of suitable hearing aids, the home trainer focuses on the training aspect. She works with the parents to prioritize the training needs, and to plan the required training activities. Further, she demonstrates to the parents and other family members how to carry out the programme suited to the child's needs.

Having taught the parents how to do the various training activities with the child, the trainer makes periodic visits to the house in order to monitor the progress of the child and to help the parents with any problem. These visits could vary from one to three times a week, depending on the need of the family as well as mutual convenience. She also maintains a record, in simple form, of her assessment of the child, his progress, and the present activities being carried out.

Thus in the home-based intervention model, the parents become the child's primary teachers. This type of programme demands much of I parental time, dedication and motivation. Therefore, it is important for the home trainer to identify at least one other person at home, apart from the mother (for example the grandfather or aunt) who can give training to the child. Ideally, all family members should be involved and sensitized. Even brothers and sisters can be trained to give home-based training to the hearing impaired child. The siblings can be taught play way methods of providing stimulation to the child - they often do it more effectively than an adult!

Centre-based Intervention

This is a system where the parents take the child to a centre for children with disability, where training is provided to the child and often, to the parents as well. At the centre, a group of experts, including a doctor, audiologist, social worker, special educator, speech therapist, occupational therapist, and so on, attend to the child and train the parents and other caregivers to carry out tasks at home to foster the development of the child. These types of services are essential for children with multiple handicaps, for instance the deaf-blind, or deaf and mentally challenged, or deaf with cerebral palsy etc.

There are three ways in which the expert team at the centre may interact with -the parents and the child:

·       Each member of the expert team meets the parents and the child, and provides intervention.

·        The team of experts, collectively, attends to the child and the family and provides intervention.

·       All experts meet and discuss the child's case and one team member receives information and guidance from all of them and in turn interacts with the child and the family.

Any of these three ways of functioning or a combination can be found at a centre. Each of these ways of functioning of the professional team at the centre has its own strengths and limitations.

Combined Model

The combined model is, as the name suggests, a combination of homebased and centre-based intervention strategies.

Under this model, the parent and the child receive a combination of services. That is, the child visits the centre periodically, say once a month. During the other days, the home trainer, who is the link between the centre and the family, visits the child at home once every 2-3 days and provides services. Thus, the child receives both kinds of services - home-based and centre-based.

Depending on the location of the centre, residence 01 the child, availability of resources, practical conven;c.nce, needs of the child and availability of services, a parent can choose the combined programme - if it is available! This will have the advantages of both home-based and centre-based programmes.