Morehead State University

Poster Title

Families Involving Siblings in Early Intervention

Institution

Morehead State University

Abstract

Legislation and Recommended Practice recognize the importance of the interactions between the child and family. Family involvement in early intervention is vital to support the outcomes of very young children who are receiving special services (developmental intervention, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, etc.) for their identified delays, disabilities, or risk factors. It is understood that family members spend more time with their children than any others and have the most influence on their child. Siblings, as family members, also have an impact. The research informs us of sibling interactions consuming a large part of everyday family routines, and offering naturally occurring opportunities for learning in multiple domains. The research also informs us that services should be delivered in natural environments as this increases opportunities for learning. When compared to environments that are not natural or normal for young children, these are the best settings for intervention because the child is able to use the skills and strategies in their normal day-to-day activities which is more functional and better generalized. This increase is due to the many more opportunities found in their typical every day routines such as home, car, playground, or church. Unfortunately, there is a gap in research about family involvement in early intervention, when including siblings. Sibling involvement in early intervention may offer very young children with special needs more opportunities to learn. We have conducted a survey to learn more about how families include siblings in the intervention strategies developed for their young child with disabilities.

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Families Involving Siblings in Early Intervention

Legislation and Recommended Practice recognize the importance of the interactions between the child and family. Family involvement in early intervention is vital to support the outcomes of very young children who are receiving special services (developmental intervention, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy, etc.) for their identified delays, disabilities, or risk factors. It is understood that family members spend more time with their children than any others and have the most influence on their child. Siblings, as family members, also have an impact. The research informs us of sibling interactions consuming a large part of everyday family routines, and offering naturally occurring opportunities for learning in multiple domains. The research also informs us that services should be delivered in natural environments as this increases opportunities for learning. When compared to environments that are not natural or normal for young children, these are the best settings for intervention because the child is able to use the skills and strategies in their normal day-to-day activities which is more functional and better generalized. This increase is due to the many more opportunities found in their typical every day routines such as home, car, playground, or church. Unfortunately, there is a gap in research about family involvement in early intervention, when including siblings. Sibling involvement in early intervention may offer very young children with special needs more opportunities to learn. We have conducted a survey to learn more about how families include siblings in the intervention strategies developed for their young child with disabilities.