The facilitation team should represent the voices of a family member and service provider to augment the session with personal experiences and perspectives.
The services offered for typically developing children and their families provide the foundation for specific accommodations or specialized services for children with disabilities and their families. The Making It Happen activity is intended to highlight the fact that there are more similarities than differences between services for typically developing children and those with disabilities. Service providers already have many of the skills needed to include children with disabilities. Children with disabilities are children first. High-quality early care and education environments can be adapted to meet the special needs of young children with disabilities.
The vignettes in this session remind participants of the importance of addressing the diverse cultural and linguistic needs of families in building relationships and initiating services. The Building Relationships with Families volume has a number of sessions that address these issues.
For more information on working with children with disabilities and their families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, see the following resources:
- The Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Early Childhood Research Institute: www.clas.uiuc.edu. This website includes
early care and education and early intervention resources that have been developed across the United Sites for children with disabilities and their families and the service providers who work with them. The materials and resources available on this site reflect the intersection of culture and language, disabilities, and child development.
- Lynch, Eleanor and Hanson, Marci. Developing Cross Cultural Competence: A Guide to Working with Children and Their Families. Third Edition. 2004, Paul Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD. This book provides information on working respectfully with families and children with disabilities from diverse cultural, ethnic
and language groups. It provides an overview of best practices for culturally competent intervention and in-depth knowledge of nine different ethnic groups in America.
- Chen, Deborah; Chan, Sam; Brekken, Linda; Lynch, Eleanor; and Valverde, Aracelly. Project CRAFT: Culturally Responsive and Family-Focused Training: A Learning Activities Guide. 1998. California State
University Northridge, Department of Special Education.
At www.eric.ed.gov you can download a complete copy of the The Project CRAFT Learning Activities Guide, ERIC # ED426552. Additional support materials for Project CRAFT are available:
- The Project CRAFT Culturally Responsive and Family-Focused Training video and facilitator guide (1997: Chen, D., Brekken, L., and Chan, S.) are available for purchase from Child Development Media at www.childdevmedia.com.
- The Conversations for Three: Communicating Through Interpreters video (1999: Chen, D., Chan, S., and Brekken, L.) is available from Paul H. Brookes Publishing at www.brookespublishing.com.
- Fadiman, Anne. When the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. 1997 Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, New York. This book describes the Hmong culture and some of the unique cultural issues for the
families of young children with special needs and their service providers.
In this session, we will be using a problem-solving process we call Causes to Pause, which is described in the “Facilitator’s Guide.” A Cause to Pause is something that makes you stop and think — issues, concerns, barriers, challenges — when you are planning inclusive services for young children with disabilities and their families. The Causes to Pause Action Plan has four steps—a description of the concern, the additional information needed, the resources needed, and strategies for how to access support for addressing the Cause to Pause.
The plans should also specify who will have primary responsibility for following through on the action steps; the plans should also specify the anticipated timelines for these action steps.
As a follow-up to this fifth session, Planning to Serve the Diego Family introduces a more in-depth Cause to Pause problem-analysis process that might also be helpful for teams.