Children with Disabilities

Disabilities Services Newsletters

The Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletter is produced monthly by the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL). It is dedicated to staff working with young children with disabilities and their families. This page provides current and past issues of the newsletter.

If you’d like to receive this newsletter, please select the button below. Once on the page, enter your email address and then select "Disabilities Services." You will also be able to subscribe to any other email list to receive periodic news about the Head Start program and early childhood development community.

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Preventing and Addressing Behaviors That Challenge Us

Sometimes, Head Start educators may find that young children's behaviors feel challenging to address successfully. Staff who experience this may start by understanding that all behavior has meaning and determine what the child is trying to communicate through their behavior. Explore this newsletter to learn how to respond to the behavior and teach new social and emotional skills.

Improving Instruction for Young Children with Autism

Educators can use a variety of instructional strategies to support positive experiences for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In this newsletter, learn how to match the level of instructional support to the child's needs. It is important that Head Start educators work with the team (e.g., parents, co-educators, education managers, disability services coordinators, and any therapists that work with the child) to identify the child's strengths, interests, and needs.

Embedded Learning Opportunities for Infants and Toddlers

Infants and toddlers with disabilities need many opportunities to learn and practice new skills. Providing embedded learning opportunities is an effective way to maximize children's learning throughout the day. In this issue, learn how disabilities services coordinators and Early Head Start educators can work together to determine activities and routines that are best suited for embedded learning opportunities.

Partnering with Families to Identify Developmental Concerns

Learn how partnering with families during developmental screenings can help programs determine how children are growing and learning. The screening is the first step in a comprehensive system of assessment and helps staff and families decide whether to refer a child for more evaluation by a qualified professional. 

Establishing Equitable Early Learning Environments

Early childhood professionals have a unique opportunity to advance equity and diversity when children are first beginning to understand these issues. Explore how to foster equitable access to learning to enhance a sense of belonging and trust for children and their families.

Using the Activity Matrix to Maximize Learning Time

Using a system to organize learning activities and ensure that all staff are prepared to support children is key to a high-quality early learning environment. Explore this newsletter to learn how an activity matrix is a great tool to meet this goal.

Practice-Based Coaching: Focus on Inclusive Practices

In this issue, explore Practice-Based Coaching around including and teaching children with special needs in all classroom activities. Find strategies and materials to help educators strengthen their teaching practices.

Spotlight on Child Maltreatment: Building Resilience in the Face of Adversity

An effective way to support children who have experienced maltreatment is to help them build resilience in the face of adversity. This issue explores practices for building resilience in children with disabilities or suspected delays who have also experienced maltreatment.

Supporting Friendships

Explore this newsletter to learn how to foster friendships between children of all abilities. Learn how to teach both children with disabilities and their typically developing peers ways to interact with each other for the benefit of all.

Preventing Suspension and Expulsion

Suspension and expulsion of young children are widespread problems. Data shows preschool children are expelled at least three times more than school-aged children. In this issue, you will find resources to use to support young children with challenging behaviors or suspected delays in the areas of social, emotional, and behavioral competence.

Interim Services

When identified as having a suspected delay, it can often take time for the child to go through an evaluation and the development of a service plan. The term "interim services" refers to the services provided to meet a child's unique needs in the period of time after a referral has been made and before the child is deemed eligible and an individualized plan is written. Explore resources to help you understand the best ways to provide those services.

Preschool to Kindergarten Transitions for Children with Disabilities

In this issue, find resources staff can use to support preschoolers with disabilities or suspected delays as they transition into kindergarten.

Infant/Toddler to Preschool Transitions for Children with Disabilities

Transitions can be difficult for all children, but may be especially difficult for children with disabilities and their families. Explore resources staff can use to support infants and toddlers with disabilities or suspected delays.

Supporting Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities or Suspected Delays and Their Families

Support for infants and toddlers with disabilities or suspected delays and their families can be provided in many ways. In this issue, learn more about how to support infants and toddlers with disabilities or suspected delays and their families at home and in the classroom.

Supporting Children Who Are Dual Language Learners (DLLs) with Disabilities or Suspected Delays

Ensuring the full and effective participation of children who are dual language learners (DLLs) with disabilities or suspected delays is a critical component of inclusion. In this issue, find resources you can use to support these children at home and in the classroom.

Using Assistive Technology to Support Children

Assistive technology increases children's access to chances for learning and social development. This is particularly important for children with disabilities or suspected delays. In this issue, learn more about using assistive technology for supporting children at home and in the classroom.

Engaging Families in Planning and Goal-Setting

Strong staff and family partnerships set the stage for planning and goal setting. In this newsletter issue, learn more about effective strategies for engaging families in setting meaningful goals.

Creating a Classroom Culture of Acceptance of Individual Differences

A culture of acceptance is one that welcomes and includes all children. Acceptance goes beyond providing access to an early learning setting. It means being included both physically and socially as a part of the group. A culture of acceptance occurs when each child is accepted and welcomed for who they are.

Classroom Collaboration to Support Inclusion

Collaboration is essential for the growth, success, and inclusion of every child. Learn about strategies for collaboration and explore tips on how to improve communication in support of children and families.

Using Data to Support Highly Individualized Teaching and Learning

The use of data is critical for serving all children, especially children with disabilities or suspected delays. Data is gathered to monitor and document developmental progress, and is collected through ongoing child assessment. In this issue, learn more about how ongoing assessment data guides decisions related to instructional supports.

Supporting Peer Interactions

Children learn new skills by watching and interacting with other children during play and everyday activities. Peer interactions promote learning and development in language, literacy, and cognition. They also promote motor and social and emotional development. In this issue, learn ways to support and enhance child-to-child interactions at home and in the classroom.

Last Updated: November 13, 2019