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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.

Issue 10: 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.

Issue 9: 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.

Issue 8: Adapting the Environment to Support Engagement

Effective, engaging, and accessible environments have age-appropriate equipment, materials, supplies, and physical spaces. They also include developmentally appropriate schedules, lesson plans, and experiences. All of these materials can be adapted by staff and families to support all children, especially those suspected of or diagnosed with disabilities.

Issue 7: Ongoing Child Assessment to Support Learning

Assessments help to guide the development of goals and to monitor children’s progress. They also help to individualize teaching practices and home visiting strategies, and to measure child outcomes. In this issue, learn more about how to use the assessment process to gather information for making decisions and informing interventions. This is a critical component of services for young children who have or are suspected of developmental delays or disabilities and their families.

Issue 6: Leading to Support High-Quality Inclusive Services

Leadership is critical to the success of high-quality inclusion. In this issue, learn about leadership strategies and processes that support inclusion, such as professional and interagency collaboration, systems change, support for practitioners, and families as advocates for their children with disabilities.

Issue 5: Individualizing Instruction to Support Learning

Individualizing instruction can maximize children's learning opportunities. It can also improve their developmental and functional outcomes. In this issue, learn more about how to individualize early care and education for children with disabilities. Find resources with strategies to support instruction for children who have suspected or identified disabilities.

Issue 4: Working with Families of Children with Disabilities

In this issue, learn more about how to work with families of children with disabilities. Relationships between parents and caregivers can build family capacity for collaboration and provide the foundation for children's healthy development. Find resources with strategies to support sensitive and responsive conversations with parents and families of children who have suspected or identified disabilities.

Issue 3: Supporting Child Interactions

In this issue, learn more about how to support children’s interactions with adults and peers. These interactions provide the foundation for learning and social and emotional competence. Find resources with strategies and practices to support and facilitate sensitive and responsive interactions with children who have suspected or identified disabilities.

Issue 2: Serving Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities

Explore several different ways to modify and adapt center- and home-based environments to support children with suspected or identified disabilities. Resources in this issue may be used to lead professional development sessions for staff focused on meeting the needs of all children.

Issue 1: Interim Services

In this issue, learn more about interim services. The term refers to services that 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 receives an individualized plan. Explore policies related to interim services. Learn how programs can plan for, provide, and engage families in these services. This issue also spotlights a program implementing interim services.


If you’d like to receive this newsletter, please select the subscribe link. 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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Last Updated: February 15, 2018