Increased Opportunity and Learning for Children with Disabilities
Jennifer Fung: Hi, everybody. Welcome to our fourth webinar in our inclusion series. Today is actually our final webinar for this year's inclusion series, but we are looking forward to seeing everybody again in October. Today, our webinar, which is called “Increased Opportunity and Learning for Children with Disabilities,” we will talk about the importance of planning for and using strategies to help us provide just the right amount of instruction to help children with disabilities and suspected delays make progress towards their learning goals. My name is Jen Fung, and I am the inclusion lead for the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, or DTL, as we call it, and I am very happy to be joined today by a special guest expert, Dr. Angel Fettig from the University of Washington and from DTL. Angel is an expert in the area of supporting families and caregivers of very young children with disabilities to help their child learn during their daily routines. Angel, welcome, and do you want to say hi and tell us a little bit about yourself and your work?
Angel Fettig: Yeah. Hello, everyone. My name is Angel Fettig, and I'm an associate professor in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Washington. Much of my research and teaching focuses on educator-caregiver partnership and thinking about how do we best guide adults in supporting young children with disabilities in natural settings, within school as well as home environments. I'm thrilled to be a guest today to share some ideas with you.
Jen: Welcome back, Angel. Thank you. Angel joined us on our January webinar, again talking about families of young children with disabilities, so we're excited to have her back today. As a reminder, before we get started, please ask questions if you have them using the purple Q&A widget. Today, we're going to talk about how disability services coordinators can help educators, home visitors, and other program staff to plan to use strategies that can really provide children with disabilities or suspected delays with sufficient opportunity to learn and to meet their individualized goals. And today, as we mentioned, we're really going to be focused on this embedded teaching during daily routines and activities. Today, we're going to discuss the importance of providing increased learning opportunities that include all children, describe some strategies to plan for and provide intentional supported learning opportunities for children throughout daily routines and activities, and then really talk about what these strategies look like in action, in particular how program staff can support families to provide learning opportunities for their child throughout the day. And then, of course, at the end of the webinar, we'll do some question and answer with Angel.
By the end of this webinar, we really hope that participants will be able to describe an approach to embedding instruction on a child's IEP or IFSP goals throughout the day, and really focused on how to select goals and identify when and how to teach them, and also to identify tools and strategies to support education staff and families, plan for multiple opportunities to learn and practice new skills throughout the day. Today, we're going to talk about specific teaching and home-visiting practices that can be used to support the inclusion and learning of young children with disabilities and suspected delays in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. But before we really dive into those strategies, let's take a quick look at where these practices that we'll talk about today, where they fall within the Head Start Framework for Effective Practice.
In our last inclusion webinar in May, we discussed how the Framework for Effective Practice aligns with another type of framework that's often used in early intervention and early childhood special education, a tiered framework, or we called it an “all-some-few” approach. In May, we discussed how this type of framework can really help us provide the right level and type of support for each child, individualized teaching. We know that all children have different needs for support to really make sure that they're learning, thriving, and then meeting their developmental goals, whether those are goals that are outlined in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework, the ELOF, or whether those are goals that are specific to a child's Individualized Education Program, or IEP, or the child and family's Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP. We really want to make sure that we're individualizing our support for all children through planned and intentional interactions by providing the right amount of meaningful learning opportunities and by using the right amount and type of support during those learning opportunities. As a reminder, within the Framework for Effective Practice, the foundation and the pillars of the framework really represent practices at that All level of a tiered framework, so these are universal practices that we know all children will benefit from. But then as you move up in the framework, the top of the house – the roof of the house framework represents the Some level of the tiered framework, as well as the Few levels of a tiered framework. And this, the Some and, in particular, the Few is really where practices and strategies get more individualized to respond to the unique learning needs of children so that practices that we're going to discuss today really fall within that top portion of the Framework for Effective Practice.
Let's take a quick look at that top portion. When we take a look at the roof of the house, a closer look, we see that it's separated into three tiers of highly individualized teaching. These levels of support and individualization intensify and get more intensive and more individualized as you move from the bottom of the roof to the top of the roof. In our May webinar, we talked about curriculum modifications and adaptations, which are really used to help children who need individualized support participate and engage in the learning environment and in the curriculum. If you missed that webinar – if you missed the May webinar, a link to the recording is on the resource list which, of course, you can find in that resources widget. Today, we're going to talk about embedded teaching or embedded instruction, as we'll call it, which is an evidence-based practice to help children who are participating. Maybe we've used some modifications and adaptations to help children participate in their learning environments, but maybe they're still not readily learning through the activities or routines and need more learning opportunities throughout the day to really help them make progress on their goals.
Let's get started. As we've talked about, many children will learn through exposure to activities and engaging in activities and practicing new skills and concepts, but for some children with disabilities or suspected delays, that exposure and that practice alone are not sufficient. They're not enough to help children make progress towards their goals. We know that children learn best when the adults in their learning environments intentionally plan instruction to support children's progress towards those learning goals. Embedded instructional practices, what we're going to talk about today, that's one way to provide this type of planned and intentional teaching. Embedded instruction is a practice that involves following a child's lead, building on a child's interests, and promoting engagement and learning during ongoing activities. This type of instruction, embedded instruction, really helps us make sure, again, that children are getting enough learning opportunities to help them make progress by providing an intentional approach to really organizing the learning environment and organizing our instruction and our teaching to ensure that we're providing sufficient opportunities for children to respond and to learn. One of the great things about embedded instruction is that it can and it really should be used anywhere that a child spends time, including at home, which is, as I mentioned, one of the things that we're going to talk a lot about today. As programs have been providing virtual or hybrid services, we know that the focus for many children has been on supporting their families to identify learning opportunities throughout their day and to embed instruction. And we know that for home-based programs, this is always a goal and is really a part of what home visitors and families jointly plan for so that families can embed instruction or learning supports during ongoing everyday family routines that occur in between home visits.
Let's take a quick look at what is embedded instruction. Embedded instruction is often referred to by many different names – embedded teaching, embedded learning opportunities, activity-based instruction. You'll hear this practice referred to by many different terms, but these different terms refer to an instructional practice that involves short, planned interactions that provide opportunities for learning on priority learning objectives. These short interactions are planned so that they occur during ongoing activities, routines, and transitions whether – in many different environments, whether that's at home, in group settings, or out in the community. Embedded instruction can be used by many different adults and really should if we're talking about, you know, providing sufficient opportunity to support children's learning, can and should be used by many different adults to really support children's development and progress towards their goals. In addition to being used by a variety of education staff in group care, home visitors, family child care providers, and teachers also support families to use embedded instructional strategies during routines and activities at home.
Let's talk a little bit about why we used embedded instruction. Embedded instructional practices have a really strong research base, and Angel is going to talk a little bit about that with us today, and embedded instruction is also a Division for Early Childhood or DEC-recommended practice. What the research and our experience tells us about why embedded instruction is so beneficial, one is because the strategy really takes advantage of existing and authentic activities. Children learn and practice new skills within everyday opportunities and situations. Because the learning takes place during existing routines, education staff or parents and families work with what's already happening or what's already available in a learning environment, and this requires minimal change to existing routines and activities. Embedded instruction also maximizes a child's motivation by following their interest and their motivation within activities and routines and really captures on the things that they're showing us they're already interested in, already doing, and already playing with. Using typical routines and activities to support learning means that the skills that are being targeted and the skills that are being taught are likely to be useful to the child and are likely to be socially meaningful to the child. This leads to enhanced generalization or the use of a new skill with different people and in different environments. Really thinking about helping kids, children learn to use these skills wherever they spend time which we know can sometimes be a challenge for young children with disabilities and suspected delays. Again, we know that many programs have been supporting families to embed instruction throughout their day during virtual and hybrid learning. It's a great strategy to use when you can't be face-to-face or in person with a family. You don't have to be there in person to help them learn about and use embedded instruction.
Now that we've introduced embedded instruction, let's take a look at some tools and some resources that DSCs or others who are in roles to coach or support education staff can really use to help them plan for and use embedded instructional practices. Again, in our May webinar, looking back to our May webinar, which focused on supporting program staff to use strategies to promote access, participation, and engagement, we borrowed from a classroom curriculum and really framed the content and the approach to supporting program staff in a plan-do-review approach. Framing this work with staff in this sequence can really help us organize the support we provide and help staff learn to use a process that will really focus on helping them successfully implement and use the strategies. When we're using this approach, first we want to support staff to plan for increased learning opportunities using embedded instruction. Then, we want to support them to try it out. And then finally, we want to support them to assess a child's learning and their behavior and really to reflect on how effective the strategies were.
Before we get started, I do want to note that as we're talking through this process and as we're talking about embedded instruction, I will be talking generally about how a DSC can support program staff to use embedded instruction. This might mean that program staff are using embedded instructional practices themselves in a classroom environment, or that they're supporting parents to use the strategies at home, either during hybrid services or home-based program, or it might be a combination of both. The staff might be using the strategies themselves as well as supporting families to use them. Let's think about how we plan for and use and assess embedded instruction. Using embedded instruction really involves choosing priority skills for the child to learn and practice, identifying routines and activities in which we'll focus on those skills, and then intentionally planning – I'm sorry, intentionally providing planned learning opportunities during those routines. Here's an approach or a framework that's commonly used to help guide planning for embedded instruction. The first thing that we really want to focus on is how to – I'm sorry, what to teach. We want to provide instruction on individual, high-priority learning objectives, really important skills that children need to learn and that children will use in their daily lives, skills that are meaningful.
There are many different ways to identify what goals need more support, and these goals should always be chosen in collaboration with the child's family. And Angel is going to talk a bit about that with us in a few minutes. When we're thinking about what to teach, sometimes that might involve simplifying a goal that a child has or that a family has for their child, maybe by breaking a goal down into smaller steps in order to really help the child's learning. In your resources widget, you'll find some planning tools that might help with breaking skills down, as well as some links on the resource list to more information on supporting staff to help families identify what to teach during embedded learning and embedded instruction. Then in this framework, once we've decided what to teach, we really want to focus on when to teach and when to provide that intentional support on specific goals. And again, as I've mentioned, this really means choosing from any and all daily activities, daily routines, and transitions that occur within a child's many different learning environments. An important part of this step of using embedded instruction is helping to support staff and/or families to identify what routines and what activities take place during the day. This can be playtime, mealtime, bath, diapering, riding the bus, taking a walk, cleaning up after play. It could be anything, really. The most important thing during this step is that we're identifying typical authentic activities that make up the child's day wherever they spend it, and then really focusing on that planning to provide embedded instruction during these activities. This can feel like a lot. You know, we're talking about planning multiple opportunities across a child's day.
An important part of the support that we provide to staff or families will be helping them kind of organize the plans for embedded instruction throughout the day and then guiding them to support families to do the same, to really organize and plan for that instruction. Remember, again, this could mean that you're supporting program staff to provide embedded instruction through – in their own learning environments or supporting staff to help families plan for and use embedded instruction within the home. There are many tools to help with organizing learning, and one is an activity matrix. This is really used to help organize the learning opportunities and really disperse the learning opportunities across a variety of different routines and activities to help us make sure that the child gets sufficient learning opportunities, but also to help embedded instruction feel manageable for staff or for families. Again, check out the resources widget. There are lots of specific tools that can be helpful, that might be helpful in planning for when to teach.
To finish up talking about this embedded instruction framework, the next two aspects that we want to focus on are how to teach and how to evaluate. When we're considering – once we've considered the what and the when of embedded instruction, we really want to carefully plan how we're going to provide more support during these learning opportunities. This means that we're carefully choosing teaching strategies and methods that we'll use throughout those daily routines and activities to provide the child with intentional learning opportunities. We know that there are a variety of different evidence-based teaching practices that can be used to support a child's learning during embedded instruction. These might be teaching loops, incidental teaching, and other naturalistic teaching strategies that are often used during embedded instruction. We know that there is a lot of research that tells us that the adults, again whether that's an educator or a family member or another caregiver, but the adults in a child's learning environment can be taught to use these strategies to embed instruction during daily activities and that when the adults in the learning environments use these embedded instructional strategies, they can really help children make progress towards their goals. Out of all these different teaching strategies that we might choose to use during embedded instruction, what's most important when we're deciding how to teach is that we consider the child's strengths, how they learn, and their needs for support, and then choosing a strategy or strategies that really match with those. Then, of course, we support the adults who will be using these strategies to learn about them and use them with fidelity.
And then the final consideration is how we're going to evaluate the child's progress so that we can determine whether our instruction has been effective. When we're thinking about how to evaluate, we really want to make sure that we're collecting the right type of information and enough information to help us see how the child is progressing and then use that information to help us decide if we're providing the right type of support and the right amount of support. This is just a quick overview of how to plan – how to approach planning for embedded instruction. Again, there are specific strategies that I've mentioned with each step – you know, within the what to teach, when to teach, how to teach, and how to evaluate – that can be used, and we've provided a lot of resources, planning tools, and then also links to learn more about these different strategies that can be used at each step on your resource list so, again, be sure to check that out.
And then one quick note before we move on and start talking to Angel about what it looks like to support families to use embedded instruction during their daily routines, I just wanted to mention, you know, when we're planning for, in general, supports in instruction for children with disabilities and their families, your partnerships with your whole team, your team within your program, and then also your team including your IDEA partners is so important. You know, we know that ongoing collaboration with the specialists on the child's team, maybe the speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, or the special educator can really give Head Start staff more information about the child's individualized needs and what strategies might be a match to, you know, really help support those needs. And likewise, collaboration with the Head Start staff can help specialists understand the child's participation in your program's services, which can help them identify the most effective strategies and supports for the child. This collaboration can happen in many ways. For example, you might schedule a joint session with a specialist, which is a great opportunity for the team to really come together to share information but also to support the family and for program staff to learn some individualized strategies that they might use with the child, as well.
OK, now that we've taken a look at the steps involved in planning for embedded instruction and a sequence, the plan-do-review sequence, and also some resources that DSCs can use to support educators, home visitors, and other staff to use embedded instruction, let's talk about how we can put embedded instruction into action. Today, as I've mentioned, we're specifically going to focus on supporting families to embed instruction at home. I'm thrilled to have Angel with us today to share some great strategies that program staff can use to support families to embed teaching and learning opportunities throughout their day. We're going to focus with Angel specifically on the how to – the what-to-teach and the how-to-teach components of that embedded instruction framework. As you listen, you know, really reflect on the information being shared and use the purple Q&A widget to share your thoughts with us and ask questions. We'll try to answer, get to as many questions as possible during our Q&A session at the end of the webinar.
OK, let's get started focused on the what-to-teach component of embedded instruction. Angel, we know that partnering with families to decide what to teach is so important but can also feel overwhelming, both for families and for staff alike. What strategies can be used to support families to decide what to teach?
Angel: Yes, so you're right, Jen. This is a really important part of the embedded instruction framework. We want to focus on priority skills and skills that children need to participate independently in family routines and activities. In order to identify what those skills are and decide what to teach, we need to work collaboratively with families. These goals can be identified in different ways, including looking at a child's IEP or IFSP, looking at a child's individual learning plan, or talking to parents about their priorities and concerns. A strategy I often support providers to use with families is a routines-based interview or RBI, as many of you might have heard of this term, which has been extensively studied by Dr. Robin McWilliam and his colleagues. An RBI is a semi-structured interview about the family's day-to-day life, focusing on the child's engagement, independence, and social relationships. There are several purposes in using RBI, including to create a strong relationship with the family, to obtain a rich description of child and family functioning, and to result in a family-chosen list of functional goals that they want to target with and for their child.
Jen: Great. I can't wait to hear more about the RBI process, but first, I just want to make a note about a couple points regarding when and how an RBI might be used by program staff. First, we know how important, and you mentioned this as well, how important it is for staff to establish a rapport with the family, which really includes getting to know the child, the family, and their strengths. That established relationship and that rapport will really be helpful when talking to families about their concerns and priorities for their child. Another important consideration for programs is to consider and to really intentionally decide, collaboratively as a team, who the right person will be to conduct an interview like this, whether it's an RBI or something similar. Again, knowing how important that relationship is, having a staff member who feels comfortable with the family and who the family feels comfortable with to conduct that interview will be really helpful. And then last, just to emphasize that collaboration and communication, again, amongst staff members, amongst all team members, all the members of a child and family's team is so important as your team is getting to know families and having conversations with them. We really want to avoid having families go through the same type of conversations in order to help overwhelming them. Now, back to the RBI process, Angel, you mentioned that RBI is a semi-structured interview. What are the standard components of an RBI?
Angel: Yeah, first and foremost, RBI begins by asking the family about their main concerns. These can be broad, such as, "My child is not communicating," or very specific, as well. Next, the provider will ask the family what their day looks like in order to get a sense of their routines. As they are learning about the day, the provider will ask questions to find out about how the child functions within these routines. Are they independent? Are they engaged? What is their behavior like within these routines? Then, the provider will ask the family about when or what times they have concerns. Is dinnertime difficult? Are there concerns about the bedtime routine? Often, discussion about the concerns will involve family ratings of satisfaction within the routines. Last, the RBI concludes with the family and provider developing shared goals, and even though there are standard parts of the interview, it's important to remember that the RBI should be open-ended and feel conversational.
Jen: Great. It seems like getting such rich information about a family's routines can be helpful deciding not only on what the goals are, but also, that information about routines can be helpful deciding when to teach.
Angel: Yes, absolutely. Having this information helps education staff understand what routines the child and family are doing, who is involved, what might be challenging, and what is going well. This can help us, as educators and staff, determine which routines are good for embedded instruction. Just as importantly, this can also help us determine which routines aren't good for embedded instruction. For example, we might find out from a family that mornings are an especially challenging time, as one parent is responsible for getting three older children ready for school, while the other parent must leave very early for work. In this example, we see that the morning routine will probably not be a good one for embedded instruction.
Jen: Yes, definitely. I can identify with that. My morning routine would not be good for embedded instruction, either. Angel, I can imagine with all of the information that's shared by families during an RBI and in other conversations, it might be hard for families to prioritize what to focus on. How do you address this or support providers to address this?
Angel: Yeah, we definitely want to lead the interview knowing what goals we want to focus on, and it's important that these goals are established with the family. Once we've talked about the routines, we might say something like, "Let's make a list of what skills you'd like to focus on.” It's good to let the parents start thinking of ideas, and you can use notes you took to remind the parent of what they said. Then we want to work on prioritizing goals to focus on. We don't want the family to feel overwhelmed and really want to support them to identify their highest priority skills or routines. These goals could be something that's most challenging or maybe something that's easiest for families to tackle. You might ask parents to put the goals they have identified into priority order. If that feels hard, you might ask, "If you could only choose one thing to work on, what would it be?” You'll keep discussing the goals and their importance until all goals have been numbered.
Jen: Great, thank you, Angel. That was focusing on the what to teach and a little bit about the when. Now let's talk about some specific strategies that education staff can use to support the how to teach component of the embedded instruction framework. As I mentioned earlier, there are so many different teaching strategies that can be embedded into daily routines, and we know that parents can be supported to learn and use these strategies. In fact, parent-implemented instruction is a really well-researched strategy. Angel, what can you tell us about parent-implemented instruction?
Angel: Yeah, like you said, Jen, parent-implemented instruction is an evidence-based practice, but we know that in order for it to be effective, there are certain characteristics. Whatever teaching strategy you support a family to learn and use should be chosen collaboratively with the family. The strategy you support a family to learn should be easily used within daily routines and activities. Part of this, like we just talked about, is knowing what routines are like for families. Another important thing to consider is supporting families to learn about how to use a strategy in different activities or routines. An important part of supporting families to use teaching strategies is helping them understand what the teaching strategy is, how you use it, what it looks like when it's used, and then, depending on the family's preferences, you might use strategies such as modeling, role play, discussion, or showing videos. Families should also be given plenty of opportunity to practice the skill and reflect until they feel confident. Again, this might happen in different ways, in the moment or by using video. Last, we know it's important to work with families to set goals or identify times when they can practice using these strategies on their own, then check in with them later and reflect on how it went.
Jen: Great. You know, we know how effective parent-implemented instruction can be, but we also, you know, as we've mentioned, know how important it is to make sure that the teaching strategies are used effectively. This really relies on us, as staff, to support parents to learn about and use the teaching strategies, which, you know, can be a challenge. Sometimes families might be reluctant to practice the strategy with their child while you're there, or they really might want the educator or the home visitor to work directly with the child. What strategies can education staff use to support parents to learn about, try out, and really, as you mentioned, feel confident using those embedded instructional practices?
Angel: This is a really common challenge for staff. I want to share some information about triadic interaction strategies. You see the definition on your screen. These are strategies used by a facilitator during parent-child interactions to expand and build interactions that are pleasurable for both partners in support of children's development, while also recognizing and strengthening the natural competence of parents as they interact with their children. Think about that definition for a moment. There's a lot to unpack there. What stands out to you in that definition, and what feels really important? As you are thinking, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the Q&A widget.
Some of the most important words and concepts here are that we use triadic strategies to expand and build. Another important concept here is that our goal is to use these strategies to help make sure that interactions are pleasurable and enjoyable for both the child and parent and that the interaction is supporting children's development, and this is really a critical part of how we support families and to support children's development in natural environments. Most important of all, through the triadic interactions, we're recognizing and strengthening what the parents already know and build upon that, as well. An important component of triadic interaction strategies is that the provider is to facilitate the parent and the child's dyadic interaction. In this graphic, notice the arrows. The first arrow to notice is the arrow between the parent and the child. They are the dyad. The second arrow is between the provider or whoever is facilitating the interaction and the dyad. Notice that the arrow is directed at the dyad rather than directed at the child or at the parent. This is important, again, because the goal is to promote parent-child interaction. Even though at times we're supporting the parent in learning a strategy, we are considering how the strategy we're supporting the parents in learning will be used in the context of the parent-child interaction in their daily routines.
Jen: This is great, Angel, and I know that that dyadic focus, you know, is really important and makes a lot of sense to our participants watching, but again can sometimes be difficult to support. What can education staff do to promote that triadic interaction?
Angel: Yeah, great question. I'm going to share six concrete triadic strategies that can be used to support parent-child interaction. These are all research-informed practices and compiled by Dr. Tweety Yates and her colleagues. You can find more information about the triadic strategies and the model where it came from, the PIWI Framework, on the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovation's website. The first strategy is to establish a dyadic context. This is where elements of the environment are arranged to increase the probability of developmentally matched mutually enjoyable parent-child interaction. A dyadic context is only established when the parent and the child have a focus of interaction. When we think about supporting the parent to arrange their environment to promote these interactions where there is shared focus, we want to consider what we know about the child and family, what they like to do together, and what they enjoy doing, working on.
The second strategy is to affirm or acknowledge a parent's competence, and this is really, really important. We all really like to know what we're doing well, right? This is where developmentally supportive interactions are warmly recognized and expanded upon, as are characteristics of child competence. This allows us to highlight the positive things parents are doing to support their child's development. Parents with children with disability often feel uncertain and question whether or not what they're doing with their child's is the right thing to do, especially when their child might not be responding directly. When we acknowledge parenting competence, they will feel more confident and are more likely to continue to use the strategies that support their child's development.
And then, the third strategy is to focus attention. This is where aspects of the interaction are commented upon, expanded, or questioned in order to draw the parent's attention to particular competencies or actions in themselves or the child. "Do you see that when you shook that toy, she immediately looked at you and smiled? She knows you are initiating play with her.” A statement like this points out the importance of what the parent is doing, and then the parent is more likely to continue to use the strategy or support the child's learning in that moment. The fourth strategy is to provide developmental information. This is when the information about the child's developmental agenda, you know, things such as fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, emotion, emotional development, motor, things like that, the abilities are pointed out within the context of play and interaction. For example, saying something like, "He's really practicing his fine motor skills when he is helping picking up the peas off of his tray," you're providing developmental information, specifically the fine motor skills about picking up the peas off his tray using his fine motor skills as you observe parent and child interact. This helps parents understand how their interactions can support children's development and thus target the goals for the child during play.
And then many of you are likely familiar with the fifth and the sixth strategies. The fifth strategy is to model. This is when dyadic interaction roles are momentarily taken on by the provider, meaning you briefly took over the role of the parent and interact with the child to model a specific strategy for the caregiver. Modeling is important to highlight what parents can do to support the child. When you sense that parents are unsure what to do or how to interact with the child at the moment, providers can step in to model a specific strategy. It's important to note the word "momentarily.” You do not want to take over and become the primary person interacting with the child. Once you have modeled the strategy, you want to turn the role as an adult back to the parent, so the parent can return to interacting with the child and practicing the strategy you just shared. And then the last strategy on the triadic strategies list is to suggest. This is when the provider offers specific suggestions to families for something to try with their child, which allows the provider to provide very specific suggestions. For example, to engage the parents with the child, you can say, "Try handing him the cup and see what he does," or "Try to look for him at the end of the tunnel.”
Jen: Angel, these are such great concrete strategies to try to support those triadic interactions. Let's take a look at a couple videos to see what some of these triadic strategies look like in action. As you're watching this video, take note of what strategies you see the provider use to support the triadic interaction.
Woman: Ooh, I'm going to roll it back! Ready. Ready? Do you want to come down to this end and roll it? Come here, you can roll down here. Let's see what he does. He's waiting. His little face down at the other end. He's just waiting.
Man: Yeah, let's go over here. Come on, Wesley.
Jen: All right. Angel, what do we see in that video?
Angel: Yeah, this is such a great example of, you know, a couple strategies within the triadic strategies list. You might have noticed that the provider offered the mom the ball and asked if she wanted to come over to the other end to roll with the child. By doing this, she transferred her interaction with the child to having the mom interact with the child, thus creating that dyadic context. She is now able to support the parent and the child's interaction.
Jen: Great. Let's take a look at another video, and again, as you're watching this video, this one is a little bit longer, so take note of what strategies you see this provider using.
Provider: Hi, Nathan. Hi! It's fun to see you again this week. It is. Look at you. What are you doing? Are you ... You're pretty strong balancing on that arm, aren't you? Yeah! Last week, you were talking about that he's just starting to do things like pick them up and release it to drop it in. This week, we pulled together some things that you had at your house, where we can practice some of those skills and see what he's doing. These are really cute. You made these.
Mother: Thank you.
Provider: That's a great ... You got a pretty creative mom, huh? Yeah! Let's see what he'll do. Let's see, just try some things and see what he'll do.
Mother: Here, look. Look, let's see these. Come on. I'm going to pick it up and drop it. Can you pick it up and drop it? Let's pick this one up. Can you pick that up? Look, there's a lot of them. Can you pick those up? Can you put it in here? Good job. Do you want to put it in there?
Provider: You know, even if he doesn't put it in, he's doing a great job of grabbing hold of.
Mother: Good job. Good job.
Provider: He's really imitating you even though he's not putting them together. He's still making ... doing the same thing.
Mother: Good job.
Provider: Up? Did you say "up"? Did you say "up"? What are some other things that you have around the house that you could practice that, you know, where he's using more of those small muscles, picking up things and releasing them, like, dropping them?
Mother: Well, the baby bottle caps, he can pick those up, and he likes to release those. Don't you? And we take, like, baby wipe containers, and he puts those in there.
Provider: Those are great things that you have around, just like that coffee can.
Angel: Jen, I think you might be muted.
Jen: Yes, I am. Thanks, Angel. You know, you'd think after a year and a half of this virtual world that I would be more fluent in my technology skills, but I'm not. That was a great video, love that super cute little guy and his mom. That was so sweet. What did we see in terms of the triadic interaction skills that the provider was using?
Angel: Yeah! This provider used many triadic strategies to promote parent-child interaction. For example, she commented that the mom really knows the child well and made these fun toys for him to play with. This is providing parent competence. The provider also highlighted that even though the child was not putting the blocks right into the container, he is still practicing his grasping skills as he picked up the blocks. This is providing developmental information. Another example was that the provider positioned herself so that she was not the primary interactor with the child. This is establishing dyadic context. Really, the triadic strategies provide you with really concrete strategies you can use to really support parent-child interaction here.
Jen: Great, thank you to everybody for joining us. Be sure to check out DTL on demand for some previous webinars. Please join us on our MyPeers Disabilities and Inclusion Community to continue this conversation. Once again, thank you to everybody who joined us today. Thank you to Angel for sharing her amazing knowledge and her experience with us. As I mentioned, unbelievably, at the beginning of the webinar, that this is our last webinar, our fourth in our inclusion series for this year, but we're looking forward to more inclusion webinars in the fall and into next year, and we'll see you with a fresh new series of webinars starting in October 2021. Thanks, everybody.Close
In this webinar, explore how to bring Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to life. Learn ways to make the IFSP or IEP a genuine part of a child’s everyday routines in their learning environment, home, or community. Discover how disability service coordinators can support teachers, home visitors, and child care providers to create plans for achieving IFSP or IEP goals in collaboration with families and specialists.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit the Upcoming Events section.