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St. Petersburg Early Intervention Institute, Russian Federation

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1 St. Petersburg Early Intervention Institute, Russian Federation
Early childhood intervention as a first step towards inclusive education Elena Kozhevnikova St. Petersburg Early Intervention Institute, Russian Federation

2 CRC, GENERAL COMMENT No. 7 (2005) Implementing child rights in early childhood
Young children should be recognized as active members of families, communities and societies, with their own concerns, interests and points of view. Children with disabilities (art. 23). Young children should never be institutionalized solely on the grounds of disability. It is a priority to ensure that they have equal opportunities to participate fully in education and community life… Young disabled children are entitled to appropriate specialist assistance, including support for their parents… Disabled children should at all times be treated with dignity and in ways that encourage their self-reliance.

3 Early childhood intervention – scientific background
Early experience and brain development, sensitive periods, brain plasticity Early relationships, attachment theory Interaction and communication (communication vs. ‘conditioning’) Early cognitive development – “scientist in the crib” Infant as a self-actor vs. passive object of care

4 Examples Sensitive periods – infants with hearing loss
Brain plasticity – infants with brain damage Early relationships – infants in infant homes (damage of early institutionalization)

5 Goals of early childhood intervention
General for the world: to “normalize” life of the child and family to help parents to create optimal environment for infant/young child development and education Specific for Russia: to prevent infant and young children institutionalization

6 Main parts of early childhood intervention program
Interdisciplinary teamwork with families and children Psychological support to families Information and legal support to families Social inclusion of families and children Transition to preschools Support to inclusive preschool education Transition to school

7 Programs of socialization and inclusion


9 Benefits of early childhood intervention for:
Infants and young children with disabilities Parents and families of young children with disabilities Typically developing young children Parents of typically developing young children Teachers and staff of mainstream preschools Child neurologists and pediatricians State and regional budgets Society in general

10 Differences in ECI approach Defectological approach
To “normalize” life of the child and the family Family centered Parents as partners Child as an individuality Program is based on strong sides of the child and family Defectological approach To cure or correct defects and “normalize” child Child focused Parents as obstacles or patients Child as a category /type of defect Program is based on weak sides of the child

11 Challenges in moving from ‘defectological’ to ECI approach:
Strong tradition of ‘medical’ model of disability, belief that medical diagnosis completely predict development Tradition to divide children into ‘educable’ and ‘uneducable’, into ‘high and low level rehabilitative potential’ groups Belief that only professionals can help children, lack of respect and trust in families abilities Narrow specialization of rehabilitative and correctional educational services according child diagnosis Lack of knowledge in early childhood development and education, in PT, OT, AAC methods

12 Education, Social care)
Maternity Hospitals (screenings) Specialized Medical Centers: Medical-Genetic Audiology Ophtalmology Mainstream Preschools (screenings) Children Hospitals (NICU, etc.) Early childhood Intervention (NGO, Health care, Education, Social care) Special Preschools p p Children Polyclinics (screenings) Rehabilitation Centers Social Centers

13 ECI ---- preschools ---- schools Experiences of Minsk, Belarus
M.,10 years old girl with Down syndrome, studies at 3d grade of mainstream school, one of the best between classmates in Russian language, from 1 to 3 years old was in ECI, from 3 to 7 – in inclusive preschool. E. and D., 8 years old prematurely born twin-sisters starting school this autumn. E. is visually and hearing impaired (got cochlea implant) with mild motor problems. D. has CP, seizures, and visual impairment. Both move independently, talk, read, write, count. First months of life spent in hospital, since 10 months in ECI, from 4,5 years – in preschool.

14 How to find common language between
Family with the child with disability Medical-social expertise Pedagogical-Medical-Psychological Commission Early childhood intervention Mainstream preschools and schools Special education Health care Social care Local community May be – through ICF-CY ?

15 EII as a knowledge center in early childhood intervention
Support to regional and municipal authorities in developing ECI programs Education of interdisciplinary ECI teams Education in Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, early communication, Alternative and Augmentative Communication, early childhood special education, infant mental health, assessment methods (infants and young children development, vision, hearing), family work, inclusive preschool education etc.

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