IDEA: Legal Definition Each public agency shall ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities. 34 CFR 300.551
IDEA In determining the educational placement of a child with a disability including a preschool child … the placement decision is made by a group knowledgeable about … the placement options. 34 CFR 300.552 (a) (1)
IDEA “The full continuum of alternative placements at 34 CFR 300.551, including integrated placement options, such as community-based settings with typically developing age peers, must be available to preschool children with disabilities.” 34 CFR Part 300 Comments to IDEA Final Regulations
Seventh Circuit Decision District failed to comply with LRE requirement. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) applies to preschool.
Requirement Not New Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Bulletin 89.9 Complaint against rural district in northern Wisconsin Revisions in IDEA 97 clarified LRE for preschoolers
Other Terms Preschool Inclusion Natural Environments Typical Settings Age Appropriate Settings
DEC Policy “Inclusion, as a value, supports the right of all children, regardless of abilities, to participate actively in natural settings within their communities. Natural settings are those in which the child would spend time had he or she not had a disability.” Division for Early Childhood www.dec-sped.org
It looks different for each child in each community.
Why? Children with disabilities benefit from inclusion: Generalization of skills Reduced need for intensive services
Review of Research Children with disabilities in inclusive settings make more social skill gains.
Social skills “Families realized that the children did better than we all had expected in the community placements and that they were acting more like children than special education students…” Bruder, 2000
Review of Research Gains in cognitive, language and motor skills for children with disabilities in inclusive settings are comparable to those in self- contained. (Buysee & Bailey, 1993; Fewell & Oelwein, 1999, Jenkins, Odom, & Speltz, 1985; Wolery & McWilliam, 1998).
Review of Research Children from segregated preschool settings are twice as likely to retain special education eligibility and three times more likely to receive services in segregated settings. Miller, L.J., Strain, P.S., McKinley, J., Heckathorn, K., &Miller, S. (1993).
Review of Research Early Childhood Research Institute on Inclusion www.fpg.unc.edu/~ecrii Keys to Inclusion www.nectas.unc.edu
Research From Wisconsin The Preschool Option Project Collaborative study involving CESA #1, CESA #10, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Research From Wisconsin Research Addressed issues: IEP goals and objectives Family involvement in placement
IEP Goals Play was under-utilized in addressing goals and objectives. The goals and objectives may not have been functional. Gains made in cognition, language and motor were comparable across settings.
IEP Goals For more information on functional goals and objectives see: CESA 12 website A Guide to Writing IEPs (Wright & Laffin) System for Collaborative On-Site Preschool EEN (SCOPE) developed in CESA #12.
Family Involvement in Placement Families did not understand the concept of Least Restrictive Environment. Families did not feel placement options were considered. Families stated a preference for settings that include children without IEPs.
Family Involvement “Effective partnerships between parents and professionals require collaboration. It is hard work.” J. Fialka
WSPEI Wisconsin Statewide Parent- Educator Initiative http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/een/parent. html
How? Awareness and dissemination Changing professional practice Collaborative planning Utilize research to address challenges Individualizing services/expanding options
Awareness & Dissemination Preschool Options Project Commitment of resources in Wisconsin State Implementation Plan CESA 4 Integrated settings mini-grants.
Changing Professional Practice New identity as trainer, consultant and/or team teacher. Staff travels to the child vs child travels to the staff. Loss of identity with classroom or building.
Changing professional practice through IEP training Provide training regarding the IEP process to all participants Improve parent participation in the IEP process Address LRE for preschoolers
Collaborative Planning Key individuals Shared vision Organizational structure Policy Impact External support and community influences
Collaborative Planning For more information see: Collaboratingpartners.com “CESA #10 Discovering Community Collaborative Options for Young Children and Families” Collaboration: Because It’s Good for Children and Families. CESA #5
Differing philosophies Family members perceptions Benefits of inclusion outweigh concerns (ECRII study) Differing attitudes and knowledge base Funding and staffing Utilize Research to Address Challenges
Individualizing Services DPI Bulletin 00.09 questions IEP team considers to determine service delivery: Where does the child usually spend the day? Can the goals and objectives be addressed in age appropriate settings? If not, what other settings for service delivery will meet the child’s needs?
Quality A high quality program is a necessary foundation of preschool inclusion However the program must ensure that developmental needs of young children with disabilities are met
Quality NAEYC National Accreditation Cesa8.k12.wi.us Evaluation Tools Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale DEC Recommended Practices
Public School Programs 4 or 5 year old Kindergarten At Risk/Title 1 Public School Head Start Special Education classes with peer models Public School Child Care Programs
Where? Community Child Care/Preschool Corporate for profit Locally owned programs Play group Nonprofit income based
Where? Head Start Local Head Start Programs Regional Head Start Programs Tribal Head Start Programs
Where? Home “Instruction at home may be the most natural environment for a young child with a disability if the child’s IEP/IFSP team so determines.” 34 CFR Part 300 Comments to IDEA Final Regulations
Practice Brainstorm new options for service delivery in your community.
Outcomes Benefits for ALL children Efficient use of resources Shared responsibility Collaborative professional development Improved referral system