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1037749208?profile=RESIZE_710xPublished in 2016, by the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children, this week’s featured resource offers “guidance to practitioners and families about the most effective ways to improve the learning outcomes and promote the development of young children . . . who have or are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities.” DEC Recommended Practices with Examples was designed to “help bridge the gap between research and practice,” to “support children’s access and participation in inclusive settings and natural environments,” and (to) “address cultural, linguistic, and ability diversity.” Production of this resource was guided by the following parameters:

Recommend practices:

  • Have the highest expected leverage and impact on outcomes, providing the “biggest bang.”
  • Are supported by research, values, and experience.
  • Represent the breadth of the topic area.
  • Are observable.
  • Are not disability-specific.
  • Can be delivered in all settings including natural/inclusive environments.
  • Should build on, but not duplicate, standards for typical early childhood settings such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Developmentally Appropriate Practices.

Be sure to download your copy today and leave us your comments about this valuable resource.

The ICC-Recommended Early Start Personnel Manual (ESPM) describes core knowledge and role-specific competencies needed for early intervention service provision, incorporating current research and evidence in the field of early intervention. To access the ESPM, click here.


This resource is related to the following ESPM knowledge-level competencies:

  • Core Knowledge (CK):
    • CK4: The range of typical infant/toddler physiological factors such as: 
      • Early neurological/brain development 
      • Basic health and nutrition
      • Physical growth and maturation
    • CK6: The sequences of development and the interrelationships among developmental areas/factors, including: 
      • Sensory and motor development 
      • Sensory processing 
      • Receptive and expressive communication skills, including second language acquisition 
      • Cognitive skills such as attention, perception, motivation, initiation, problem solving, concept formation, memory and learning 
      • Social development 
      • Emotional development and resiliency, including the development of attachment and trust, and self-regulation 
      • Self-help skills and adaptive behavior 
      • Temperament
    • CK7: The variety of pre- and peri-natal risk factors such as genetics, maternal health and nutrition, medical complications, prematurity/low birth weight, substance exposure and other teratogens and their effect on the developing embryo/fetus/newborn.
    • CK8: The etiology, diagnosis and characteristics of disabilities and risk factors.
    • CK9: The characteristics and influence of disabilities and risk factors on early development, learning, care giving and relationships 
      • Medical risk factors, including chronic illness 
      • Familial, cultural, linguistic, social, physical and/or socio-economic factors including poverty, abuse and neglect 
      • Individual variation within specific disabilities and at-risk factors 
      • Multiple disabilities and risk factors 
      • Health and nutritional concerns
    • CK10: The significance and study of team models, collaboration and relationship-based practice.
  • Identification and Referral (IR):
    • IR1 (EIS): Knows current Early Start eligibility requirements including the distinctions among difference, delay and disability.
    • IR3 (EIS): Knows the referral process for Early Start and other public services.
  • Evaluation and Assessment (EA):
    • EA1 (EIS): Knows legal and ethical responsibilities, including confidentiality related to evaluation and assessment.
    • EA2 (EIS): Knows the goals, benefits and uses of assessment and observation.
    • EA3 (EIS): Understands roles and responsibilities for team members including parents/caregivers in the evaluation and assessment process.
    • EA8 (EIS): Understands the connection between assessment information and the development of appropriate interventions
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-DR):
    • IFSP-DR1 (EIS): Knows the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) content, process and specific roles as a member of the IFSP team.
    • IFSP-DR2 (EIS): Understands the concept of mentoring and its importance with parents and other IFSP team members.
    • IFSP-DR3 (EIS): Knows community agencies and resources such as primary health care, infant/family mental health, social services and parent-parent support groups.
    • IFSP-DR4 (EIS): Knows current laws, regulations and state practices pertaining to development and review of Individualized Family Service Plans under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
    • IFSP-DR6 (EIS): Understands when there is the need for other professionals in specific disciplines to provide services to address IFSP outcomes.
  • Individualized Family Service Plan Development and Review (IFSP-i):
    • IFSP-i1 (EIS): Knows current federal and state laws, regulations and timelines for early intervention services.
    • IFSP-i2 (EIS): Understands the individual nature of child learning styles and the importance of adapting intervention strategies.
    • IFSP-i3 (EIS): Knows generic and specific evidence-based early intervention strategies to support all areas of development.
    • IFSP-i5 (EIS): Understands issues related to English language learning and maintenance of home language.
    • IFSP-i6 (EIS): Understands the need for developmentally appropriate strategies (for example, hands-on, experiential, child-centered, play-based activities within daily routines), adaptations, assistive technologies and other supports that maximize the child’s learning opportunities.
    • IFSP-i7 (EIS): Understands roles of various disciplines and models of teamwork and collaboration that integrate strategies from multiple disciplines.
  • Transition Planning (TP):
    • TP3 (EIS): Is informed about a wide variety of community service options including those that typically serve children without disabilities.
    • TP4 (EIS): Understands Part C to Part B teamwork in development of an IEP.
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