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Infants & Young Children:
doi: 10.1097/IYC.0b013e3181a02f98
Article

Providing Early Intervention Within Natural Environments: A Cross‐cultural Comparison

Rantala, Anja PhD; Uotinen, Sanna MEd; McWilliam, R. A. PhD

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Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine the state of current practice in early intervention in Finland and to compare them to American data. Professional women (N = 52), representing child care, elementary school, healthcare, and social work, completed the Families in Natural Environments Scale of Service Evaluation, a 34-item questionnaire about typical and ideal practices. Large differences between typical and ideal practices were found in all the 4 components of early intervention measured: first encounters, intervention planning, functionality, and service delivery. American typical-practice scores were more family-centered and in natural environments than Finnish scores, but some Finnish ideal-practice scores were higher than American scores. Implications for national administration of early intervention services, outcomes research, and more in-depth research are discussed.

©2009Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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