Early interventionists must keep themselves informed of current practices in so many different areas to be of most value to vulnerable children and their families. Since our knowledge base changes rapidly, we must maintain an awareness of the emergence of new ways of thinking about long-standing problems. Many such topics are addressed in this issue of IYC. Specifically, the critical topic of transitions is revisited and a new conceptual approach is put forward in an effort to move our field further ahead. A perceptible shift to more functional approaches to early motor intervention is discussed in another article, and provides a process for incorporating functional information into daily interactions. In a third article along these lines, a detailed discussion is presented of the information obtained from analyses of children's sensory processing and how that information can be used to support routines in natural contexts. In a fourth article, we are brought up-to-date on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, particularly the latest research evidence relevant to early intervention.
Understanding the meaning and effectiveness of family-centered practices continues to be a topic of considerable interest and importance in our field. In one article in this issue of IYC, the added value of establishing a “working alliance” with families is examined. In another article, we continue IYC's series focusing on children who are deaf-blind, with a discussion of a curriculum to promote children's interactions and communicative development, along with important evaluation information.
The final two articles focus on infant development. One considers the impact of the developmental care approach in neonatal intensive care units for children born prematurely at low birthweight. The other addresses the impact of breastfeeding on a child's neurodevelopment. This summary and evaluation of knowledge is essential for our field to make thoughtful evidence-based recommendations to families.
Michael J. Guralnick, PhD, Editor, Infants & Young Children