Most families do not choose to have a child who has a disability or developmental delay. Within this context, the most important contribution that early childhood intervention (ECI) can provide is to reinforce a family's strengths and their abilities to facilitate their child's development. This emphasis acknowledges the important role families have in their child's learning and development in partnership with their child's interventionists. This partnership will result in positive outcomes for both children and families. In order for this to occur, the ECI workforce must be prepared to establish strength based partnerships with families from their first contact with them.
Our first article by Sarah Nichols, Susan Connor, Maria Kastanis, and Robert Corso presents results from a survey about Part C early intervention (EI) service coordination. The survey was completed by 107 EI service providers and administrators who were asked to identify the knowledge and skills needed by service coordinators when partnering with families and other professionals in EI. The authors recommend the use of the identified knowledge and skills in professional development to ensure the competence and retention of well-trained, well-supported service coordinators.
Our next article by Natalie Williams, Pompéia Villachan-Lyra, Holly Hatton-Bowers, Christine Marvin, Emmanuelle Chaves, Cody Hollist, Renata Gomes, and Leopoldo Barbosa describes the provision of family-centered intervention services to children with congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) in Brazil. Caregivers of children with CZS completed a survey about intervention involvement. Caregiver stress scores were higher, and coping strategies were lower in the families who reported a low number of intervention contacts. Recommendations from the authors include the provision of accessible intervention programs to promote caregiver mental health and child outcomes for this population.
Hedda Meadan, James Lee, Michelle Sands, Moon Chung, and Pau Garcia-Grau present an exploratory study about the initial validity and reliability of the Coaching Fidelity Scale (CFS). This observational scale was developed to measure the fidelity of professionals' coaching practices across disciplines, content, and contexts. Results suggest the psychometric soundness and effectiveness of the CFS.
Our next article by Jennifer Cunningham, Jason Chow, Kathleen Meeker, Abby Taylor, Mary Louise Hemmeter, and Ann Kaiser describes a theory-based EI model that integrates two learning domains: language and social-emotional development. The article provides an overview of practices in these domains, a theoretical framework that supports the blending of these two domains, and a conceptual model that blends interventions across the domains. The authors recommend that professional development should be provided to interventionists to support the blended intervention model.
Lastly, Natalie Forsythe and Anne Larson implemented a survey that examined consultants' and consultees' perspectives of itinerant service delivery for preschool students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. The survey assessed definitions of the consulting role, as well as factors that contribute to successful consulting relationships. Both groups emphasized a need for respect within the consulting relationship. The authors suggest that understanding consulting approaches could lead to improved consultative services and outcomes for preschool children with disabilities in inclusive settings.
As always, I would like to thank the authors for submitting their work to Infants & Young Children and the reviewers who assisted the editorial process by offering suggestions that helped bring these manuscripts to publication.
—Mary Beth Bruder, PhD