237352 Promoting early literacy development in children with special health care needs

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jean Ciborowski Fahey, PhD , Early Literacy Research Specialist, Reach Out and Read national office, Boston, MA
Monica Ultmann, MD , Center for Children with Special Needs, Floating Children's Hospital at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA
Infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities share many of the same capacities enjoyed by their normally-developing cohorts; however, with slight modifications and adaptations of physical supports and adult interactions, these young children can progress effectively and enjoyably along the developmental continuum of acquiring early language and literacy skills that will prepare them for success in school and in life. Given the stress of therapeutic interventions (and life in general), families and caregivers of infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities deserve special attention to assist them in maximizing their developmental potential while the brain's elasticity and growth rate are also at their greatest levels. This session focuses on affordable, enjoyable, and effective ways that parents and caregivers can work and play with infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities -- including autism spectrum disorder, speech and language delays, low vision and blindness, limited hearing and deafness, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disability -- to foster the development of foundational components of language and literacy development. Discussion will draw on the experience of the presenters and audience to share challenges and successes in working with infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities in practice. Attendees will receive handouts with web links and references to additional information and materials designed to support both practitioners and parents in implementing effective approaches to supporting the growth and development of early language and literacy in infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify differences in early literacy development between children with special health care needs and their normally developing cohorts, and describe ways to tailor early literacy development methods to specific needs and conditions.

Keywords: Family Involvement, Literacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive background in research, assessments, teaching and training in early childhood care and education with an emphasis on early language and literacy development and children family involvement.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.