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New Course! Early Childhood: Partnering with Caregivers and Families
Caregivers and families play an important role in a child’s development and are instrumental to their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being. Caregivers of children with disabilities or delays may need additional support to understand their child’s special needs. Caregivers might also need help in finding and accessing information and services for their child and family. Partnering with caregivers of children with disabilities or delays can help them connect with resources in the community and access reliable information that can promote child and caregiver well-being.
Although the benefits of partnering with caregivers are supported by research, and its practice is emphasized by the law, barriers still exist. Many factors can affect the level of family involvement, including:
- caregivers’ work schedules
- differing languages
- beliefs that teachers are the ones who should make all educational decisions
Furthermore, professionals may hesitate to follow best practices for partnering with caregivers because of:
- the number of students in the classroom or caseload volume
- differences in cultural beliefs and practices between the professional and the family
- limited knowledge of how to partner with caregivers
Our new Early Childhood: Partnering with Caregivers and Families course is designed to give an overview of the importance of partnering with caregivers and families of young children with disabilities or delays to promote positive, long term effects.
The course will:
- discuss the importance of caregiver and family involvement
- review family-centered and family capacity-building practices
- examine recommended practices for partnering with caregivers and families
About the Author – Hedda Meadan, PhD, BCBA-D
Hedda Meadan is an associate professor at the department of special education at the University of Illinois. She’s also a Goldstick Family Scholar and a board-certified behavior analyst. Her areas of interest include social-communication skills and challenging behavior of children with autism and other developmental disabilities. In her research projects, she partners with families and caregivers to develop and implement interventions that enhance the social-communication skills of young children with disabilities and empower their families. She has published widely on topics related to children with autism and families of children with disabilities.
Find this course and other Early Childhood courses in the course library!
- Early Childhood: Social Communication
- Early Childhood: Social Emotional Learning
- Early Childhood: Language Development and Literacy