ERIC Number: ED369581
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jun
Integrating Children with Disabilities into Preschool. ERIC Digest.
Diamond, Karen E.; And Others
This digest examines research on preschool programs that include children with and without disabilities. Recent research suggests that children with disabilities are able to take advantage of experiences that promote typical development. One study found that children with disabilities enrolled in integrated programs demonstrated higher levels of social play and more appropriate social interactions than children in self-contained special education preschool classes. Some research suggests that it is the type of learning experiences rather than the type of classroom setting (integrated or segregated) that fosters learning. Children with disabilities are more likely to initiate play activities and communications with peers in settings that use a child-centered rather than a teacher-directed approach. Integrated programs are also beneficial to children without disabilities. Some studies show that such children make developmental gains equivalent to their peers in nonintegrated programs, and that parents and teachers report that such children display less prejudice than their peers in nonintegrated programs. Successful integrated programs are characterized by an administrative emphasis on diversity. Successful programs also use naturalistic teaching approaches, through which intervention is provided within the context of naturally occurring activities. Activity-based intervention is one naturalistic teaching approach, the goal of which is to develop children's functional and generalizable skills. The task now before the early childhood community is to find ways of providing integrated education that is respectful of the needs of individual children, parents, and teachers. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.