ERIC Number: ED469398
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Inclusion of Children with Emotional or Behavioral Challenges in Child Care Settings: An Observational Study.
Brennan, Eileen M.; Ama, Shane M.; Gordon, Lynwood J.
Through direct observations of activities, conversations, and social interactions involving children with emotional or behavioral challenges, this study investigated practices child care staff used to include these children in their program, as well as child to child interactions, and supports put in place for times of transition between activities. Participants were 5 children from each of 5 model inclusive child care programs. Two independent observers recorded observations during individual 60-minute observational blocks scheduled during transitions. Eight of the children observed were designated by care giving staff as typically developing; the remaining 17 were reported as indicating emotional or behavior challenges. Mental health challenges included attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and attachment disorders. Children were of varied ethnicities, and 11 of the 25 children were male. Qualitative analysis revealed staff social initiatives to build upon strong relationships with individual children and, anticipating challenges, the staff structured schedules and environmental modification to encourage cooperation and self-regulation, physical calming, instruction of peers to respond appropriately to challenging behavior, and involvement of multiple staff to defuse crises. Children accepted differences in their peers with challenges and included them in activities and friendships. To support children in transitions, staff used predictable schedules, multiple developmentally appropriate cues, physical calming techniques, and multiple staff with well-rehearsed roles. Findings suggest that child care centers can successfully include children with mental health challenges, given appropriate supports. (Contains 29 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD. Center for Mental Health Services.
Authoring Institution: N/A