Cullingford-Agnew, S. and Fergusson, A. (2007) Emerging findings: A comparative study into the efficacy of an early intervention programme for pre-school aged pupils with motor disorders and their parents. Paper presented to: Second Conference of the International Society on Early Intervention (ISEI ), Zagreb, Croatia, 14-16 June 2007.
Early intervention is a critical factor in providing effective support to children identified as having special educational needs and their families. Coordinated approaches to the provision of support and development of early learning programmes have been identified as essential elements of good practice in enabling parents to come to terms with the disability of their children, and in promoting good learning attitudes in the children themselves. Sharing knowledge from the school context and collaboration with parents/caregivers is at the heart of the research. A central issue is the sharing of professional knowledge between contexts and how this assists in shaping new meaning for parents/carers in developing learning opportunities for their children. The school in question is establishing a new early intervention programme which will aim to afford support to children between the ages of four months and two years and their families providing realistic expectation and achievable learning goals. This is built upon an established record of working with families through the ‘School for Parents’ located within the school. This research will focus upon the efficacy of the new initiatives being implemented. The research will also include a comparison of findings with an earlier research project on early intervention with a similar school, completed in May 2003. The research questions will examine how well informed and supported are parents/caregivers of children with motor-disorders through the early intervention programme? It will discuss how effective they perceive the early interventions to be in supporting the needs of their children and themselves and what further steps might be taken to improve an effective early intervention programme. It will also consider the views of the professionals working within the early intervention project.