A Dynamic Assessment of Early Intervention

A Dynamic Assessment of Early Intervention Models in Children with Developmental Delays: Creating a Paradigm Shift in Early Intervention Policy and Practice

The two primary goals of this project fall directly within the mandate of the Max Bell Foundation in that we are presenting an innovative and dynamic framework within which to:

  • Determine the efficacy of Early Childhood Intervention (EI) programs that impact the health, wellness, and environment of families with children who have developmental delays;
  • Engage practitioners and policy makers in early childhood development to reassess and facilitate the change of current policies and practices in this area where necessary.

The first major stage of the research involves the development of a sound and empirically based assessment protocol and an inventory for the Early Intervention Services Model to help guide screening, diagnosis, intervention, and evaluation decisions. To this end, experts from medicine, psychology, social work, therapeutic schools (e.g., speech, occupational physiotherapy) and other relevant domains from around the world will be consulted to derive at a sound protocol. The protocol will be developed and tested at the Yaldei Developmental Centre (YDC) and subsequently used to evaluate the services provided by YDC and compared to the services and intervention outcomes of other EI centres.

The second major stage of the research involves a longitudinal panel design where all children and families at YDC and other comparison sites in Quebec and Ontario are followed over the three years duration of the project. Such a design has a distinct methodological advantage of providing more detailed information describing developmental processes over time.

The third major stage of the research involves the comparison of YDC to other selected sites over time. Therefore, this will also involve a longitudinal panel design. The contrast between YDC and the comparison sites, as well as retrospective data, would allow for a comparative analysis of the relative efficacy of different models of service delivery for this population. We would be able to ascertain which of the dependent variables have changed and to what degree as well as those variables that are less affected by the particular type of EI community service delivery model.

Overlaying all of these major stages is the development and implementation of a public policy action plan in Early Intervention for families and children with developmental delays. The public policy action group will be comprised of key stakeholders and decision makers in early intervention policy and practice. Group members will identify key policy change agents and provide input on current areas of deficiency with recommendations for change implementation. Information will be disseminated on an ongoing and systematic basis and group members will come to a consensus regarding what changes are necessary and how to implement said changes.

[visit Sladeczek Research Team online]

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