Patrycja Karwowski, “Perceptions of “Learn the Signs. Act Early” Training Materials by Early Care and Education Providers”
Mentor: Kris Barnekow, Occupational Science & Technology
Many children who have developmental delays are not identified prior to school entry. Failure to identify these children limits their access to early intervention services that would improve the child’s and family’s outcome. Early Care and Education Providers (ECEPs) can play an important role in identifying developmental delays in children and can make referrals to appropriate sources that will aid in their development. But little is known about ECEPs’ attitudes, knowledge, and practices in developmental monitoring and their referral processes. Qualitative data has been collected through parent and provider focus groups and open-ended questions on delayed surveys with ECEPs in their use and implementation of Learn the Signs. Act Early (LTSAE) materials and training. A team of researchers used constant comparative methods to decipher common themes found when using LTSAE materials. Common themes found in ECEP and parent responses were (1) credibility of the materials, (2) supporting of conversations between parents and providers, (3) teacher self-efficacy, and (4) strengthening of parent-provider relationships. Utilization of the materials is multifactorial and involves aspects of the materials, the ECEPs and the parents to provide accurate developmental monitoring and referrals for children with developmental delays.
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