Contemporary Practices in Early Intervention

The Core Modules

The eight modules form a comprehensive knowledge base on early intervention. Each module contains a pre- and post-test providing users with the opportunity for self-assessment. These tests will evaluate the change in knowledge, understanding, comprehension, and retention of the material presented by the CPEI users.  For users who register to receive CEU credits, the post-tests will be instrumental in awarding credits upon completion of the course with a score of 70% or higher.


Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children with Disabilities

This module explores issues related to the etiology, pathology, and characteristics of disabilities; understanding the nature of disabilities; cultural perspectives on disabilities; infant, toddler, and young child mental health; current knowledge related to specific disabilities; and typical development of young children.

Families, Culture, and Community

Family centered care is the cornerstone of early intervention practice within a system of care. Providers must develop on-going relationships with family members to ensure that their priorities and concerns direct intervention within the context of their community. This module emphasizes the knowledge, attitudes, and skills needed to partner with families and communities.

Topics include cultural and linguistic competency, developing family partnerships, community development, eco-mapping and the importance of collaboration and cooperation.

Evidence-Based Early Childhood Practices

Providing services and supports that facilitate functional skills and full participation in the community is the goal of contemporary early childhood service. This module analyzes the scientific evidence of intervention practices in relation to the tenets of early intervention: the focus of intervention should be promoting participation of children within their family and community.

Topics include evaluation of the scientific evidence of common intervention approaches. A searchable database of intervention strategies issues is included.

Evaluation and Assessment of Infants, Toddlers and Young Children

The early identification of young children with disabilities is dependent on a variety of information collection strategies such as screening, evaluation, and assessment of the physical, social, psychological, and behavioral aspects of development. This module examines the wide variety of strategies available to determine the developmental level of children, to plan intervention programs, and to determine change over time. Working in partnership with families to determine family concerns, priorities, and resources are presented as the framework for the information gathering process.

Topics include the development of formal and informal assessment techniques, the advantages and disadvantages of norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and observational tests and tools, models of assessment, and report writing.  A searchable database over 150 tests is also available. 

Leadership within a System of Care

Meeting the diverse needs of children with disabilities and their families requires leaders with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to design, implement, and sustain major system reform and ensure improvements in service delivery systems. Leadership within a System of Care focuses on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of leaders who successfully promote contemporary practices for individuals with disabilities and their families.

Topics include the strategies and tools necessary to facilitate systems change, transformational leadership practices, collaborative decision-making, value clarification, and the unauthorized leadership framework. The functional characteristics of a system of care approach is presented focusing on the intersection of cultural and linguistic competency, family centered care, care coordination, and cross-agency system building, financing, and quality improvement.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Identifying children who have autism and providing appropriate services as early as possible is a high priority in early intervention and early childhood service systems. This module describes the characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD), the process of identification, and the evidence-based intervention strategies.

Assistive Technology for Young Children

Often children with disabilities need assistive technology( AT) to help them participate fully in their family and community. This module explains the benefits of using assistive technology, evidence-based practices in AT, and how to determine the best method of embedding AT into naturally occurring activities.

Individualized Family Service Plans and Individualized Education Programs

Program planning under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a formalized process documenting team based decisions needed to promote a child's participation in appropriate activities and routines. This module covers the specifics of IFSP and IEP process and uses case illustrations to provoke reflection, questions and problem solving around program planning.


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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation