Welcome to our Special Needs page
Children with physical, developmental, behavioural/emotional or sensory impaired challenges are attending early learning settings. It is important to ensure both overall program quality and inclusion quality – how well early childhood programs support individual children with special needs and their families in an environment that is friendly, welcoming and enjoyable.
Early Identification for Children with Special Needs
Taking the following 10 steps can lead to securing help for a child with special needs, the family and child care providers — everyone on the team.
SpeciaLink is the National Centre for Early Childhood Inclusion, a non-profit organization dedicated to the equitable inclusion of children with disabilities in child care and other community programs. SpeciaLink provides research and resources to assist parents, ELCC programs, training institutions, advocates, consultants and researchers to improve the quality and quantity of inclusive child care across Canada.
The SpeciaLink Inclusion Scale is the tool for assessing inclusion quality in early childhood centres and for helping centres move toward higher quality inclusion of children with disabilities. Using the SpeciaLink Inclusion Scale workbook, you can produce a picture of sustainable and evolving inclusion quality in your classrooms and centres. This information is essential as more and more children with disabilities attend early learning and child care centres. The SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale is available at https://capebretonbooks.com/t/specialink. The price is $18.95.
Inclusion Quality presents a thoughtful analysis of the recent work of SpeciaLink—the results of observations using the SpeciaLink Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale, in over 65 early learning and child care centres across Canada, and provides essential recommendations toward improving the quality of care for children with disabilities. Free PDF available below:
The Executive Summary and Recommendations are available in French and in English, here.
How to Measure Inclusion Quality in Child Care” is a SpeciaLink Training DVD for the SpeciaLink Inclusion Scale.This DVD trains in the use of The SpeciaLInk Early Childhood Inclusion Quality Scale. The Scale is the critical tool for assessing inclusion quality in early learning and child care centres—a major issue as more and more centres commit to including more children with disabilities. You can order it at https://capebretonbooks.com/t/specialink. Price $40.00, includes shipping.
Enjoy Some Of Our Past Content On This Topic
- Communicating with Children who have Special Needs
In describing a child with special needs, be sure to put the child before the disability. For example say “a child with a learning disability” instead of a “learning-disabled child.” Download the copy here
- How Do You Know That You Are Moving Toward Inclusion?
As more children with special needs are included in community early learning settings, it is important to consider both overall program quality and inclusion quality – how well early childhood programs support individual children with special needs in an environment that is friendly, welcoming and enjoyable. Download the copy here
- Learning to use “Words”!
For children who have extreme difficulty speaking, it is often helpful to introduce other ways to communicate. Download the copy here.