The Inclusion Model
Pyramid Plus: The Colorado Center for Social Emotional Competence and Inclusion endorses the joint position of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) national definition of inclusion as “the values, policies, and practices that support the right of every infant and young child and his or her family, regardless of ability, to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts as full members of families, communities, and society.”
The Pyramid Plus work bases its inclusion work on the SpecialQuest Birth-Five approach and other evidence-based inclusion programs.
The SpecialQuest Birth-Five Vision is that states and local communities, including Early Head Start and Head Start programs and their community partners, collaborate to provide high-quality, inclusive services for young children with disabilities and their families. This work is support by embedding the SpecialQuest approach, materials, and resources into professional development and service systems.
Click here for information on SpecialQuest, including networking information and resources such as the SpecialQuest multi-media library.
Other tools used by the Pyramid Plus Center include Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs, co-authored by Susan Sandall and Ilene Schwartz from the University of Washington. Sandall has helped develop practical classroom solutions for meeting the needs of all students within the natural framework of inclusive classrooms — classrooms where children with developmental disabilities and other special needs work and play alongside typically developing peers.
CSEFEL (Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning), and TACSEI (Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention), have joined with Building Blocks and SpecialQuest Birth-Five to develop a graphic representation of how these four approaches integrate and relate to each other. This graphic depicts a tiered model framework that promote practices for all children, intentional teaching strategies for children need those, and finally, individualized intervention for children who need more intensive support. All of these strategies are provided to children and families within the context of their communities.
Other resources include the Head Start Center for Inclusion, which provides Head Start teaching staff with opportunities to learn innovative and research-based practices to improve their work with children who have disabilities, and the National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI) which works with states to ensure that early childhood teachers are prepared to educate and care for young children with disabilities in settings with their typically developing peers.