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Early Intervention; history, methods, disadvantages

Please discuss or explain how standardized tests and alternative assessments such as play-based assessment or arena assessment are used to identify children with special needs. Did research play a role in developing either theory? Are there advantages/disadvantages?

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These sites listed below focus on the "history of early intervention" -that's the search phrase I used to find them:

and even one on early intervention in the United Kingdom (Great Britain):

What most of these sites have to say is that the Special Education emphasis and legislation from the 1970's set the stage for ever-earlier-aged testing and interventions. The laws that have passed since then have only strengthened the special education services that can be and are offered to US citizens. As you are probably aware, the laws are interpreted ever more broadly, often more broadly than was intended in the first place when the laws were passed, and that is sort of what has happened with the special education legislation. That ever-widening interpretation will continue until someone files enough lawsuits to restrict the law's application and interpretation. As a result, laws that were intended for school-aged children are now interpreted to mean any child in any sort of educational setting, including day care and pre-Kindergarten. There are a number of assessments, standardizedand alternative, that may be used aaaaaato help identify a child as "at-risk."

From the following site, so you can choose quotes: - because I copied the relevant portion here for you to see:

Once a child is identified as possibly needing specialized services, a variety of assessment tools may be used to ...

Solution Summary

Discussion of early intervention, with reference Web site URLs for additional study and information on the various subtopics of this posting. One relevant article is copied and pasted for quotation purposes. Some disadvantages of early intervention are mentioned.