Lecture/discussion - bring pictures of your self as an Infant or a Toddler
All information is from Meisels and Shonkoff's (1996) (eds) Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention. Cambridge: University Press.
Assumptions of early childhood interventions
1. Interdisciplinary activity. Needs are so diverse that the range of services required to meet their needs must reflect this breadth. It cuts across many disciplines
2. The needs of infants and toddlers can only be fully appreciated and understood within a family context. Families must be seen as dynamic unites embedded within a larger social system.
Providing early intervention services implies providing services that are sensitive to family concerns, that build on family strengths, that seek to enhance family adaptation, and that create within families new capabilities to support and facilitate infant and toddler development and prevent developmental problems (p. xv).
One of the most important legacies of the human services programs of the past decade is the growing recognition of the need for a more collaborative, less hierarchical relationships between service providers and service recipients (P. 25).
Looking at the first level of families - parenting
Bowlby's attachment theory is key to infant development. But it does not end there.
Parenting has three essential aspects: characteristics of processes (How is parenting done?), the etiology of individual differences (Why is it done in that way?), and consequences (How does it influence the developing child?)
The quality of the marriage influences the attitudes and interactions of each parents and child (Maccoby and Martin, 1983). The marital relationship strongly predicts paternal involvement , and the level of mother-father harmony correlating positively with the level of father/infant interaction (Belsky, 1984). The quality of the marriage and its effects on parenting behavior found that parents' attitudes of warmth, encouragement of independence and decreased aggravation with their toddlers were related significantly to their scores on a scale of marital adjustment.
The family is embedded in a broad variety of social systems including extended family, friends and neighbors, work, school, medical and religious institutes, and cultural groups. This larger system acts as both stressor and support that has influence on the parents' relationship with the child. (p. 54).
Parenting has function and process -
Functions - protection, emotional organization, encourages environmental exploration and learning.
Individual differences among parenting functions are based on family of origin differences. The adults natural tendencies to hold, talk, smile and respond to the infants cries is complimentary to the infants on biologically determined needs that build toward attachment.
This creates bonding
Content and timing of behavior - child learns to predict parental responses to his own behaviors. They begin to develop a concept of self through this interplay, and that they are an agent who can partially control and determine their own experiences.
Mothers who respond quickly and consistently to their infants cries and not distress vocalizations foster mastery motivation and a greater interest in exploring their environment. Children from these situations are also more communicative , and demonstrate higher cognitive competency.
Parents ignorance, lack of interest, carelessness, intolerance, explain their insensitivity to their children's needs.
emotions regulate interpersonal processes.
By the end of the first year, infants look to their parent faces to read their affective content in order to appraise ambiguous and novel situations,
The amount of time with a child is not related to the establishment of an affectional tie, but the quality and attentiveness, of multiple factors.
Attunement of parents to their children's needs is key.
The affectional tie between infant and parent ensures that the infant will be protected from predators and that they will be nurtured so that the species will survive.
Attachment has been shown to be critical to later personality development.
The attachment figure is seen as e accessible, responsive, and emotionally available, or the opposite, and the child concurrently sees him/her self as either worthy and lovable, or unworthy and unlovable.
Implications for Intervention
1. Some families are so disordered that basic survival goals, such as adequate nutrition, and medical care, safe environment, family violence, opportunity for exploration and appropriate child care, are so reduced that they must be met first.
2. Cognitive training may be quite insufficient as a means of intervention for many families, given the primacy of affect in the parent-child relationship and the multiple factors that contribute to that relationship. - multiple problems, can't give what you don't have, context of the infant- parent situation.
3. Since the parent-infant relationship is affected by contextual sources of stress and support, intervention may be needed to help with broader ecological issues such as social services, job training, and child care for the other sibs.
4. For some families, interventions may have to be provided directly to the child in order to supplement work the parents.
5. The fact that t parent's relationships with other significant persons affect the parent-child relationship implies that some intervention services may have to focus on marital relationships.
6. Rather than a singular focus on the development of the child as the primary measures of intervention efficacy, it may be useful to measure changes in the family, both in parental competence and in improved relationships.
7. Parenting is not a matter of hard-and-fast rules. The concept of a good enough parent is important. One must reflect on the parent's experiences when they were children, also.
Family Assessment with a Child
Observational method, or systematic observation
Parent Behavior Progression
Level I The parent enjoys her/his child.
Level II The parent is a sensitive observer of the infant, and reads his or her behavioral cues accurately, and is responsive to them.
Level III - The parent engages in quality and quantity of interaction with the child that is mutually satisfying and that provides opportunity for the development of attachment and learning.
Level IV - The parent demonstrated an awareness of material, activities, and experiences suitable of the child's current state of development.
Level V - The parent initiates new play activities and experiences based on principles that they have internalized from their own experience, or on the same principles as activities suggested to or modeled for them.
Level VI - The parent independently generates a wide range of developmentally appropriate activities and experiences, interesting to the child, in familiar and new situations and at new levels of the child's development.
Family and Social Support Assessment
1. Identification of family concerns, issues, and priorities using needs-based assessment procedures and strategies. Identify the needs and projects that ta family considers important enough to warrant their time and energy. Based on a broad-based needs hierarchy perspective, where needs may be though of as varying along a continuum from basic needs to enrichment experiences with other to security.
2. Identification of family strengths and abilities as a basis for emphasizing the things the family already does well, and for identifying the intrafamily resources that increase the likelihood of the successful mobilization of extrafamiliy resources to met needs.
3. Mapping of the family's personal social network in terms of existing sources of support and resources and of untapped by potential sources of aid and assistance.
4. Use of a number of different help-giving roles to enable and empower families so they may become better able to mobilize resources to get their needs met and achieve desired goals. This is guided by a proactive approach to working with families, and a shift and expansion in the professional roles, and sets a guide lines
It is not just a matter of whether needs are met but rather the manner in which mobilization of resources and support occurs that is a major determinant of enabling and empowering families.