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Early childhood intervention
Early childhood inclusion
Developmental disabilities
Family-centered approach
Developmental screening and monitoring
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Springer Singapore
Poon, K., Xie, H., & Yang, X. (2022). Early childhood intervention for young children with special needs in Singapore: Where we have been and future directions. In O. S. Tan, K. K. Poon, B. A. O'Brien, & A. Rifkin-Graboi (Eds.), Early childhood development and education in Singapore (pp. 99-112). Springer Singapore.
The early childhood years are foundational to every child’s development and outcomes in life (Shonkoff et al., The developing brain. In: National Research Council, Shonkoff JP, Phillips DA (eds) From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2000). However, children with disabilities or at risk of developing disabilities may struggle to achieve the same levels of competencies in developmental domains as their typically developing counterparts. Research has established the importance and effectiveness of quality Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) for children with or at risk of developing disabilities. The early childhood window holds the most promise for effective intervention and development. This chapter examines the context of ECI within Singapore in three sections. The first section provides an overview of the formative years of ECI development in Singapore from 1950 to 2000 and describes the expansion of ECI services from 2001 to 2020, offering a brief description of the support programs offered in a range of inclusive to specialized settings. The second section presents key findings from the small but growing number of ECI studies conducted in Singapore. This section describes key findings in the areas of identification and assessment, child profile and needs, inclusive education models and programs, support practices and support needs, and family-centered service provision. The chapter concludes by offering recommendations for the road ahead for Singapore’s ECI field. Recommendations include improvements in universal developmental screening and monitoring, providing supports within preschool settings to facilitate the move toward inclusive early childhood education and enhancing the quality of current early childhood professionals through a tiered approach of training and ongoing professional development.
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