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By National Research Council, Jack P. Shonkoff, Deborah Phillips, Bonnie Keilty

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Additional info for Early Childhood Intervention: Views from the Field, Report of a Workshop (Compass Series (Washington, D.C.).)

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It is possible that there are “best” times to intervene during the early years, depending on the nature of the parent or child risk or the developmental stage of the child. ” Several workshop participants noted that earlier is better, not just because the brain is more plastic but because representations, relationships, and perceptions of the child are formed early and have long-term impact. Others warned that although early intervention can be crucial for preventing developmental delays from becoming more serious problems later, services should not result in early labeling or the removal of children from typical experiences, thereby reducing the possibility of self-righting corrections or compensatory growth spurts.

Examples mentioned include the Perry Preschool Project, which documented significant differences at age 27 favoring the intervention group over For the first time in many years, questions are being raised about appropriate expectations for impact and what is required to sustain outcomes. This is a most welcome trend, and it is based on the larger corpus of research on program outcomes, rather than a few studies. Ruby Takanishi controls in high school completion, employment, college attendance, teen pregnancy, and criminal activity; the Abecedarian Project and Project CARE, which demonstrated significant differences in reading and math achievement scores up to age 15; and the Syracuse program, which documented short-term reductions in antisocial behavior and long-term effects on delinquency.

Ruby Takanishi the service model would be if it were delivered successfully. Ensuring Valid Assessments The insufficient availability of appropriate developmental evaluation techniques was a recurring theme throughout the workshop proceedings. Participants attributed much of the limitations in the science base and many of the unanswered questions in both research and practice to assessment measures that do not fully capture the essence of what really matters in early childhood development. Knowing when to be concerned about a child’s development depends on valid and reliable assessments of his or her performance and underlying skills.

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