Photo of a boy baby straight from his bath, lying on his back in a bathtowel, wearing tube socks.Updated March 2016

A critical part of improving developmental and educational results for children with disabilities is using effective practices in early intervention, wherever services are being provided—an agency setting, the home, and across the child’s natural environment.

An impressive knowledge base of experience has been built on the delivery of early intervention services.  CPIR is pleased to launch you into that knowledge base with these “starter” connections to the experts.


Organizations with Serious Expertise

Land first at the ECTA Center.
ECTA is the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center. That name says it all, doesn’t it? The link we provide takes you to ECTA’s “topics” page, where you can pick your pleasure.

Early Childhood Research & Reference Portal.
Also from the ECTA Center, the portal links to national and state by state EC data sources, evidence-based practices, online journals, literature databases, and grants databases.

Visit Project CONNECT.
CONNECT has developed web-based, instructional resources for faculty and other professional development providers that focus on and respond to challenges faced each day by those working with young children with disabilities and their families. The modules help build practitioners’ abilities to make evidence-based decisions.

Do you hear an ECO?
ECO stands for the Early Childhood Outcomes Center. In past years, it has provided national leadership to help states implement high-quality outcome systems for early early intervention and early childhood special education programs. It’s now merged with the ECTA Center, so explore the many resources that transferred.

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Let the Children Play (to Learn)!

Solutions Tool Kits: Practice guides for parents and early childhood staff alike.
The RTC on Early Childhood Development just keeps on comin’ with materials you can use. Their Solutions Tool Kits include collections of practice guides for promoting child development and learning. The link below will take you to the tool kits page. Scroll down and see all of the following categories, under which you’ll find multiple resources. Any of these topics interest you?

—Games for growing: Teaching your baby using early learning games
—Lap It Up: Early learning through parent-child lap games
—Powerful Playtime: Toys and learning for the very young child
—Literacy for Little Ones: Activities to boost beginning reading, writing, and much more!

Find them all at:

Visit CELL, the Center for Early Literacy Learning.
Lots of practice guides here, for promoting early literacy learning. Guides for parents and practitioners, including many in Spanish.

Reading the intentionality of young children.
Through six video clips and accompanying commentary, this article describes how,  by carefully observing how very young children play, adults can gain insight into their high-level thinking and their knowledge, as well as the implications that their strategies hold for their assumptions, theories, and expectations. Adults can then become more protective of children’s time during play, more skillful in making a parallel entry into their world, and more effective in helping them extend or reconsider their assumptions about how the social and physical world works.

Up Close and Personal: Strengthening the parent-child relationship.
Scroll down the page a bit to find all the Up Close and Personal briefs.

Hands-on ways to build social emotional skills through everyday routines.
Visit the Book Nook at CSEFEL (Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning) and have a look at the guides offered there for teachers/caregivers and parents. Examples of suggested activities include using rhymes to talk about being friends, making emotion masks to help children identify and talk about different feelings, playing games around what to do with hands instead of hitting, and fun music and movement activities to express emotions.

Online module on embedded interventions.
Learn about the practice of embedded interventions to help children participate in a variety of early learning opportunities and environments promoting high-quality inclusion. Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. From Project CONNECT.

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Addressing Behavior Challenges in Young Children

Accentuate the Positive: Strengthening positive child behaviors.
Scroll to the very bottom of the page to find the Accentuate the Positive briefs.

Effective practices for preventing challenging behavior.
This brief from the Center for Evidence-Based Practice: Young Children with Challenging Behavior describes several early intervention strategies, including: (a) arranging of the classroom environment, (b) scheduling, and (c) implementing rules, rituals, and routines.

The 6 steps of positive behavior support.
From the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children.

Positive beginnings: Supporting young children with challenging behavior.
Six online modules for inservice and preservice early interventionists and early childhood educators.

Supporting children’s mental health and reducing challenging behaviors.
Visit the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, whose target audiences include  Head Start administrators, staff, and programs, as well as mental health consultants and families. The Center translates research in healthy mental development into materials tailored to the needs of each of the target audiences, and makes them available on this website.

Teaching tools.
“Teaching Tools” is a product of the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention. They are meant to assist teachers in developing a plan to support young children who are having challenging behavior.

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Assistive Technology for the Little Ones

Using assistive technology.
Research shows that using assistive technology can help young children with disabilities learn valuable skills. Find out more about AT for infants and toddlers at the link below.

Really? Assistive technology for infants and toddlers with disabilities?
Yes, indeed, there are many ways in which AT can optimize such young children’s development and learning. Visit the Tots ‘n Tech Research Institute (TnT) and find out how. TnT has lots of materials and guidance for families and early interventionists alike.

AT Resource Briefs.
These briefs are designed to help states and agencies enhance their resources that support AT use in early intervention and, as such, include practical information focused on establishing a lending library, enhancing professional development, and funding for AT. In particular, check out Including AT in the IFSP.

Funding assistive technology.
This resource page of the ECTA Center will connect you with the various assistive technology funding sources for infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities.

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Would you like to visit another page in the Early Intervention Suite of pages?

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