Early Intervention in Spain: Some Directions for Future Development

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Abstract

This article presents an overview of the state of early intervention in Spain after 30 years of work with families and children with developmental disorders or at risk of suffering from such disorders. The organisation and conceptual base of early intervention in Spain have gradually evolved over the past few decades. This field is still in the midst of a transformation process, moving toward an intervention model that is more family-focused and more integrated into the community's services network. However, administrative, financial, and professional training difficulties still remain. This emerging intervention model is described in detail in this article and, as much as possible, illustrated within the framework of the Developmental Systems Model put forward by Guralnick. Results of a pilot study at 4 early intervention centres in Catalonia (Spain) are discussed, including the current state of early intervention and needed improvements. Further discussion of progress in the field of early intervention in Spain and future directions follows.

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