Teaching Caregivers in Early Intervention

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The overarching research aim of this study was to examine learning opportunities available for caregivers during early intervention sessions. Of specific interest were providers' purposeful (i.e., explicit) teaching behaviors and opportunities from which caregivers might learn incidentally. Relations between teaching behaviors, caregiver characteristics (i.e., education and level of engagement during early intervention visit), child disability type, and provider demographic characteristics (i.e., discipline, years of experience) were also investigated. A sample of 265 videotaped early intervention home visits conducted by multidisciplinary providers were rated using the Natural Environments Rating Scale–Revised. Incidental learning opportunities were frequently available, but provider use of purposeful teaching strategies was infrequent. Differences in teaching behavior were associated with caregiver level of engagement, caregiver education, child disability type, and provider discipline. No differences in teaching behavior were found for providers' years of experience.

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