Inclusion for Young Children With Disabilities: A Quarter Century of Research Perspectives

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Issues affecting inclusion of young children with disabilities over the last 25 years are discussed. A brief history of early childhood inclusion is followed by a discussion of definition, terminology, and models for inclusive services. A summary of synthesis points derived from the research literature focuses on critical outcomes for children with disabilities, the role of specialized instruction, collaboration among professionals, necessary organizational supports, and benefits for typically developing children. Two recent directions affecting the implementation of inclusion, assessment of quality and Response to Intervention (RTI), are discussed. In addition, factors that may affect early childhood inclusion in the future are summarized.

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