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An Effective Procedure For Training Early Special Education Teams To Implement A Model Program

Sally J. Rogers, Hal C. Lewis, Kathy Reis

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A set of procedures was developed for training four early special education teams to use the Playschool model for young autistic or severely disturbed, developmentally delayed children in center-based special education preschool classes. Twenty team members serving 11 autistic young children and 10 other developmentally disabled children participated in the training. Evaluation of training effects revealed (1) positive subjective perception of the value and utility of the training, (2) significant positive increases in knowledge regarding child development, infantile autism, and the Playschool model, and (3) signficant positive changes in their use of Playschool techniques. Evaluation of the 11 autistic children revealed significant positive changes in five key developmental domains above and beyond what would have been expected had they continued to receive their regular preschool intervention program. Finally, earlier findings concerning the ability of the Playschool model program to enhance the development of young autistic children were replicated in this study.