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Young Children with Disabilities: Research on Interactions

by Research and Training Center on Early Childhood Development on May 1, 2004
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Happy Talk! Research and Training Center on Early Childhood Development. BOTTOMLINES: Research Findings Informing Early Childhood Practices, vol. 1, #4, June 2003. (2003) A caregiver-interaction style that is responsive, appropriate, prompt, and positive is highly beneficial for young children. This information sheet describes the findings of an analysis of 13 studies that evaluated the quality of parent-child interactions. It found that intellectual and social-emotional development is enhanced when children are consistently exposed to a style of interaction or communication that takes the form of a prompt and positive response to the child’s behaviors and is generally consistent with the tone of the interaction the child initiated.

2007-0226

Heart to Heart Research and Training Center on Early Childhood Development. BOTTOMLINES: Research Findings Informing Early Childhood Practices, vol. 2, #4, November 2004. (2004) Consistent, reliable parent responses to child behavior can help parents and their young children develop healthy and secure early parent-child bonds. This information sheet describes the findings of an analysis of 13 studies that looked at how social-emotional relationships between parents and their children are affected by parents’ response style. It found that relationships between young children and their moms and dads or special caregivers tend to grow stronger when adults consistently respond to their children’s behavior and the children come to rely on their parents’ responses.

2005-0265

No Rush!: Research Proves it Pays to Be Patient Research and Training Center on Early Childhood Development. BOTTOMLINES: Research Findings Informing Early Childhood Practices, vol. 1, #2, June 2003. (2003) Children with disabilities, especially children with physical or multiple disabilities, need to be given extra time to learn or realize the connection between their behavior and the response it brings. This kind of learning is called "operant" or "contingency" learning. This information sheet describes the findings of an analysis of 16 studies that focused on this type of learning. It found that while children without disabilities realize almost immediately the connection between their performance of a behavior and the response that follows it, children with disabilities are slower to understand that they are making something happen. In other words, there is a “latency to learn” among children with or at-risk for delays.

2005-0412

YES! I Made it Happen! Research and Training Center on Early Childhood Development. BOTTOMLINES: Research Findings Informing Early Childhood Practices, vol. 1, #1, June 2003. (2003) Young children express happiness when their actions bring about interesting and expected responses. When the relationship between something a young child has learned to do and the rewarding response that follows it is very clear and can be counted on, positive social-emotional responses occur with great frequency. This is called "response-contingent learning." This information sheet describes the findings of an analysis of 42 studies on response-contingent learning.

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