September 26, 2003

McWilliam presents model at international conference

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Nadia Nik, left, and Alexander Dykens-Hodapp, two of the mentoring students in the Bear Country four-year-old class at the Susan Gray School for Children, concentrate on a coloring project. Mentoring students provide examples for their classmates. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Robin McWilliam, Ph.D., director of the Center for Child Development, presented his individualizing-inclusion model at the first-ever International Society of Early Intervention Congress held in Rome Sept. 17-20. The conference gathered the world’s leaders in early intervention research.

“This conference demonstrates a sort of coming of age of the early intervention field,” said McWilliam. “Early intervention cuts across disciplines, education, psychology, medicine and the like. Within disciplines there have been international meetings, but this conference is significant in bringing together disciplines and recognizing the uniqueness of early intervention.”

Along with colleagues from Turkey, The Netherlands and Portugal, McWilliam presented research on young children’s engagement behavior and teaching styles in early intervention, along with the international applications of his individualizing-inclusion model.

Early intervention research is concerned with the early identification of a disability, early support to promote family functioning and prevent subsequent problems and following the ecology of child development — from parenting to public policy to prevention programs.