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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: July 2011

10 - Developmental models as frameworks for early intervention with children with Down syndrome

Summary

Our contribution to this book is the outline of a developmental approach that can be used to guide early intervention for individuals with Down syndrome (DS). For this task, we come fortified with frameworks, models, and paradigms from general developmental theory and research to guide our perspective on intervention. With this background and these resources, we suggest a universal context that is premised on the overwhelming similarities in underlying developmental processes that are observed among children, regardless of disability, and ability levels or individual experiences, as a first step to understanding intervention for children with DS from as early as birth and how it can be impacted by various direct and indirect factors (Hodapp & Burack, 1990). The emphasis on the commonalities of development does not obscure the obvious and important differences across etiologies, families, and individuals, but rather provides a framework of the whole child within which these differences can be discussed and understood (Zigler, 1967, 1969; Hodapp et al., 1990). Contemporary developmentalists celebrate differences at all levels of the human experience as essential, but not sole contributors, to developmental outcomes and behavior. Thus, the extensive understanding of universal trajectories of development and the ways that they are maintained or affected by cultural, societal, communal, familial, and individual differences is an organizing framework for understanding the relevance of the family, the individual, and outside influences to positive outcomes for children with DS (Hodapp, 1990; Hodapp & Burack, 2006).

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