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Focal Point

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Early childhood education, Child development, Children with disabilities -- Development


In order to provide the best opportunities for children with special emotional needs and behavioral challenges to successfully adjust to kindergarten, professionals and family members need models of support that address policies, staff and family training and partnerships, and individual child-focused services. Moreover, transition must be conceptualized as a process that occurs over time, not as a short term move from one environment to the next. In this article, we discuss a conceptual framework for transition support models for young children with disabilities and their families. We then highlight important transition components identified in the literature and those included in models of transition for children eligible for early intervention services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Lastly, we discuss a project being developed by researchers at the Regional Research Institute and Child Welfare Partnership at Portland State University. The goal of the project is to develop, implement, and measure the effectiveness of coordinated transition services to support the success of children who have emotional disabilities and their families as these children enter public school.


Originally appeared in Focal Point, Spring 2001. This article and others can be found at

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