Working with Families of Young Children with Special Needs

Edited by R. A. McWilliam

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
January 13, 2010
ISBN 9781606235393
Price: $43.00
265 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
March 1, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $43.00
265 Pages
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $86.00 $47.30
265 Pages

This user-friendly book presents research-based best practices for serving families of children with special needs from birth to age 6. Expert contributors demonstrate how early intervention and early childhood special education can effectively address a wide range of family concerns, which in turn optimizes children's development and learning. Tightly edited, the volume offers indispensable tools for assessing families; identifying and capitalizing on their strengths; providing information, support, and coaching; collaborating with parents and teachers to address children's functional needs in the context of everyday routines; and coordinating care. Over a dozen reproducible checklists and forms help professionals immediately implement the techniques and strategies described.

“This book is a 'must-have' for educators working with families and young children with disabilities, and should be considered the training manual for service coordinators in early intervention programs. Chapters from all the big names in early childhood present the key components of high-quality intervention. Real-world examples and family stories are provided throughout. The reader-friendly format includes definitions, examples, questions to ask families, and checklists. Take the time to read this informative, practical book and you will learn how to effectively engage families of young children.”

—Pamela S. Thomas, MA, Coordinator of Early Intervention Services, Missouri First Steps Early Intervention Program

“McWilliam has gathered extremely well-written contributions from the leading authorities in the field. The chapters in this excellent book provide the most current and authoritative content pertaining to families and young children with disabilities. The information is clear, useful, and definitive. This book would be a superb primary text for early childhood special education (ECSE) classes focusing on families, or a wonderful secondary text for ECSE courses in general. Students who learn from this book will be well prepared as professionals to serve families and organize programs of family support.”

—Glen Dunlap, PhD, Department of Child and Family Studies, University of South Florida

“This is one of the first books to articulate clear procedures for planning, implementing, and evaluating family-centered early intervention services. Each chapter translates an abstract aspect of providing family support into concrete and well-defined steps for practitioners. A terrifically helpful resource, the book is loaded with useful examples, checklists, and 'how-tos' for respectful, supportive early intervention services.”

—Judith J. Carta, PhD, Institute for Life-Span Studies and Department of Special Education, University of Kansas

“Readers will find easy-to-understand descriptions of the most current practices for supporting families of young children with special needs. The influential authors also provide the theory and research foundations for the practices. Each chapter includes a checklist that guides readers to reflect on their use of the practice under discussion, which is a unique and valuable feature. This book will be highly useful for formal courses in early intervention as well as for professional development activities. I often find myself putting together packets of journal articles and handouts to provide solid information on this topic for students and workshop participants. I’m delighted to find a volume that has it all in one place!”

—Susan R. Sandall, PhD, College of Education, University of Washington

Table of Contents

Introduction, R. A. McWilliam

1. Identifying Families' Supports and Other Resources, Lee Ann Jung

2. Assessing Families' Needs with the Routines-Based Interview, R. A. McWilliam

3. Community-Based Everyday Child Learning Opportunities, Carl J. Dunst, Melinda Raab, Carol M. Trivette, and Jennifer Swanson

4. Coordinating Services with Families, Mary Beth Bruder

5. Talking to Families, P. J. McWilliam

6. Working with Families from Diverse Backgrounds, Marci J. Hanson and Eleanor W. Lynch

7. A Primary-Coach Approach to Teaming and Supporting Families in Early Childhood Intervention, M'Lisa L. Shelden and Dathan D. Rush

8. Support-Based Home Visiting, R. A. McWilliam

9. Helping Families Address Challenging Behavior and Promote Social Development, Lise Fox

About the Editor

R. A. McWilliam, PhD, is Director of the Center for Child and Family Research at Siskin Children’s Institute, a nonprofit organization for children, families, and professionals in Chattanooga, and Professor in the College of Health, Education and Professional Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He develops interventions for young children with disabilities that always involve the children’s families; conducts research on the development of individualized family service plans, child engagement, and service delivery methods; and provides consultation, training, and technical assistance throughout the United States. Dr. McWilliam has served as Director of the Center for Child Development at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and as Senior Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is past president of the Division for Research of the Council for Exceptional Children, past editor of the Journal of Early Intervention, and the author or editor of several books.


Mary Beth Bruder, PhD, Departments of Pediatrics and Educational Psychology and A. J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service, University of Connecticut, Farmington, Connecticut

Carl J. Dunst, PhD, Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute, Asheville, North Carolina

Lise Fox, PhD, Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Marci J. Hanson, PhD, Department of Special Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

Lee Ann Jung, PhD, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Eleanor W. Lynch, PhD, Department of Special Education, San Diego State University, San Diego, California

P. J. McWilliam, PhD, Department of Special Education, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

R. A. McWilliam, PhD, Center for Child and Family Research, Siskin Children's Institute, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Melinda Raab, PhD, Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute, Asheville, North Carolina

Dathan D. Rush, EdD, CCC-SLP, Family, Infant and Preschool Program, J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, Morganton, North Carolina

M'Lisa L. Shelden, PT., PhD, Family, Infant and Preschool Program, J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center, Morganton, North Carolina

Jennifer Swanson, PhD, Heartland Area Education Agency, Johnston, Iowa

Carol M. Trivette, PhD, Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute, Asheville, North Carolina


Early childhood professionals, preschool special educators, social workers, clinical psychologists, and other professionals who provide early intervention services to children with disabilities and their families.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses.