Foundations for Self-Determination in Early Childhood: Preliminary Preschool Study

Susan B. Palmer, Kandace K. Fleming, Jean Ann Summers, Elizabeth J. Erwin, Susan P. Maude, Mary Jane Brotherson, Vera Stroup-Rentier, Shana J. Haines, Yuzhu Z. Zheng, Nancy F. Peck, Hsiang Yi Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Foundations for self-determination begin in early childhood for children with disabilities with the onset of self-regulation and engagement in activities at home, school, and in the community. This article describes the development and preliminary results of an intervention model that encourages collaborative practices for parents and teachers around short-term goal setting to adjust environments for young children with special needs or at risk for delay. Methods: The Foundations Intervention was used with 48 children in authentic early childhood settings and involved parents, teachers, and a facilitator to enhance children’s self-regulation and engagement at home and school. Results: Results showed feasibility of the intervention; positive child outcomes in goal attainment, self-regulation, and engagement measures were also evident. Conclusions: When parents and teachers communicated about a child’s strengths and needs within routines at home and school, this appeared to strengthen parent and teacher connections and helped children become more engaged or regulated in daily activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • Families
  • Goal setting
  • Preschool special education
  • Self-determination


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