1. Section Editor(s): Guralnick, Michael J. PhD

Article Content

Framing our thinking and intervention approaches in terms of the broad themes of child development has become an essential feature of our work with young vulnerable children and their families. Understanding family dynamics, adaptation processes, the multiple and reciprocal influences existing between parents' and childrens' interactions, the way communication occurs in natural environments, and the importance of emotional availability are all powerful developmental concepts that inform research and practice. These and related issues are considered in a number of thought-provoking and informative articles in this issue of Infants andYoung Children (IYC), as they highlight the importance of a developmental framework. Articles include a description of a fascinating intervention program to promote families' well-being, and ultimately child development, through strategies designed to help parents adapt to the circumstances arising from having a child with a disability. The integration of social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects into the intervention is an important achievement. From a corresponding perspective, efforts to integrate the child into family routines to maximize participation reflect a holistic developmental approach. As described in one of the IYC articles in this issue, professionals who focus on natural learning environments can provide an important framework for fostering and encouraging a child's communicative development. Relatedly, our knowledge of the developmental characteristics of children with autism, even toddlers, provides critical information for intervention as well as for the design of screening and assessment tools. This topic is also considered in this issue of IYC.


Other articles address equally important matters. Specifically, sharing knowledge and expertise internationally remains a fundamental challenge, one now being addressed by the International Society on Early Intervention. The description of the Web-based training opportunities for early interventionists and early childhood special educators reveals the use of our increasingly sophisticated technology to enable professionals all over the world to become more closely associated with one another-and this is only the beginning. Universality, in a different form, arises from problems involving universal newborn screening for hearing. IYC addresses these many important professional matters in this issue as well. Finally, IYC presents and discusses a dilemma faced by professionals, perhaps more frequently than is generally acknowledged, when parents and professionals disagree about directions for a child's intervention program under Part C of IDEA. The legal, administrative, and ethical complexities are real and challenging. IYC presents a balanced presentation of this topic.