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Dear members

Just to let you know about recent developments in Eurlyaid.
Over the last few months we have been busy working on various projects (more about these in future Newsletters) and organising next years conference the details of which will be announced later in the year.
Members of Eurlyaid Board recently attended the

20. SYMPOSION FRÜHFÖRDERUNG 2019 Partizipation – Wege und Ziele der Frühförderung in Leipzig

organised by Vereinigung für Inter- Erziehungsdisziplinäre Frühförderung –and held from 14th to 16th March at Leipzig University. The conference attracted over 700 delegates from Germany, the rest of Europe and some international visitors too.
Members of the Board presented during the International Panel on Early Childhood Intervention moderated by Britta Gebhard and Jurgen Kuhl as follows:
Carolyn Blackburn - Carolyn talked about using an engagement profile and inquiry framework for children with complex needs: findings from an international research project. Carolyn mentioned the need for collaborative approaches with families and other professionals in working with children with complex learning difficulties and disabilities (CLDD). The term complex learning difficulties and disabilities (CLDD) encompasses children with co-existing conditions (e.g. Autism and ADHD), or profound and multiple learning disabilities. This combination of issues and layered needs means children often disengage from learning. The engagement for learning framework was developed in response to this challenge. It provides a way for professionals from a range of disciplines to share assessment and development of personalied learning pathways for children. Measuring child engagement helps to determine how much support is needed for a child in a specific context.
Jose Smits, secretary general, Inclusion Europe, Member ANED: Academic Network European Disability experts - Jose discussed Early Intervention and support towards inclusion for families with young children with disabilities in the Netherlands; an overview of national policy, results (including effects on an early start in education), and the effects of recent decentralization process of all youth care in the Netherlands. She stressed that Although the Netherlands have hundreds of government financed local agencies for advice on matters of health and upbringing for all parents of newborn children, there is no established national policy for early intervention and support towards inclusion for families with young children with disabilities. The local agencies have no specific knowledge or protocol for newborn children with disabilities. Systemic development and provision of early intervention programs has been mainly left to private initiatives in the past: mainly to organizations of parents of children with disabilities.
Ana Maria Serrano (on behalf of Tania Boavida) - Ana discussed active participation of the family: assessing and selecting intervention goals and objectives and the importance of the voice of family members in determining meaningful goals for participation. Ana stressed that The goals and objectives of the IEP/IFSP, if developed through a systematic evaluation process and directly connected to intervention, can contribute to the individualization of services and improved development of children. Quality goals and objectives are important for (a) professionals and natural caregivers to know what, how, when, and where to teach; (b) monitoring children’s progress; and evaluating and reporting the effects of the intervention. High-quality goals and objectives must reflect recommended practices, which means that they should (a) be context-appropriate and supportive of natural caregivers’ and families’ routines, (b) address skills necessary or useful to the child’s participation in these routines, (c) be measurable, (d) and have meaningful generalization and time frame criteria.

Mats Granlund - Participation as a transactional process – concepts, measures and interventions in early childhood. Matt suggested that participation includes two dimensions; being there and being involved/engaged while being there. These two dimensions of participation are applicable on children’s engagement in everyday activities, families and childen’s engagement in interventions and professional’s way of collaborating with children and families. Participation can be viewed as a transactional phenomenon in that engagement elicits interest in other children and adults/professionals. Their interest in turn leads to that the child in need of special support is invited to engaging experiences. Thus, participation is a pivotal process that generate a positive upward spiral not only in children but also in families and professionals.
Other presentations from members of Eurlyaid included:
Observational questionnaire pilot study evaluating parental satisfaction with interdisciplinary early aid and family support after birth of a very low birth weight infant from Univ. Prof. Dr. Bernhard Resch, em. Univ. Prof. Dr. Ronald Kurz (Scientific head and deputy head, respectively, Postdoctoral Course of Interdisciplinary Early Aid and Family Support, Postgraduate School, Medical University of Graz, Austria)
Students of the Postdoctoral Course of Interdisciplinary Early Aid and Family Support, Postgraduate School, Medical University of Graz, Austria ( Director Claudia Hofbauer-Krug)
There was a panel discussion about Early Childhood Intervention focusing on European qualifications frameworks, professional competencies, interdiscinplinarity, working with families, working together political/structural challenges. More information will be available as this initiative develops.

We also enjoyed the city of Leipzig and dinner with colleagues and friends from Eurlyaid and from VIFF.
There was an impressive conference dinner in a historic building in Leipzig.
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