DINST513-21B (NET)

Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs

30 Points

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Division of Education
Te Kura Toi Tangata School of Education


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: patsie.frawley@waikato.ac.nz
: nia.sugiharto@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)


Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)


: melanie.chivers@waikato.ac.nz

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  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
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Paper Description

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This paper is intended to enable students to understand the philosophical and developmental justification for early intervention programmes for young children with special needs and their families. The focus will be on early intervention carried out in a range of contexts. The paper content will include: concepts of disability models and design of early intervention programmes; curriculum and assessment; parent/whaanau partnerships and evaluation of processes. The paper also looks into developing research interests/ topics with students.

Several key questions are investigated in the paper, the first being - What is ‘early intervention’? Three different perspectives inform responses to this question. Early intervention can be linked to:

  • (normative) life-span development
  • the point at which a biological/social issue of different-from-normal becomes a salient issue
  • an enquiry into the response mechanisms put into place

The second question focuses on who/what are ‘children with special needs’? Typically, the answer to this question is 'children and young people who are considered different-to-normal as indicated by appearance and/or behaviour'.

These definitions recognise that traditional ideas about early intervention/special education and the response mechanisms they support have particular ‘funds of knowledge’ associated with them. These assumptions are connected to biomedical/psychosocial categorisations of individual deficit that activate how the ‘support needed’ aspect of an early intervention is framed, organised and delivered in relation to the child/young person concerned. How the concept of ‘support needed’ equally engages with wider practices of exclusivity/inclusivity influenced by stereotyping, prejudice and fear, is an area of academic consideration that is less well developed within early intervention frameworks of understanding. In this paper interventions particularly related to (embodied) notions of sexuality, disability and other forms of (social) difference will also be considered, along with what intervention-related responses these notions can inspire and the value of them to the young person/people concerned.

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Paper Structure

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In this 30 point paper, teaching will be fully online using Moodle, the Learning Management System used at the University of Waikato.

A number of texts, required readings and audio visual resources will be used to expand on the issues related to young children, special needs and early intervention explored in this paper.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes
    • Critique the current ‘global climate’ of early intervention
    • Demonstrate a greater knowledge of early intervention, special education and implications for various contexts
    • Demonstrate skills in evaluating and critiquing a range of literature and research
    • Develop an understanding of some of the philosophical developments and issues (in which this topic is located).
    • Review early intervention research and development in order to gain an understanding of the pedagogy involved so these can be related to a student’s own needs, experiences and research interests.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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The assessment strategy is designed to address University criteria for study at 500 level. It is fundamental to the aims, objectives and pedagogic rationale of the paper. The overall aim of the assignments is to give students the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on historical and philosophical issues related to early intervention, inclusion and the implications for practice
  • Reflect on current trends and issues related to early intervention and inclusion both nationally and internationally
  • Address potential implications for practice in our education and community systems
  • Analyse inclusive practice and investigate potential research opportunities
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Assignment 1: Contemporary critique of literature
13 Aug 2021
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Assignment 2: Early intervention environments - presentation
17 Sep 2021
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Assignment 3: Engagement online including forums and quizzes
15 Oct 2021
10:00 PM
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Ko nga panui matua

An electronic reading list is available electronically via the Reading List for DINST513. You can access these via the Reading List tab on Moodle or via the Reading Lists tab on the library homepage (https://www.waikato.ac.nz/library/ (https://www.waikato.ac.nz/library/)

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Recommended Readings

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In addition, students are expected to locate and read the articles and Government WebPages identified in the ‘Supporting Information’ space each week.
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Other Resources

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Other resources, some optional and some required, will be made available electronically via the Moodle page for this paper
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Online Support

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This paper is supported by an online Moodle site. Notices will be distributed through this site, and all assignments (except in class presentations) must be submitted through the site.

Each week the site will be updated with information about the week’s tutorial and any relevant information. You should check the class Moodle site on a regular basis. Online web address: http://elearn.waikato.ac.nz/ or you can click on the Moodle link on the university home page.

You can use the online website for general questions and for giving feedback on how things are going. Any issues can be discussed with your lecturer face-to-face or by contacting them via email.

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This paper has a credit value of 30 points. There will be a total of 300 learning hours.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: PROF513

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