Improvement of Developmental Skills for Pre-School Children Who Have Been Diagnosed With a Certain Disability

Published: 2021-07-30
1840 words
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George Washington University
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In this review, the population of study will comprise of children between the ages of 2 to 5-years with disabilities who have not yet begun attending kindergarten, and also, older children who have been diagnosed with disabilities if they are attending preschool. It is important to point out that, in this review, it will mainly focus on the effectiveness of the early intervention programs or strategies that have been taken for children with disabilities. If there are studies whose participants can be categorized as children with disabilities in one group, and in another group, children without disabilities, then the priority regarding the findings will be on the subgroup of children with disabilities. If there are only aggregate findings of a study, then it is important to have at least 50% of the study sample to be made up of only children with disabilities.

If a researcher comes across studies of early intervention programs that have been conducted with a population of children with different disabilities, then the researcher will use the separate reports that show the effectiveness of a certain program on children with a certain disability. In studies that have aggregated data for both pre-school and kindergarten children who have been enrolled in an intervention program, and disaggregated data is not available, then this review will only include the study if only there are at least 50% of the participants in pre-school.

Types of Interventions that Will Be Included

In this review, it focuses on intervention programs that are meant to equip and improve developmental skills and school readiness for pre-school children who have been diagnosed with a certain disability. These intervention programs can take place at a school or centre-based setting, clinical setting or even at home of the child. The type of interventions that will be included in this review comprises of the following:

Curricula- A curriculum is defined as a set of activities and guidance that a teacher uses when teaching students who are at a particular educational level. Curricula can be inclusive, which means that it has been designed to be used by all children who are at a particular educational level. It can also be targeted, and this means that it was designed in a way to fulfil specific needs of children who have been diagnosed with a certain disability. This review will focus on intervention studies that contain curricula that are targeted and therefore deal with a certain form of disability.

Social therapy- It will include various activities or exercises that have been designed to promote development for a child who has a certain disability, or even to prevent secondary disability. It will have to either be administered or conducted under the supervision of a trained specialist health professionals and play therapists. The program will also be designed in a way that ensures that specialist deals with a child on a one-on-one basis, small group setting, or in a classroom. In general, the social intervention therapies have to be conducted in a way that can be deemed as authentic to be included in this study.

Medical Interventions-The study will also take into consideration early intervention strategies that use the medical interventions such as psychological therapy to promote development skills for a child with the disability.

Types of Research Studies that will be Included in this Study

Various parameters will need to be taken into consideration to be included in this research study, and therefore, they will have to meet the following relevancy criteria:

The topic needs to be relevant. The study has to be about how social and medical interventions impact a child with disabilities. In this case, it will focus on the effects of an intervention strategy on promoting developmental skills on a child.

Timeframe- All the studies that will be included in this study must have been published in 1990 or later. The researcher decided on this time frame to be able to have a realistic scope in regards to the work that is under review.

Outcome relevance- The studies that will be involved in this review will focus on the developmental outcomes of the child that can be measured such as improvement in speech, writing or working on a mathematical problem.


Various factors will be put into consideration when excluding a study from this systemic review. These factors will include:

The study population did not primarily focus on pre-school children who have a certain disability.

The study did not assess a social or medical intervention in children suffering a certain disability.

The study is considered to be too risky regarding being biased when a Cochrane collaboration tool that is used for assessing the risk of bias is used in this study.


In this section, it specifies the parameters that will be considered for analysis purposes from the studies that have been selected, and which aspects of those studies need to be taken into consideration for review purposes.

Characteristics of Early Interventions for Children with DisabilitiesIn order for an early intervention strategy to be considered to be eligible for this study, its primary goal has to have a long-term positive impact on the child. In this case, it will take into consideration supplemental curricula such as Creative Curriculum, and Big Math for Little Kids will be taken into consideration as intervention strategies. In addition to that various therapeutic intervention such as sensory integration therapy that is meant to promote the functionality of a child and also prevent secondary disabilities will be considered. As has also been stated before, the early intervention strategies can take place in any setting such as a school, clinical setting or at home. The intervention strategies need to be replicable and also be disseminated.

It is essential to point out that one of the most important characteristics of an intervention program or strategy that has a long-term impact on children is its ability to be replicated on different participants, and be able to achieve a similar outcome, in another setting, and at a different time (Patil et al., 2016). This means that the researcher will take into consideration whether an intervention strategy can be considered to be branded or not branded. If it is branded, there is need to have available information that instructs an interested party on how he or she can obtain information about a certain strategy (Patil et al., 2016). Branded interventions have external developers who will provide technical assistance to interested parties. On the other hand, in studies whereby the intervention is not considered to be branded, they need to have a description of the intervention, specifically stating the development skills that are being targeted by that approach. In addition to that, it needs to point out a specific target population, the features of the intervention, characteristics of an ideal setting, and the intensity level of that intervention on the participants.

The studies that will be included in this review will have to show or include an outcome that has been intentionally targeted by a certain intervention and can be measured through the assessment of a childs progress after being introduced to that program (Garg, 2016). The expected outcomes that are expected of a child that has been introduced in an intervention program fall into one or more of the following domains: functional abilities, socio-emotional development and behaviour, physical well-being, literacy, communication, mathematics progression, and cognition (Simpson et al., 2016). It is important to point out that the benefits of early intervention for children who have been diagnosed with a certain disability are meant to last for a long period. Therefore, the measures at the end of an intervention, and also in years after the end of the intervention are considered to be admissible. This means that the measures which will be undertaken years after an intervention program for children who have been diagnosed with a certain disability, depending on the results achieved will provide evidence about an interventions effectiveness.

In this review, it will contain studies whereby the score reliability and validity of the outcome measures have been determined, and therefore the score reliability of the outcome measures will be specified in the research article (Simpson et al., 2016). If an outcome measure comprises of different tests that were conducted on different children in the sample, it will be assumed to be valid if considers the following:

The tests measure a similar construct and have been standardized in such a way that they can be undertaken on a similar population.

There are clear rules that show which tests were administered to different children.

There is the distribution of tests that have been administered at the baseline, and the follow-up to both the treatment and also the control groups are required to be similar.

As was stated before, all the studies that will be used in this paper must have been in 1990 or later. The participants of the study population will be children who are aged between 2 and five years. They will need to have been diagnosed with a certain form of disability that affects the way they function to the point that there is a disparity between them and normal children.


The first step that the researcher will take is to conduct a keyword search to identify studies that have focused on intervention strategies for children. The researcher will then narrow down the study to focus on early intervention strategies or programs that are meant for children with disabilities. The keyword search will be divided into different groups to ensure that the researcher can find various studies that focus on early interventions for children with disabilities using a medical or social approach. The keywords that were used in this study are in the table below:

Table 1: Keywords

Target Age Disability Target Outcome Intervention

Infant Developmental Delay Comprehension Curricula approach

Toddler Mental Retardation Language Technique oriented

Early Childhood Autism Decoding Therapeutic Approach

Head Start Learning Disability Math Teaching Approach

Pre-kindergarten Emotional Disturbance Motor Control Pre-school Special Education Self-Help Personal Care Databases that will be used in the Study PsycINFO. This is an electronic database that has over 1.8 million citations and also summaries of journal articles, dissertations and reports dealing with different issues in the field of psychology. The database will contain different studies on early intervention for children with disabilities and the impact that it has had on their lives (Jahan et al., 2016).

Campbell Collaboration-It is a database that comprises of social, psychological, and educational trial studies and will highly likely contain the information that will be useful in this study.

Academic Search Premier- This database will be helpful for this research as it provides full-text journals that can be accessed in a pdf format. It also has cited references that can be easily searched by the researcher to acquire the information that is needed.

Cochrane Database- It contains a wide range of articles and protocols that will focus on the effects of healthcare on children with disabilities. It will be a source of the research articles that will provide the researcher with empirical evidence in relation how early medical interventions are considered beneficial for children with disabilities.

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