Chapter 2: Developing evidence-based practice

Widen your reading by taking a look at this list of useful journal articles. 

Article 1: Odom, S. L., & Wolery, M. (2003). A unified theory of practice in early intervention/early childhood special education: Evidence-based practices. Journal of Special Education, 37(3), 164-173.

Abstract: Over the last decade, the field of early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE) has emerged as a primary service for infants and preschool children with disabilities and their families. Systems for providing early intervention for infants and toddlers exist in every state, and all state Departments of Education are responsible for special education for preschool children. In EI/ECSE, a unified theory of practice has emerged and draws from a range of psychological and educational theories. A strong, evidence-based set of practices that service providers and caregivers use to promote the development and well-being of infants and young children with disabilities and their families underlies this theory of practice. The purpose of this article is to describe the tenets of this theory and identify evidence-based practices associated with each.


Article 2: Lussier, B. J., Crimmins, D. B., & Albert, D. (1994). Effect of three adult interaction styles on infant engagement. Journal of Early Intervention, 18(1), 12-24.

Abstract: A within-subjects design was used to investigate the effects of adult interaction styles on infant engagement Three interaction style conditions were created, each of which differed in terms of the stimulation and responsiveness provided by one adult Nine infants of adolescent mothers were videotaped individually in all conditions while interacting with the adult Parent/Caregiver Involvement Scale ratings of the interactions indicate that the independent variable was successfully manipulated Infant engagement was measured in terms of percentages of time spent in each of six mutually exclusive engagement states. Infants in the contingently responsive, moderately stimulating condition spent more than half of their time in interactive forms of engagement Infants responded to the condition with a relatively unresponsive adult providing low levels of stimulation with large amounts of time spent unengaged or in object-focused engagement Results from the overly directive, highly stimulating condition were dominated by the engagement category of watching. Results and follow-up comparisons are discussed in terms of the reactivity of infant engagement to adult behaviour and its relevance to interaction-focused interventions.


Article 3: Mahoney, G., Kaiser, A., Girolametto, L., MacDonald, J., Robinson, C., Safford, P., & Spiker, D. (1999). Parent education in early intervention: A call for a renewed focus. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 19(3), 131-140.

Abstract: Parent education as a key component of early intervention has been greatly deemphasized during the past 15 years, we believe, because of the perceived inconsistencies between the purposes and goals of parent education and family-centred approaches to early intervention. We argue that research indicating that parent involvement is critical to early intervention effectiveness and that parents want information about specific ways they can help their children’s development supports the need for parent education in early intervention. We propose that the early intervention field address the concerns expressed about the lack of sensitivity in parent education approaches, develop strategies for parent education that are consistent with contemporary family service concepts, address the need for explicit instruction of service providers in parent education strategies, and conduct research on the immediate and long-term effects of parent education on children and families.