Early Intervention for young children with special needs in Taiwan
The purpose of this study was intended to investigate the current system of early intervention in Taiwan in order to understand the problems encountered and provide the coping strategies for improving the services. Documentary analysis and phone interview were employed in the study to collect the research data needed. The sample of phone interview consisted of 18 professionals from 14 municipalities and counties (cities) selected by the purposive-stratified basis. The self-developed semi-structured Early Intervention Questionnaire was used to collect the phone interview data. The modified analysis and the constant comparative method were adopted to treat the data.The results of the study revealed that the Early Intervention Service Implementation Program for Children with Developmental Delays is the policy foundation for the finding, assessment and intervention of young children with special needs in Taiwan. The Early Intervention Notification, Referral and Case Management Center for Children with Developmental Delays and the Center of Team Evaluation for Children's Development in all municipalities and counties (cities) seem to be the core framework for early intervention. The current early intervention generally seems to have such functional problems as shortage of funding and professional manpower, poor coordination among social welfare, health and education agencies and organizations, low rate of notification for screening (especially for the ages 0-3), weak parental willingness to receive services, lack of assessment and intervention resources, as well as the reliability and validity problems in assessment instruments. Some coping strategies in accordance with these problems were also recommended in the study.
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