Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Strategies for Including Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Settings, 2nd Edition

  • Ruth E. Cook, Ph.D
  • Anne Marie Richardson-Gibbs, M.A.
  • Laurie Nielsen
  • ISBN-10: 1305960696
  • ISBN-13: 9781305960695
  • 352 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2001
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
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About the Product

This practical, hands-on-guide provides ideas for accommodating young children with disabilities in all areas of the curriculum. Adaptations are offered by activity rather than by disability, and the focus is on embedding instruction within daily routines. Short chapters, clear discussion of rationale, and plentiful examples prepare students to effectively support children with a variety of common disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, visual impairment, hearing loss, and behavioral challenges. Students have commented on the usefulness of the strategies, details, and scenarios for working in general and special early childhood education. The text is especially appropriate for seminars accompanying student teaching and internships in general education, special education, and inclusive early childhood classrooms. The support package includes the MindTap Education online learning experience as well as an Instructor's Manual, Test Bank, and PowerPoint® slides.


  • Chapter-at-a-glance introductions highlight the key points in each chapter, and the read-reflect-discuss scenarios and follow-up questions help students think critically about the main chapter concepts.

  • The authors provide information on specific disabilities and address the different needs of young children.

  • Specific teaching strategies and adaptations support successful inclusion for each component of the daily schedule.

  • The book describes activities designed to be particularly engaging for children with special needs so as to maximize participation and success.

  • Readers find practical information on the roles of specialists and how to effectively communicate and work with families of young children with special needs.


"I think the EESS approach [featured in the text] would be very helpful to my students. It makes accommodating for the needs of children with special needs easier to do and understand. I feel that a lot of students are a little hesitant when it comes to thinking outside the box and coming up with individual and creative ways to accommodate. The EESS approach makes it easy and I think will help students to feel more confident in taking the first step toward coming up with useful, cost-effective, and creative ways of accommodating."
— Penny Craven, Mississippi State University

About the Author

Ruth E. Cook, Ph.D

Ruth E. Cook, Ph. D., is a Professor Emeritus of Special Education at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She is also a licensed Educational Psychologist and School Psychologist. Dr. Cook was formerly the director of two inclusive campus preschool programs; one at Mount Saint Mary's College in Los Angeles and the other at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Currently, she is an instructor in the EPIC (Education Preparation for Inclusive Classrooms) program at the Santa Clara County Office of Education in California, which offers credentials in Early Childhood Special Education and Moderate Severe Disabilities.

Anne Marie Richardson-Gibbs, M.A.

Anne Marie Richardson- Gibbs, M.A., is an inclusion specialist working with preschoolers, transitional kindergarteners, and kindergarteners with special needs enrolled in typical early childhood programs and elementary schools in El Monte, California. She was a program specialist for the California Department of Education SEEDS Project, providing technical assistance to early intervention and preschool programs throughout the state. She was also the program director of Centro de Niños y Padres, an early intervention program at California State University, Los Angeles, for eight years. During this time, she pioneered a consultant position providing inclusion support for young children with disabilities in inclusive settings.

Laurie Nielsen

Laurie Nielsen, M.A., is an adjunct faculty of Child Development at Mission College. She was the former Inclusion Training Specialist for Santa Clara County Office of Education in California, providing inclusion coaching and professional development trainings to school districts, preschools, and community agencies. She is an Early Childhood Special Educator and a person living with a disability. (Assistive technology, in the form of a voice-recognition system, was used by the author as an alternative form of writing for many of the updates in this edition.)

Table of Contents

1.The Origin and Dimensions of Quality Inclusion.
2. Instructional Strategies Supporting the Inclusion of Young Children with Special Needs.
3. Adaptations for Children with Specific Disabilities.
4. Arranging the Physical Environment to Support the Inclusion of Children with Special Needs.
5. Preventing and Managing Challenging Behaviors.
6. Monitoring Individual Child Progress.
7. Managing Arrival, Departure, and Other Transitions.
8. Engaging Children with Special Needs in Free Play.
9. Circle Time, Including Music and Rhythm Activities.
10. Tabletop Activities.
11. Outside Play.
12. Mealtime.
13. Supporting Emergent Literacy in Children with Special Needs.
14. Communicating and Collaborating with Families.
15. Collaborating with Disability Specialists and Paraprofessionals.
Appendix A: Selected Questions from Commonly Asked Questions about Child Care Centers and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Appendix B: Developmental Skills Chart.
Appendix C: Sample Lesson Plan with Adaptations.
Appendix D: Sample IEP and IEP Summary Form.
Appendix E: Blank Recording Forms.

New to this edition

  • Learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter help focus students' reading on important concepts.
  • Text content aligns with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards for Initial Early Childhood Professional Preparation and the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education.
  • The book's discussions and strategies reflect the new inclusion definition from DEC/NAEYC that emphasizes the values of membership, belonging, and participation; and new sections on inclusion support models and service delivery.
  • Definition and use of person first terminology throughout the book.
  • New strategies throughout many of the chapters relate to everyday adaptation materials, the EESS acronym and approach, and CARA's Kit: Creating Adaptations for Routines and Activities.
  • Content aligns with evidence-based practices recommended by The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL).
  • Chapter 9 on circle time is significantly revised and includes new sections on types of circle time activities, adaptations for children with special needs, and key dimensions to consider for circle time.
  • New features include Web links, which direct readers to helpful information that goes beyond the text; and Diversity Awareness segments in each chapter that highlight


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online PowerPoint®  (ISBN-10: 1337096407 | ISBN-13: 9781337096409)

Customizable presentations done in PowerPoint® focus on key points for each chapter.

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1337096393 | ISBN-13: 9781337096393)

Streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation using such resources as brief chapter outlines, chapter summaries, detailed chapter lecture outlines, lecture suggestions, video suggestions, and creative lecture and teaching suggestions. This manual also contains student learning objectives, key terms, essay/discussion questions, student activities, discussion exercises, and Internet exercises.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1337097403 | ISBN-13: 9781337097406)

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text's test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Cook/Richardson-Gibbs/Nielsen's Strategies for Including Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Settings  (ISBN-10: 1337096377 | ISBN-13: 9781337096379)

MindTap Education for Strategies for Including Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Settings, 2nd Edition, is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie cutter into cutting edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers.

Student Supplements

MindTap Education, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Cook/Richardson-Gibbs/Nielsen's Strategies for Including Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Settings  (ISBN-10: 1337096377 | ISBN-13: 9781337096379)

It’s 1 AM, there are 20 tabs open on your computer, you lost your flashcards for the test, and you’re so tired you can’t even read. It’d be nice if someone came up with a more efficient way of studying. Luckily, someone did. With a single login for MindTap, you can connect with your instructor, organize coursework, and have access to a range of study tools, including e-book and apps all in one place! Manage your time and workload without the hassle of heavy books: the MindTap Reader keeps all your notes together, lets you print the material, and will even read text out loud. Need extra practice? Find pre-populated flashcards with the MindTap Mobile App, as well as quizzes and important course alerts. Want to know where you stand? Use the Progress app to track your performance in relation to other students. Need to connect with other students? The Luvo (Flashnotes) App lets you buy and sell notes from lectures and coursework, and the ConnectYard App helps you discuss class topics and ask each other for help 24/7. Need to see concepts in action? Watch videos featuring real teachers and students to see how key topics from the text look in real-life classrooms. Want problem-solving practice before stepping into a classroom? Real-world scenarios offer the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to realistic teaching and learning scenarios. Artifacts you create to address the scenario are automatically saved to a free e-portfolio so you can showcase your work to future employers.