Program Mission and Philosophy:
Early Childhood Special Education
The WVU Early Childhood Special Education Program is designed to prepare professional educators to provide quality early intervention and early childhood special education services to young children with special needs and their families in inclusive environments under the auspices of public schools and other community agencies.
The program emphasizes the need to involve parents as true partners in intervention, and prepares graduates to be sensitive to the dynamics and values of families, flexible in providing programs for children and adults, and competent in empowering families to secure services and resources to meet their unique needs.
Because effective intervention requires the services of professionals from a variety of disciplines, graduates are prepared to
- make referrals to other agencies,
- serve on multidisciplinary intervention teams,
- interact with other professionals using a transdisciplinary model, and
- promote interagency collaboration in service delivery systems.
Graduates also are empowered to demonstrate application of current best practices as exemplified by professional standards, to engage in reflection in and on practice, and to respond responsibly and to the legal, ethical, social, and cultural issues encountered when working with young children and families in today’s world.
Young children with special needs and their families have a right to appropriate and adequate services designed to meet their unique needs in home and community-based settings.
Families have the right to make their own decisions about needed services and supports without undue pressure or interference from professional providers or service agencies.
Young children and their families deserve programs that promote optimal child development and learning, foster positive child-parent interactions, and enhance family functioning to support a meaningful quality of life.