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Adapting Early Childhood Curricula for Children with Special Needs


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Dr. Ruth Cook is professor emerita at Santa Clara University. After completing a Ph.D. in developmental psychology at UCLA, Dr. Cook had the then unique opportunity of being the director of two campus child care centers that were pioneers in the inclusion of children with special needs. These directorships allowed her the opportunity to field test many of the ideas that form the practical core of this text. As Dr. Cook was also developing graduate level programs designed to prepare early educators who could work effectively with young children with disabilities, this text book originated from a desire to meet the needs of both students whose prior learning was in typical child development and students whose background was in atypical child development. As an author, she was able to combine her knowledge of typical child development with co-authors whose expertise was and is in various areas of special education. Besides this text, Dr. Cook has had the privilege of co-authoring two other books in the field: Strategies for Including Children with Disabilities in Early Childhood Settings (2018, Cengage) and The Art and Practice of Home Visiting (2008, Brookes).

Dr. Diane Klein is professor emerita at California State University, Los Angeles, where she served over 30 years as professor and coordinator of the M.A. program in Early Childhood Special Education. She was also the project director for several federal grant projects in the areas of mother-infant communication, early childhood special education teacher training, and development of preschool inclusion support strategies. With degrees in speech-language pathology and developmental psychology, she has a long history of working in the areas of severe disabilities and early language development--beginning as a volunteer in high school in the 60s, as a speech pathologist working with children with severe and multiple disabilities in the 70s, and working with mothers of high risk infants and young children in the 90s. She has been the lead and co-author of several texts, including: Making Preschool Inclusion Work: Strategies for Supporting Children, Teachers and Programs (2014, Brookes); Strategies for Including Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Settings (2001, Delmar); Working with Young Children from Culturally Diverse Backgrounds (2000, Delmar); Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction: A Guide to Early Childhood Communication with Young Children with Multiple Disabilities (2000, Brookes).

Dr. Deborah Chen is professor emerita in early childhood special education, Department of Special Education, at California State University, Northridge. She coordinated the early childhood special education program, taught courses, and supervised student teachers in this specialization. Her print and multimedia publications focus on recommended and evidence based early intervention practices, early communication and instructional strategies with children who have sensory and additional disabilities, dual language learning in children with disabilities, and collaborating with families of diverse cultural and linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Among her most recent publications are Parents and Infants with Visual Impairments (2nd ed.), Essential Elements in Early Intervention: Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities (2nd ed.) and Supporting Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education: A Cross-Cultural Competence Video Library.

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