Last week, the What Works Clearinghouse released two new reports on programs for children with disabilities which focus on developing socio-emotional, physical, language, and cognitive skills. These reports take a close look at the evidence of success in the milieu teaching and play-based intervention methods of preparing children with disabilities for school.
Milieu Teaching is designed to encourage the child to engage in targeted behavior by manipulating or arranging stimuli in the child’s natural environment. WWC reviewed 162 studies which investigated the success of this method in teaching preschool children with disabilities. One of these studies met WWC’s evidence standards without reservations, but WWC found that milieu teaching has no discernible effects on communication/language competencies for preschool children with disabilities. You can read the full report here.
Play-based interventions are designed to use strategies such as modeling, verbal redirection, reinforcement and indirect instruction to help young children with disabilities better explore, interact, experiment and express themselves. WWC reviewed 62 studies of play-based interventions for children with disabilities in early education, however none of these studies meet the WWC evidence standards, and thus WWC was unable to draw any conclusions about the efficacy of this method of intervention. You can read the full report here.