Mental Health in Early Intervention: Achieving Unity in Principles and Practice

Sampul Depan
Gilbert M. Foley, Jane D. Hochman
Paul H. Brookes Pub., 2006 - 462 halaman

For effective assessment and intervention with infants and young children, professionals need to incorporate psychological, medical, and family factors — but too often, infant mental health and early intervention are dealt with separately rather than together. Integration of these two fields is the goal of this urgently needed text, ideal for introducing mental health concepts to supervisors and students in early intervention and teaching mental health professionals more about early intervention. Readers will

  • understand why mental health should be an integral part of early intervention

  • identify specific mental health principles and practices that can be applied to early intervention work

  • improve relationships with families by dealing sensitively with issues related to loss, grief, culture, class, and diversity

  • get an integrated model of infant mental health and early intervention practice, and examine implications of the model for policy and program organization

  • explore professional development options

  • discover, through enlightening interviews, how both mental health and early intervention specialists define their roles and practices

  • take a candid look at the difficulties professionals have had in the past with integrating the two fields

An ideal textbook and professional development resource for early intervention practitioners—and a useful source of insight for mental health professionals—this comprehensive book fully prepares readers to integrate two interdependent fields and improve practices in both.

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Moving Toward an Integrated Model of Infant Mental
Historical Perspectives
The Mental Health Professions in Early Intervention
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Tentang pengarang (2006)

Early intervention and infant mental health practitioners have addressed the need for increased collaboration between the two fields (Hirshberg, 1997–1998). The Education of the Handicapped Act Amendments of 1986 (PL 99–457), the legislation on which present–day early intervention is based, defined early intervention as any "developmental services which . . . are designed to meet a handicapped infant's or toddler's developmental needs in any one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; language and speech development; psychosocial development; or self–help skills" (Sec. 672). In 1999, the World Association of Infant Mental Health defined the focus of infant mental health on The social and emotional well–being of infants and their caregivers and the various contexts within which the care giving takes place. Infant mental health, therefore, focuses on relationships; infant development is conceptualized as always embedded within emergent active systems of relationships. (Fitzgerald & Barton, 1999, p. 4)

Although both early intervention and infant mental health focus on infant development, their integration has thus far been difficult to realize. Early intervention remains predominantly guided by therapeutic interventions that are delivered through medicinal, educational, and rehabilitation therapies, whereas infant mental health retains its focus on understanding the infant within a complex interpersonal environment. In later sections of this book, the rationale for integration and means to incorporate mental health perspectives into early intervention principles, practices, and policy will be presented. However, in addition to looking forward, it is also instructive to look back. On the whole, early intervention and infant mental health each have followed a separate historical trajectory. These historical roots influence each field still today. In order to effectively integrate infant mental health and early intervention perspectives, it is important to first understand each field as a historical product. A historical perspective both provides a precedent for the integration of early intervention and infant mental health and highlights possible obstacles that may be encountered in this endeavor.

The history of early childhood services can be divided into three parts, roughly corresponding to time period. The growth of social, political, and scientific interest in child welfare and child development characterizes the first period, which began in the late 1800s and extended through World War II. Educators, psychologists, pediatricians, and psychiatrists each contributed unique perspectives to the growing field of child development. During this time period, pioneers in child development recognized the need to establish a holistic theory to understand a child's physical, emotional, and mental development, but they were unable to realize this goal in practice. Rifts between different theories of child development continued and intensified throughout the second historical period that lasted from World War II until the 1960s. Professional specialization and advances in the fields of child psychiatry, medicine, rehabilitation therapies, and special education occurred during this period.

Although these developments advanced the ability of professionals to understand and treat young children with developmental problems, they further splintered the landscape of developmental services for young children. Infant psychiatry, the forerunner of infant mental health, developed within the psychoanalytically oriented field of child psychiatry, with a focus on child development as embedded in a system of relationships. Concurrently, developments in neonatology, genetics, rehabilitation therapies, and special education provided therapeutic methods and a forum for the delivery of developmental services to young children. These me

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