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Early Elementary Years


Children with various disabilities going from home for education and learning to school require support from caregivers, educators, and school staff. All children must be given the opportunity to thrive throughout their lives with dignity. It is the ethical responsibility of parents, caregivers, and educators to create and maintain systems which support children with a variety of disabilities. For children ages 6 to 10 years, it is important that all adults with supportive roles in their lives foster a sense of independence to help set children with disabilities up for life-long success in decision-making.

All children entering school settings are faced with new experiences that they have not had before. It is important for adults in support roles for children with disabilities to promote independence and problem-solving skills. Setting guidelines for supported decision-making in each family system will give children with disabilities the opportunity to develop a sense of capability and practice in making healthy life choices.

Every child with a disability should be involved in decisions that lead to their personal successes. Each child deserves access to resources, education, and accommodations for their physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being. Providing educators, parents, and caregivers with the tools to help promote supported decision-making as soon as a need is established is the first step to building individual habits that promote success and overall health for each person as they journey toward adulthood.


Behavior is Communication

I’m Determined

(The I’m Determined project, a state-directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.)


Michigan Poison Center

(800) 222-1222

Disaster Distress Helpline (SAMHSA)

(800) 985-5990

Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)

Family-friendly information, e-newsletter, resources are available to anyone.