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Writer: Writer: Jessica McIntyre
Lynette Robertson, faculty member in the Department of Home & Family, recently received the Early Childhood Excellence Award from the Idaho Council of Early Childhood.
Robertson was awarded for her exemplary commitment in the field of early childhood special education and the promotion of full inclusion at the BYU-Idaho preschool lab.
The inclusion program places children with delays with their peers who are developing at a typical rate. Teachers work together to provide intervention for these children. BYU-Idaho's inclusion program was one of the first in the nation to apply total inclusion in the classroom.
"Our inclusion program has been at BYU-Idaho for 18 years," said Robertson, a faculty member since 1991. "Using inclusion does take some extra work, but being able to watch the children interact one with another - no matter their learning level - is worth it all."
With an agreement between Madison School District and BYU-Idaho, Madison School District is able to place four children with developmental delays in the BYU-Idaho preschool labs. Madison School District then provides multiple special education professionals to oversee the needed on-site training for university students.
"By using inclusion, children with delays are more motivated to learn different skills because they are interacting with peers their own age," said Becky Parker, special education instructor at Madison School District. "Inclusion benefits all children as they learn in a natural educational environment."
*To learn more about the Divison of Early Childhood visit www.dec-sped.org/.