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New Tool to ID Support Needed By Children with Intellectual Disabilities

1st August, 2011

[Source: Vanderbilt University News]
Determining what children with intellectual disabilities need to thrive in school and in their daily lives is the aim of new research at Vanderbilt University. The research is being funded with a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The new research will develop and validate a new version of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), an assessment tool which evaluates practical support needs of adults over age 16, for children ages 5-16 years.
“It’s a new way of looking at intellectual disabilities, which in the past was seen as a deficit, or in other words, ‘what can’t you do?’” Carolyn Hughes, professor of special education and author of the SIS, said. “The whole idea of the SIS is to determine what a person needs in order to participate fully in life like everybody else, so it’s a very positive approach that builds on people’s strengths and interests.”
The $399,685 grant will enable the field test of the SIS instrument among a wide range of children from different regions, races and socioeconomic backgrounds. The authors hope the SIS will prove instrumental in identifying supports needed to enhance children’s successful engagement and functioning in school and preferred life activities.
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