This project involves working with families to identify the individual’s strengths, interests, and potential sources of learning opportunities which occur as a part of family, school, and community life. Take A Look At Me™, which has been translated into Spanish, French, Korean, and Vietnamese, and is offered in both early childhood and school-age and adult versions, is a strengths-based portfolio process that involves family members in the identification of an individual’s unique interests, preferences and play skills. The portfolio serves as a means to promote a positive view of the person, building on what the child “can do” as opposed to focusing on the person’s weaknesses or problems. It also serves to assist educators and other service providers to feel comfortable and confident in helping the person with a disability to be a part of family, school, and community life. The process promotes building supports based on the hopes and dreams of the individual and their family.
The Take A Look At Me™ portfolio process has also been tailored for use in the Babies Can’t Wait early intervention program. The focus of the BCW portfolio is to involve families in the intake, assessment and transition process through sharing their child’s unique strengths, interests, and natural learning opportunities. Content from the portfolio is essential to team members in designing intervention plans that are relevant to the child and family and helpful in promoting the strengths and interests of the child. The portfolio is available in Spanish, French, Korean, and Vietnamese. Visit our website: www.strengthsbased.com.
The purpose of this series of research studies is to examine the information about disability that mothers and others teach to young children. In one ongoing study, parents (primarily mothers) are videotaped while interacting with their preschool children during three activities: 1) reading a book containing characters with disabilities to the child, 2) playing with a toy set that includes a doll, wheelchair, and ramp, and 3) teaching their child about disabilities using dolls and play adaptive equipment. In another set of studies, qualitative analyses are conducted on the responses that parents and others give to children’s questions about peers with disabilities.