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3.5 Million Awarded to Establish Center for Early Intervention

Two USF Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Professors have secured a five-year, $3.5 million award from the US Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to establish a national center for improving the social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of young children with or at risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Drs. Lise Fox and Glen Dunlap from FMHI's Department of Child & Family Studies will serve as principal and co-principal investigators of the Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children. Both Fox and Dunlap are nationally recognized for the development of an early intervention model used for promoting social-emotional competence, known as the Pyramid Model.

The Pyramid Model, which has been widely endorsed throughout the United States, will serve as the unifying structure for Center training, technical assistance, dissemination and evaluation activities. The framework includes four levels of practice to address the needs of all children, including children with persistent challenging behavior. The Center will develop and test variations of the Pyramid Model across service systems and age groups, and then scale-up those effective models across states with a focus on supporting the social development of young children who receive early intervention services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Center activities will build on considerable momentum and partnerships previously established. A team of professionals from five universities will continue and expand on technical assistance efforts funded previously by the OSEP. Partners include the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Vanderbilt University, Georgetown University and the University of Kansas.

“OSEP recognizes that providers, policymakers, and other early childhood experts are becoming increasingly aware of the need for early intervention to support healthy social-emotional development in young children,” said Fox. “Our existing knowledge of the supports and guidance needed for young children with or at risk of disabilities and their families, combined with new knowledge gained from future Center activities, will help OSEP achieve their goal of providing effective early intervention programs.

The Center will promote the social development of young children and improve early intervention results by providing training and technical assistance, guiding and evaluating model demonstrations, and disseminating information on effective practices. During the next five years, Center staff will

For additional information, contact Lise Fox (813)974-6100 or fox@fmhi.usf.edu. The following web site provides more information relevant to this topic www.challengingbehavior.org

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