Attachment in Full-Inclusion Programs (page 2)
Full-inclusion programs are those where children with developmental differences, disabilities, and particular challenges are placed in child care with their typically developing peers rather than being separated into special programs. Every adult involved in such programs must aim to help all children feel they belong. That means that the children with exceptional needs must be integrated into the group. Unless the adults in the program have time and skill to facilitate this integration, some children may feel left out. Although this attention to integration is slightly different from the kind of attachment focused on below, it brings up the issue of attachment not just to an adult or two, but also to the group.
The work of Lev Vygotsky has implications for integration. Vygotsky worked at the Institute of Psychology in Moscow where he created what’s called sociocultural theory, which emphasizes social interaction as an influence on development and learning. His zone of proximal development, or moving children forward from where they are to where they can be, involves peer interaction (Berk, 2001).
Trust and attachment are lifelong issues. When conditions are right, parents and babies get “hooked” on each other right from the beginning. The relationship that results serves both well. It not only ensures the baby the nurturing and protecting he or she needs at the beginning, but also sets the stage for later relationships. Being attached feels good. It offers security. The job of the early care and education professional is to help support attachment to the family as well as encourage a secondary attachment in the center or family child care home.
Attachment provides the security that the baby needs to move out from the parent and care provider to become a fully functioning individual.
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