A Tiered Approach to Implementing Universal Symbols for Entering Inclusive Early Childhood Playgroups

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Ms. Amy is a preschool teacher in a community-based early learning center. Ms. June is the instructional assistant in the classroom. Ms. Amy and Ms. June have 18 students in their classroom between the ages of three and five. Of those students, four of them are served on individualized education programs (IEPs) to address a variety of developmental needs. Two of these students, Eddie and Theo, are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Both students are verbal but struggle to get their needs met in social situations. The other two students, Simon and Poppy, have developmental disabilities. Simon has Down syndrome and Poppy is delayed in the areas of speech and fine motor skills. All four of these students enjoy play activities but tend to be isolated within group settings. One thing Ms. Amy and Ms. June have recognized consistently across these students is their inability to initiate play with peers during playtime.