Individualized Support for Children who Are Struggling to Learn

Some children do not progress as expected, even though they participated in high-quality curriculum and received small and large group support. For these children, more intensive, individualized instruction is needed. It is estimated that about 5% of children in a classroom, or 1 child in a group of 20 children, will need this type of support.


Early childhood educators can identify children who need intensive, individual approaches by looking at the following sources:


  • Children who do not make the expected progress, even with additional support. As teachers provide additional support to small groups of children, they may notice children who still are not making progress or do not grasp concepts that other children are learning.
  • Curriculum-based assessments. These assessment tools will point out children who lag behind expected benchmarks and will show specific areas that need additional teaching support.
  • Progress monitoring information. When teachers review and reflect on anecdotal notes, children’s portfolios, and progress monitoring data, they will identify children who are still lagging behind others.
  • Parent and family conversations. Some families may continue to express concerns about certain areas of development during ongoing conversations between teachers and families.

This article was originally published by, copyright © 2007-2008 National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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