the pyramid framework within early intervention programs
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The Pyramid Framework within Early Intervention Programs: . Promoting the Social Development of Infants and Toddlers. What we hope to accomplish in this webinar. Provide rationale for Teaching Pyramid

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the pyramid framework within early intervention programs

The Pyramid Framework within Early Intervention Programs: 

Promoting the Social Development of Infants and Toddlers

what we hope to accomplish in this webinar
What we hope to accomplish in this webinar
  • Provide rationale for Teaching Pyramid
  • Explain why the Teaching Pyramid is a useful model for thinking about social emotional development of infants and toddlers.
  • Examine some of the key features of model as applied to very young children and their families.
  • Talk about some of the promise and the challenges of such an approach.
the teaching pyramid promoting social and emotional competence and addressing challenging behavior
The Teaching Pyramid: Promoting Social and Emotional Competence and Addressing Challenging Behavior

Treatment/Focused Intervention

Intensive Interventions

Individualized Intervention

Focus on Caregiver-Child



High Quality Supportive Environments

Universal Promotion

Nurturing and Responsive Relationships

key ideas underlying multi tiered models
Key Ideas Underlying Multi-Tiered Models
  • Pyramid provides a tiered intervention framework of evidence-based intervention for promoting the social, emotional and behavioral development of young children.
  • Model describes 3 tiers of intervention practice:
    • Universal promotion for all children.
    • Secondary prevention to address the needs of children at risk for social-emotional challenges.
    • Intensive or tertiary intervention for children with persistent challenges.
strong foundation is important in all multi tiered systems of support
Strong foundation is important in all multi-tiered systems of support.
  • Foundation: If this is in place, most children won’t need more intensive interventions.
  • In Teaching Pyramid, Foundation is:
    • Nurturing and Responsive Relationships
    • High quality Environments
CSEFEL Pyramid Model:

Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children



Systematic approaches have preventive and remedial

effects on social emotional develop-


Targeted Social

Emotional Supports

 • Supportive, responsive relationships among adults and children are necessary for promoting social emotional development • High quality environments promote positive outcomes for all young children

Nurturing and

Responsive Relationships


High Quality Environments

the teaching pyramid key ingredients for supporting social emotional development
The Teaching Pyramid – Key Ingredients for Supporting Social Emotional Development
  • Focus on promotion and prevention rather then reactive procedures
    • Positive interactions
    • Consistency and predictability in the classroom routine
    • Clearly defined expectations
    • Engaging activities
  • Focus on intentional teaching of social skills and emotional competencies
    • Acknowledging the relationship between social skills and challenging behavior
    • Understanding the function of children’s behavior and matching our strategies to the function of behavior
    • Teaching across the day rather then in response to challenging behavior
    • Giving children strategies that they can use in a variety of situations
benefits stronger relationships
Benefits: Stronger Relationships
  • Teacher/child interactions are more intentional & meaningful.
  • Teaching staff understand what “trips their trigger” and how their reactions can escalate challenging behavior.
  • There is a real partnership between the family and the teaching staff. They build a relationship.
  • Families have said that they have learned to like their child again!
benefits improvements in staff morale confidence and teamwork
Benefits: Improvements in Staff Morale, Confidence, and Teamwork
  • Staff satisfaction has increased.
  • Staff turnover has decreased.
  • Staff feel confident in their consistent use of PBS strategies.
  • Staff have more time to teach because they are better prepared for the children.
  • Staff work better as a team.
benefits staff empowerment
Benefits: Staff Empowerment
  • Staff are implementing the Teaching Pyramid with fidelity.
  • Staff are better able to track children’s challenging behavior and respond proactively.
  • Staff have hope!
  • The focus is on prevention instead of intervention.
benefits child outcomes
Benefits: Child Outcomes
  • There are fewer referrals to external experts, we know what to do.
  • Children are improving in their social emotional competence over the program year.
  • Children are having fewer problems across the year.
  • Children are improving when they receive intensive behavioral interventions.
tier 1 in infant toddler classrooms
Tier 1 in Infant-Toddler Classrooms
  • Primary caregiving
  • Routines are individualized based on the needs of each child
  • Adults use routines to interact socially with infants and toddlers
  • Adults interact verbally with children mapping their activities and emotions
  • Adults respond to children’s signs of distress
tier 1 in infant toddler classrooms15
Tier 1 in Infant Toddler Classrooms
  • Adults support interactions between toddlers
  • Adults redirect children who are engaging in challenging behaviors
the pyramid infant toddler observation system tpitos
The Pyramid Infant Toddler Observation System (TPITOS)
  • Importance of translating theory to practice
  • Measuring implementation
  • Using information for professional development
  • Structure of the TPITOS
    • Classroom Design/Key Adult Variables
    • Red Flags
  • Current status of TPITOS
the importance of universal screening
Finding children needing more than the foundationThe importance of universal screening
infant toddler s e screening
Infant/Toddler S-E Screening
  • Child social-emotional development and functioning
  • Environmental support for child social-emotional

behavior and development (center/classroom and home)

  • Key adult-child interaction behaviors that predict important child social-emotional outcomes
social emotional development functioning
Social-Emotional Development & Functioning

Ages and Stages Questionnaire- Social-Emotional

(ASQ-SE; Bricker et al.)

Caregiver report

10-15 minutes to complete

Provides a cut-off score for social-emotional concerns

general environment support of social emotional behavior functioning
General Environment Support of Social-Emotional Behavior & Functioning

The Pyramid Infant Toddler Observation Scale


14 Red Flags

24 Classroom design and behavior items

Rated on a 4-point scale (exemplary practice to not observed)

Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME IT; Caldwell & Bradley)

45 items completed during home interview

6 subscales related to the home environment (parent involvement presence of appropriate materials and opportunities)

considerations for selecting implementing
Considerations for Selecting & Implementing



Easy to use and score


Reliable and valid

Capable of telling programs:

When there is a concern

What intervention needs to zero in on

Whether intervention is making a difference

externalizing concerns
Externalizing Concerns
  • Severe tantrums
    • Hitting, kicking, biting
  • Difficulty accepting guidance
    • Screaming no, throwing toys and materials
internalizing concerns
Internalizing Concerns
  • Withdrawn
  • Unengaged with people or materials
  • Sad, anxious, irritable
  • Have a hard time being comforted
dysregulation concerns
Dysregulation Concerns
  • Difficult to read signals
    • Hard to recognize when they are happy or upset
  • Rapidly changing signals
    • Move quickly & with little warning to unconsolable crying
  • Difficulty calming
  • Difficulty with routines
    • Falling asleep, staying asleep
    • Feeding
screening identification
Screening Identification
  • Parent or teacher report (ASQ-SE)
  • HOME
tier 2 intervention
Tier 2 Intervention
  • Intervention becomes more individualized
  • Involves a closer look at teacher-child interaction in the classroom
    • Focusing in on a child’s signals
    • Looking at adult behaviors that foster positive child behavior
    • Looking at adult behaviors that get in the way of supporting child positive behavior
    • Identifying specific ways that teachers can respond to a child’s individual signals to:
      • Support and build on positive signals
      • Reduce stress in response to negative signals
indicator of parent child interaction
Indicator of Parent-Child Interaction

IPCI (Baggett, Carta, & Horn, 2003)

Brief rating scale following observation of authentic interaction activities at home/center

Adult behaviors that facilitate child social-emotional development

Adult behaviors that interfere with child social-emotional development

Child engagement

Child distress

ipci use
  • Completed for children for whom Tier 1 concerns are identified
    • ASQ-SE
    • HOME
    • Classroom Environment
  • Teacher-child interaction
    • Classroom supervisor
    • Lead teacher while observing assistant teacher-child interaction
  • Parent-child interaction in the center or home
    • Completed by a home visitor (teacher, family advocate, social worker)
who might need intensive intervention
Who might need intensive intervention?
  • Children who are not showing progress in response to Tier 2 intervention.
  • Children whose development and behavior is identified as extremely off-track and teachers are unable to manage their behavior or support them without intensive supports.
purpose of tier 3
Purpose of Tier 3
  • No change as a result of your prevention strategies and intervention strategies at the lower levels of the pyramid.
  • Behaviors escalate.
tier 3
Tier 3
  • Team based process
  • Functional assessment
  • Individualized behavior support plan
    • Prevention strategies
    • Replacement skills
    • Adult responses to children’s behavior
  • Implemented across environments
  • Linked to services beyond the classroom as needed
role of families in the pyramid
Role of Families in the Pyramid
  • Families are involved from the very beginning of the model.
  • If additional support is needed for a child, staff work directly with the family. We will go to their home or they can come to the center…family choice.
  • Training in Positive Behavior Support is available to families.
  • The family is considered the “expert” on the child. They play an important role in any planning process.
  • Families are taught to take Behavior Incident Reports.. Their observations are very valuable for planning.
  • Family support plans are an option.
  • Mental health partners are in the centers regularly to work with parents and staff on prevention strategies.
  • Mental health partners are available for consultation in the home, at the center or in their office…family choice.
  • The staff and the family are a team. We share results of our observations and compare our data.
  • We use specific praise with parents as well as children and each other.
summary and conclusions
Summary and Conclusions
  • Some of the same features of the original Teaching Pyramid can be applied to programs serving infants and toddlers.
  • Strong foundation equals prevention.
  • We need to ensure fidelity of implementation of the foundation.
  • Families are a central feature of Infant-Toddler Teaching Pyramid.
  • Measures are available for carrying out universal screening to determine which children might need more intensive supports.
  • Measures for monitoring progress of children in their interaction with caregivers.
  • Successful implementation of the model will depend on the strong collaboration with community partners.