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Siskin Center for Child and Family Research to Focus on Early Childhood Development and Special Education
Date:12/3/2008

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- A new research center focused on improving the quality of life of children with special needs and their families has opened in Chattanooga, led by a world-renowned researcher whose concepts and tools are used worldwide.

The Siskin Center for Child and Family Research joins the family of initiatives at Siskin Children's Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on education, outreach and support for children with developmental and behavioral disabilities. The center's three doctoral-level researchers -- including the world's leading child engagement expert Robin McWilliam, Ph.D. -- aim to find effective and innovative methods of intervention to improve the functioning of children and their families while assisting the professionals who serve them.

The research center's studies will focus on children with developmental and behavioral disabilities from birth through preschool -- typically about 5 years old. More than one million children were served under IDEA in 2007 in the United States; 16,725 children in Tennessee received services last year.

The center's findings will reach much further than Tennessee, both in scope and scale. "Our applied research will help teachers and families -- regardless of location -- learn more effective ways to engage children with disabilities," said Research Scientist Amy M. Casey, Ph.D. "When you consider the number of educators and families we can touch by aggressively sharing this information, the impact is exponential."

The center's discoveries will be disseminated to educators, higher education institutions, social agencies, advocacy groups and government agencies locally and worldwide. Partnerships are expected to grow out of collaborations with academic institutions and other research scientists; partnerships already established include Vanderbilt University, the University of Florida'/>"/>

SOURCE Siskin Children's Institute
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