IGDI Introductions

Introduction to the ECI
Introduction to the EMI
Introduction to the EPSI
Introduction to the ESI

The Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI’s) story began in the early 1990’s.  At that time, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) provided funding for an Early Childhood Research Institute for Measuring Growth and Development (ECRI-MGD). The goal of this group was to develop a set of measures that could be used together to measure growth and development from from birth through age 8.  Three university sites took on the task of developing these growth and development assessments using a General Outcome Measurement (GOM) approach.  The University of Kansas developed the Infant and Toddler IGDI’s, used for children birth to age 3.  The University of Minnesota developed the My IGDI’s (formerly the Get It, Got It, Go) for kids between 42 months and kindergarten; and the University of Oregon with the DIBELS for children from kindergarten through age 8.  All of these measures were designed to be used by practitioners to be able to inform decisions and guide intervention with the children and families they serve.

The IGDI development team at the University of Kansas was led by Drs. Charlie Greenwood, Judith Carta, and Dale Walker.  In ensuring technical adequacy, three measurement standards were used to develop the IGDI’s:  the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices (DEC, 2007), The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, the work of the American Educational Research Association (American Educational Research Association, 1999); and the Student Progress Monitoring Standards from the National Center on Response to Intervention (RTI) (2011).  Measures, procedures, and content were all developed based on evidence and were pilot tested using an iterative process of development.  Each measure was pilot tested for its psychometric properties in a longitudinal study lasting at least 7-9 months to show sensitivity to age difference and growth over time.

Introduction to the ECI

One of the most important missions of early intervention is to help children learn how to express their wants and needs. Whether the intervention is home-based or center-based, a critical outcome for our youngest children is to learn how to communicate. Learning to communicate is a widely accepted and highly valued General Outcome of early childhood. Programs for very young children need to know when they are making progress in becoming more proficient communicators and when to take action in the form of different intervention procedures. Programs also need to decide what types of supports children will need to help them become better communicators or when to supply in-depth assessment and referral for children not making acceptable progress.

Research indicates that expressive communication is a general outcome that parents and professionals identify as important for young children. The ability to express one’s wants and needs through expressive communication was one of 15 general child outcome statements investigated by a national sample of parents (n=351) and professionals (n=672) (Priest et al., 2001). Of the 15 general outcomes examined in the study, expressive communication was the most highly rated. Other general outcomes included movement, social competence, and problem-solving, among others (Priest et al., 2001).

The Early Communication Indicator (ECI) is one means of checking children’s growth toward the important outcome of being able to express themselves through their gestures, vocalizations, words, and sentences.

Because children’s rate of growth in communication is so critical for later success, monitoring individual children’s growth on the ECI can be important for making individual intervention decisions. Monitoring ECI growth for all children in a program can provide helpful information on program progress and inform programmatic decisions regarding this essential outcome. When used state-wide, monitoring children’s growth on the ECI can be an important indicator of program results at this level.

Introduction to the EMI

One of the foremost developmental tasks of early childhood is learning how to move for locomotion and to achieve basic goals. Children’s early movement patterns set the stage for attainment of many other developmental outcomes, including physical, cognitive, and social/emotional development. Consequently, a major focus of early education and early care is the development of young children’s movement skills (National Research Council, 2001). Movement also is a desired general outcome of early intervention that parents and professionals identify as important for young children. The ability to move was one of 15 general child outcome statements investigated by a national sample of parents (n=351) and professionals (n=672) (Priest et al., 2001). Of the 15 general outcomes examined in the study, movement competency was among the most highly rated. Other highly valued general outcomes included expressive communication, social skills, problem-solving, among others (Priest et al., 2001).

Movement and motor terms are sometimes used interchangeably but they actually refer to different constructs. Movement commonly refers to the observable behaviors related to a change in posture or locomotion. Motor commonly refers to the neuromuscular or other non-observable, internal processes or traits assumed to affect movement behavior. Because assessment of the motor abilities of young children is traditionally relegated to highly skilled occupational and physical therapists, early interventionists often face difficulties obtaining information on movement skill building that is sensitive, timely, and relevant to the work that they perform.

Early childhood educators and early interventionists need information on the movement skills of young children. First, practitioners need tools to identify children who may need early intervention and/or who may need referral for additional assessment. Second, after children are receiving early intervention aimed at enhancing their movement skills, practitioners need tools to ensure that intervention services are appropriate and effective.

One of the most important missions of early intervention is to provide children with opportunities and experiences that promote learning to move. Whether the intervention is home-based or center-based, a critical outcome for our youngest children is to help them increase proficiency in movement. Movement competence is a widely accepted and highly valued general outcome in early childhood.

The Early Movement Indicator (EMI) is one means of checking children’s growth toward the important general outcome of being able to move in a fluent and coordinated manner to play and participate in home, school, and community settings. Because children’s rate of growth in movement competency is so critical, the rate of growth on the EMI for each child and for all the children in a program become important indicators of how well a program is doing in supporting children’s movement proficiency. As such, the EMI can be a powerful tool for monitoring individual children’s growth and making intervention decisions. It can also provide helpful information on program progress and inform programmatic decisions regarding this outcome.

Introduction to the EPSI

Proficiency in problem solving is an important outcome in early childhood related to cognitive, communication, and social/emotional development. Children’s early skills solving problems and achieving goals set the stage for their later intellectual and social competence. Moreover, children’s early problem solving skills affects the way they navigate and explore their environment, their mastery of skill development, their reasoning ability, and helps them adapt to challenging circumstances. Consequently, a major focus of early education and early care is young children’s cognitive development including problem solving (National Research Council, 2001). Problem solving skills are also a desired general outcome of early intervention that parents and professionals identify as important for young children. Proficiency in solving problems was one of 15 general child outcome statements investigated by a national sample of parents (n=351) and professionals (n=672) (Priest et al., 2001). Of the 15 general outcomes examined in the study, problem solving was among the most highly rated. Other highly valued general outcomes included expressive communication, movement, and social skills, among others (Priest et al., 2001).

One of the most important missions of early intervention is to help children learn to explore their environment so that they have new and varied experiences. Whether the intervention is home-based or center-based, a critical outcome for our youngest children is to learn how to experience the world through exploration of objects, concepts, situations, and people.

Programs for very young children need to know when children are making progress in becoming proficient problem solvers. Programs need to know when to take some action in the form of different intervention procedures. Programs also need to decide critical issues such as  the kinds of support children will have to help them become better skilled at solving problems or when to supply in-depth assessment and referral for children not making acceptable progress.

The Early Problem Solving Indicator (EPSI) is one means of checking children’s growth toward the important general outcome of solving problems that requires reasoning, concepts, adapting to challenging situations, and interactions with people.

Because children’s rate of growth in problem solving is so critical, the rate of growth on the EPSI for each child and for all the children in a program becomes an important indicator of how well a program is supporting children’s problem solving proficiency. As such, the EPSI can be a powerful tool for monitoring individual children’s growth and making intervention decisions. It can also provide helpful information on program progress and inform programmatic decisions regarding this essential outcome.

Introduction to the ESI

One of the foremost developmental tasks of early childhood is learning how to establish relationships. Children’s early interaction patterns with adults and peers set the stage for their later social competence or deviance. Moreover, children’s early social competence affects the way they evaluate their own self-worth and their views of the world as friendly or hostile. Consequently, a major focus of early education and early care is the development of young children’s social and emotional competence (National Research Council, 2001). Positive social behavior is also a desired general outcome of early intervention that parents and professionals identify as important for young children. The ability to participate socially with peers and adults was one of 15 general child outcome statements investigated by a national sample of parents (n=351) and professionals (n=672) (Priest et al., 2001). Of the 15 general outcomes examined in the study, social competency was among the most highly rated. Other highly valued general outcomes included expressive communication, movement, problem-solving, among others (Priest et al., 2001).

One of the most important missions of early education is to help children learn to be socially skilled. Whether children are in home-based or center-based programs, a critical outcome for our youngest children is to help them learn how to interact positively with peers and adults. Social competence is a widely accepted and highly valued general outcome in early childhood. Programs for very young children need to know when children are making progress in becoming more socially proficient. Programs need to know when to take some action in the form of different intervention procedures. Programs also need to decide critical issues such as the kinds of support children will have to help them become better skilled, or when to supply in-depth assessment and referral for children not making acceptable progress.

The Early Social Indicator (ESI) is one means of checking children’s growth toward the important general outcome of being able to interact with peers and adults, maintain social interaction and participate socially in home, school, and community.

Because children’s rate of growth in social competency is so critical for their later success, monitoring individual children’s growth on the ESI can be important in making intervention decisions. Monitoring ESI growth for all children in program can provide helpful information on program progress and inform programmatic decisions regarding this essential outcome possible.

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