psychology of developmental disorders in infancy (2020/2021)

Course code
4S008135
Credits
12
Coordinator
Marinella Majorano
Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
PSICOLOGIA DEI DISTURBI EVOLUTIVI NELLA PRIMA INFANZIA 8 M-PSI/04-DEVELOPMENTAL AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY Sem. 1A, Sem. 1B Marinella Majorano
LABORATORIO DI PSICOLOGIA DEI DISTURBI EVOLUTIVI NELLA PRIMA INFANZIA 1 M-PSI/04-DEVELOPMENTAL AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY See the unit page See the unit page
PROCESSI COGNITIVI NELLA PRIMA INFANZIA 3 M-PSI/01-GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY Sem. 1A Paola Zanchi

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding Module 1: Psychology of developmental disorders in infancy 1. To identify and explain the principal characteristics of atypical development in infancy in various areas (cognition, motor development, language and communication, socio-emotional development). 2. To analyze individual/contextual strengths and weaknesses in atypical development in infancy in educational settings. 3. Consider critically the relationships between the neuro-biological and the contextual factors that influence the developmental trajectories of infants' functions, skills and participation that can be considered precursors of various diagnoses (Developmental Language Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Motor Coordination Disorder, ADHD). Module 2: Laboratory of psychology of developmental disorders in infancy 1. Promoting the practical use of knowledge acquired within the module of Psychology of developmental disorders in infancy. 2. Promoting of the ability regarding atypical development in infancy in educational contexts. 3. Promoting of the ability to apply acquired knowledge referring to linguistic, cognitive, and socio-emotional development. Module 3: Cognitive processes in infancy 1. To know and understand the main theoretical approaches for describing the cognitive processes in infancy and the methodological issues. 2. Identify and explain developmental and learning processes in infancy that can enhance or hinder the cognitive development in various educational contexts in infancy. Applying knowledge and understanding Module 1: Psychology of developmental disorders in infancy 1. To promote the ability to analyse individual development and difficulties in the context of the design of educational projects in infancy for promoting well-being and inclusion in Educational Services. 2. To know observational and assessment methodologies for evaluate atypical and at-risk development; 3. To know instruments and methodologies to design and implement educational programming in infancy for atypical development, particularly for promoting well-being and inclusion. Module 2: Laboratory of Psychology of developmental disorders in infancy 1. To analyse and choose the best instruments for observation, and assessment of the child development with evolutionary atypia, for educational programming in infancy. 2. To Design interventions to strengthen some competences and inclusive paths in educational contexts. Module 3: Cognitive processes in Cognitive processes in infancy 1. To analyse and choose the best instruments to observe and evaluate the cognitive development in infancy and in a specific context and individuate contextual facilitative factors. 2. To consider critically the bidirectional relationship between the individual and the contextual factors (familiar, social and cultural) to understand individual differences in cognitive development and to identify the risk factors in infancy. 3. To apply the knowledge gained through observation for to analyise developmental fragilities and to design personalized educational activities.

Syllabus

Module 1: 1) Introduction. The principal theoretical, epistemological, methodological and educational issues in children’s language and social development in infancy. Distinctions between developmental delay and disorder 2) Linguistic, cognitive, socio-emotional and motivational aspects of children’s language and social development. 3) Language delay and disorder: definitions, classifications, theoretical models. Developmental Language Disorders. Observational procedures in educational and family contexts. Prerequisites and early indicators of language difficulties. Early intervention programs for language delay in nurseries. Attention and memory in language delay. 4) Language and learning in children with cognitive disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, Developmental Coordination Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders. Language and social development in deaf children. 5) Prerequisites and early indicators of learning disabilities: the problem of a screening procedure. Recent norms in diagnosis and educational programs. Support programs for families and educators. Well-being and inclusion in nurseries.
Module 2: 1. To analyse and choose the best instruments for observation, and assessment of the child development disorders for educational programming in infancy. 2. To Design interventions to strengthen some competences and inclusive paths in educational contexts. 3 To discuss cases of cognitive and sensory disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, Developmental Language Disorder, ADHD; 4. To analyze prerequisites and early indicators of delays and difficulties; 5. To Design support programs for families and educators.The activity included in the laboratory will propose active didactic strategies, based on collaborative learning, problem solving and peer discussion.

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam: 
1) Objectives and content: 
The students will demonstrate that they: 
are familiar with current knowledge in the field of disabilities and special educational needs– theoretical and methodological –and its application in infancy; 
 have understood the main stages and developmental process, in order to observe and project for children with disabilities and special educational needs in various contexts in infancy; 
 can discuss their knowledge using technical and critical language, identifying and evaluating the relevant concepts and methodological issues;  have understood and can deploy in appropriate language the main arguments in developmental psychology, identifying and critically selecting the relevant concepts and methodologies; 
 can critically analyse cases studies and the experience discussed, using bibliographical references appropriately. 

2) Procedures and evaluation: 
There will be a 2-hour written exam with four questions: three on the principal theoretical approaches and on the various disabilities and special educational needs and one discussing a case. Each question will be given a mark out of 30 and the final mark will be the average of the four. 
Module 2: The activity included in the laboratory will result into the production of a project. During the laboratory, the teacher will explain how to elaborate the project.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Caselli, M.C., & Capirci, O. (a cura di) Indici di rischio nel primo sviluppo del linguaggio 2002
Bonifacio, S. & Zmarich, C. L'intervento precoce nel ritardo di linguaggio. Il modello INTERACT per il bambino parlatore tardivo. Milano: Franco angeli 2010
Valentina Pennazio ll nido d'infanzia come contesto inclusivo. Progettazione e continuità dell'intervento educativo per il bambino con disabilità nei servizi educativi per l'infanzia Franco Angeli 2017
Zanobini, M. & Usai, M.C. Psicologia della disabilità e dei disturbi dello sviluppo (Edizione 7) Milano: Franco Angeli 2011
Vicari, S. & Caselli, M.C. Neuropsicologia dell'età evolutiva Bologna: Il Mulino 2017