Project SEAM: Preventing Behavior Disorders and Improving Social-Emotional Competence for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities

The goal of Project SEAM (Social Emotional Assessment Measure) is to conduct psychometric and experimental studies on an innovative tool for assessing and monitoring social emotional and behavioral development in infants, and toddlers with disabilities and their families from birth to 3 years. Developmental theory emphasizing a transactional, organizational model of early development combined with behavioral theory, emphasizing positive behavioral support and functional analysis provide the framework for the SEAM. The SEAM assessment was designed to assist in prevention and early identification of social emotional difficulties and behavior disorders, as well as optimizing positive parent-child interactions in the first years of life.

The four-year project includes two years of instrument refinement and validation and a year of experimental studies in which the effects of the SEAM on infant/toddler social-emotional competence and academic readiness will be investigated. The fourth year will focus on data analysis, finalization of the SEAM assessment, initial curriculum development, and dissemination.

Project SEAM is a collaborative project involving the University of Oregon Early Intervention Program, Pennsylvania State University, and Part C early intervention programs in Oregon and Pennsylvania. Parents/caregivers, individual with disabilities, and early intervention providers will be involved with refinement and improvement of the SEAM and provide input throughout the four years of the project.

Project funded by:
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.
Grant #R324A070255