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Social inclusion of children with persistent challenging behaviors

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Children in early childhood classrooms (i.e., preschool through early elementary) who engage in persistent challenging behaviors often show social-emotional delays and are at risk for grade retention, referral to intervention or special education, and long-term educational and societal consequences. The social-emotional delays children with persistent challenging behaviors have could impact play skills, emotional regulation, and social interactions with peers. These skills impact their ability to function within their classroom environment. However, if the classroom teacher is able to promote a socially inclusive classroom environment that integrates children into the classroom community, ensure equitable and active participation in social activities with typically developing peers, and promote reciprocal and positive relationships with peers and adults, children who engage in persistent challenging behaviors may be more successful in school, and have more positive outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to identify ways to create a socially inclusive environment for children who engage in persistent challenging behaviors and/or who have social-emotional delays or disabilities. (author abstract)

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