The Incredible Years® Blog


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New Zealand rolls out Incredible Years Autism and Language Delays Programs for Teachers and Parents

Kia ora,

The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Werry Workforce and Massey University are introducing the Incredible Years Parent and Teacher Programs in New Zealand. The Ministry of Education had an open tender process in 2017 and selected participants for these training workshops. Selection was based on group leaders’ extensive experience delivering the IY basic parent program or the IY teacher classroom management program as well as experience working with children on the autism spectrum. Also consideration was given to locations of particular regions and organizations who applied. Seven different districts, 4 on the north island and 3 on the south island were represented for this first training with Dr. Carolyn Webster-Stratton, the developer.

For the Parent Autism Program 20 accredited IY basic parent group leaders and 4 IY parent mentors met for 3 days in Auckland at the Grand Mercure hotel for training in the Autism Parent Program.

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Participants in the Autism Parent Group Leader Training, representing The Ministry of Eduction, Werry Centre, Napier Family Centre, Incredible Families Centre, Motueka Family Centre, and Presbyterian Support Upper Southland.

For the Teacher Autism Program 16 accredited IY teacher group leaders and 2 IY teacher mentors met for 2 days of training in how to use this program as a supplement to the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program. There were 5 participants who attended both trainings who had prior accreditation in both parent and teacher programs.

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Carolyn really enjoyed working with these experienced and energetic group leaders who are clearly passionate about their work with parents, teachers and children on the spectrum. Many had been working with this population for 8-10 years and in the field of psychology, social work or teaching for much longer.

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The meeting opened February 19 with a Maori welcoming ceremony led by Rawiri Wharemate the kaumatua from Werry Workforce and Piripi Daniels from Ngati whatua in Orakei who also works for the Ministry of Education in Auckland.

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One of the days of this meeting managers met to talk about implementation issues and in the evening to hear a presentation by Carolyn giving a brief overview of the Incredible Years Programs and research, particularly focused on the Autism programs with some video examples. She also talked about the Incredible Beginnings Program for young children (1-5 years) for training day care providers and early childhood teachers.

The message was the earlier the intervention the better. She applauds New Zealand Ministry of Education for being the first country to roll out this program nationally and for their careful collaboration and evaluation plans.

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To learn more about the training opportunities in the Incredible Years Autism programs, please visit our website.

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Impressive outcomes from Incredible Beginnings® course in Brinnington, England

Incredible Years Trainer Caroline White and mentor-in-training Joanne Singleton have brought the Incredible Beginnings® curriculum to teachers and child care providers in Brinnington, England, and have shared their positive outcomes with us.

Brinnington Incredible Beginnings® Programme

  • by Dr Caroline White, Accredited Incredible Years Trainer

The Incredible Beginnings® programme was trialled across two settings in Brinnington and involved a 6 day training course (one day per month for six months) to the team of 12 staff in total.

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In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Incredible Beginnings® course participants were asked to complete standardized questionnaires on the children’s behaviour and also on their own professional practice at the beginning of the course and also after its completion. The following measures were used:

  • Sutter-Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory (measures child behaviour difficulties)
  • Incredible Years Teacher Questionnaire (measures teacher strategies)

Outcomes:

The Sutter-Eyberg is a standardized, valid and reliable measure of children’s behaviour in classroom settings. It was completed by all keyworkers on the children in their settings. The questionnaire gives two scores relating to frequency of behaviour problems (total score) and intensity/impact of behaviour problems (problem score). Both scores showed significant improvements with children moving from clinical ranges of problem behaviour to normal ranges for behaviour in their settings.

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The Incredible Years Teacher Childhood Checklist is a questionnaire designed to measure changes in practice in classroom settings. The results demonstrated significant changes in participants’ practice which included increases in strategies to:

  • improve children’s social and emotional development
  • improve relationships with parents and children
  • improve classroom transitions
  • improve management of challenging behaviour

Quotes from participants:

“I’ve noticed that the children’s language development is coming on much faster now”

“The settings are so much calmer”

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“We had visitors who asked us what had happened. They couldn’t believe how calm and quiet the setting was with so many two year olds”

“It’s been much easier to settle the last group of new children into nursery”

“Transitions from one activity to the other are so much easier now”

“We’re not handling challenging behaviour as much any more”

In summary, the feedback on impact from the participants was:

  • that the settings were much calmer overall
  • that children were on task more
  • that children’s language development had improved faster
  • they had less challenging behaviour to deal with
  • they felt more confident in dealing with challenging behaviour
  • that their most recent intake of children was much easier to settle and that these children settled much faster using their new skills

Summary

The impact of the training was impressive with changes in participants’ practice and significant impact on children’s development and behaviour. It is worth noting that the implementation of the learning benefitted hugely from the excellent management and strategic commitment dedicated to this process. Time was protected for all participants to attend the training with the appropriate resources in place. In addition, the whole team embraced the opportunity for new learning and integrated this learning into their existing structures openly and effectively.

Please visit The Incredible Years website to learn more about the Incredible Beginnings® Program for working with early years teachers and childcare providers.