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Three main points support the mission of the Portage Project First it is committed to creating and enhancing the quality of educational programs Second its goal is to develop and distribute materials that are used to support quality early childhood programs Third all programs are centered and guided by the children and their families Herwig 1995 The Portage model proposes that parent or primary caregiver interaction is essential to successful early intervention It also states that the home or other least restrictive environments are natural and significant learning environments The Portage model adds that intervention objectives and strategies must be individualized for each child and family based on their resources priorities and concerns This model further emphasizes that data collection is important to reinforce positive changes and to make ongoing intervention decisions Sampon Wollenburg 1998 The Portage Project was created 32 years ago in Portage Wisconsin in response to the need to provide services in rural communities to young children with disabilities It was first funded by the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped BEH Portage is known for early intervention and development of intervention systems in the community Its success relies heavily on parental involvement This requires the enhancement of the development of young children with disabilities All parents need to first understand that development of the child occurs sequentially in nature Secondly they must believe that the childs development can be influenced and impacted by their efforts A final assumption that needs to be met if family involvement is to be implemented is parental acceptance of their role in actively facilitating their childs development Simeonsson 1991 The specific components of the original Portage Model included child assessment using formal standardized tools and informal curriculum assessment Using this assessment information the home teacher and parent target skills and behaviors to be taught Typically about four specific behaviors are selected during each weekly home visit If a
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