Step Back and Consider: Learning from Reflective Practice in Infant Mental Health


Special Education

Date of this version


Document Type



reflective practice, infant mental health, youth with disabilities


When early interventionist Kelly drives up to the apartment, she tells herself, “It’s okay, I can do this.” She gets out of her car, grabs her bag, and walks to the door. Dominic, an engaging 18-month old with developmental disabilities, sees her and waddles over with a big smile. His mom, Stephanie, walks out of the kitchen, holding her 6-month-old baby girl. Kelly has been working with this family for about 2 years. She first started working with DeMarco, Dominic’s 4-year-old brother; about the same time that DeMarco transitioned to preschool services, Dominic qualified for services. Recently, Kelly has been working with Stephanie on ways to engage in reciprocal play with Dominic through games, songs, and books and to encourage him to use words and gestures to request preferred items.

Published in

Young Exceptional Children

Citation/Other Information

Neilsen-Gatti, S., Watson, C. L., & Siegel, C. F. (2011). Step back and consider: Learning from reflective practice in infant mental health. Young Exceptional Children, 14(2), 32-45. https://doi.org/10.1177/1096250611402290

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