The Experimental Education Unit (EEU) offers a comprehensive early childhood school community that provides inclusive education to children with and without disabilities. This community consists a staff of scholars, professionals and university students who conduct important research and refine new techniques to hone their teaching skills.
All EEU programs promote the development of children's cognitive, motor, communication, and social interaction skills by means of educational and therapeutic interventions most appropriate for each child. These programs always include typically developing children and children with various developmental delays or disabilities. All classrooms are managed by teams of diverse professionals, which include the head teacher, assistant teacher, speech and language pathologist, occupational or physical therapist, social worker, nurse, and other appropriate staff.
The EEU’s model combines practical research, hands-on training and direct service to children from infancy through kindergarten. Our program is committed to promoting the development of children's cognitive, motor, communication, and social interaction skills giving them the necessary foundation for learning in elementary school and beyond.
Inclusion is about community. In EEU classrooms, young children with disabilities learn alongside their typical peers in a positive, developmentally appropriate educational setting. The goal of the classroom programs at the EEU is to provide a positive educational experience to children with diverse abilities in a setting that enhances the strengths and supports the needs of all the children in our program, and provides children with opportunities to build memberships, establish relationships, and develop functional skills. Classroom programs promote effective and systematic assessment and instructional strategies are used to identify, teach, and support these important skills. Skills are taught within the context of meaningful activities across the classroom curriculum. Support services (e.g., speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy) are provided in naturalistic settings (i.e., the classroom) and use activity-based instruction to enhance skill acquisition and generalization. Data are collected to monitor child progress and instructional decisions are based on those data.
Infant and Toddler Program (ITP)
The Infant and Toddler Program (ITP) serves children ages birth through 3 years. EEU teachers provide playgroup-based intervention specifically designed to help each child’s needs. This program serves EEU children and their families by providing community and home-based services as determined by the needs of the child and the family. ITP serves families in the King County area through contracts with the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). There are two different ITP sessions, which are separated by age:
INFANTS | The EEU offers an ITP program for newborn children to 12 months who have developmental delays. This is a weekly playgroup where parents and infants receive the support to address specific areas of need by each child as they arise throughout the year.
TODDLERS | The EEU offers an ITP program for children ages 1-2 years old. These twice-a-week sessions are inclusive, meaning that children with and without disabilities participate. At these sessions, toddlers work on socialization and motor skills and receive services from occupational and speech therapists.
We strive to offer an inclusive preschool environment, which is achieved through the combination of programs described below. In addition, we offer enhanced services for children and families who qualify for ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program) based on family income and other risk factors, and implement systematic instruction to children with special needs. All families and children benefit from the range of these blended services.
Seattle Preschool Program (SPP)
Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) is a program with the goal of providing high-quality preschool available and affordable to all of Seattle’s children. Mayor Ed Murray adopted SPP in May of 2014. Currently, SPP partners with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to ensure that all students with disabilities receive special education services provided by SPS staff. Starting in Fall of 2016, the EEU began piloting this program in two classrooms in order to help SPP further best practices to support all children in SPP.
Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)
The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is a comprehensive, family-focused preschool designed to help children from families of low income prepare for and succeed in school. ECEAP has three major components: education, health and nutrition, and family support. At the EEU, ECEAP classrooms are inclusive, serving children with and without special needs who are 4 years old by Aug. 31. ECEAP services are provided through a contract with the city of Seattle.
Project DATA—Developmentally Appropriate Treatment for Autism—is a program in which children on the autism spectrum currently enrolled in our preschool or ECEAP programs can receive extended-day services. Project DATA emphasizes blended strategies (ABA, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Childhood) and teaches discrete skills and skill sets to promote independence in the classroom environment. A nationally recognized program that began at the Haring Center, Project DATA is the model for which SPS designed its extended day special education program. Project DATA is provided through a contract with Seattle Public Schools. Learn more about Project DATA.
The EEU provides a full-day, blended kindergarten program that includes students with and without disabilities. The program emphasizes the development of academic, social, communication and motor skills that enable children to successfully transition to the least restrictive environment the following year. The EEU has two kindergarten classrooms. These services are provided through SPS.