“I felt alone”: The Importance of Social Support for Early Intervention





Early Intervention, Social support, Formal and Informal support, Ecomap


When adopting an ecological perspective of Early Intervention (EI), social support became a key concept for understanding families and ways of coping with a child who is at-risk or have been diagnosed with Special Educational Needs. Research findings demonstrate that social support, personal well-being, parenting interactional styles, and child development are both conceptually and empirically related, and that variation in child development is attributable to social support and well-being more so than to family Social Economic Status. Social supports play an essential role when planning intervention with young children and their families. This article will provide an evidence based review of the concept and its importance in Early Intervention and it will present a case study to illustrate and operationalize the ideas discussed in the article.

***“Eu senti-me só”: a importância do apoio social para a intervenção Precoce***

Adotando uma perspetiva ecológica de Intervenção Precoce (IP), o apoio social tornou-se um conceito-chave para entender as famílias e formas de lidar com uma criança em risco ou com Necessidades Educacionais Especiais. Os resultados da investigação demonstram que o apoio social, o bem-estar pessoal, os estilos de interação dos pais e o desenvolvimento infantil estão conceitualmente e empiricamente relacionados, e que as mudanças no desenvolvimento infantil se atribuem mais ao apoio social e ao bem-estar, da família do que ao seu estatuto sócio económico. Os apoios sociais desempenham um papel essencial no planeamento da intervenção com crianças pequenas e suas famílias. Este artigo fornecerá uma revisão baseada em evidências do conceito e sua importância na IP e apresentará um estudo de caso para ilustrar e operacionalizar as ideias discutidas no artigo.

Palavras-Chave: Intervenção Precoce, Apoio Social, Apoio Formal e Informal, Ecomapa


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Biografia do Autor

Marilyn Espe- Sherwindt, Universidade do Minho, CIEd

PhD, Director of the Family Child Learning Center, Akron Children’s Hospital, University of Kent (retired in August 2019). Invited faculty at the Institute of Education, University of Minho, Portugal. Early Childhood Consultant for Ohio’s Autism Diagnosis Education Project and consultant for Eurlyaid.

Ana Maria Serrano, Universidade do Minho, CIEd

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology of Education and Special Education, teaches in the area of Special Education/Early Intervention at the Institute of Education at the University of Minho since 1994. Coordinates the research group, Development, Learning and Special Needs at the Research Center on Education. (CIEd). President of the European Association of Early Childhood Intervention (EURLYAID).


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Como Citar

Espe- Sherwindt, M., & Serrano, A. M. (2020). “I felt alone”: The Importance of Social Support for Early Intervention. Educação, 43(1), e35476. https://doi.org/10.15448/1981-2582.2020.1.35476



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