As part of an individualized program, the role of parents and family members will be viewed as critical and an intensive home component will be seen to be the vital glue that enables the entire program to work. Parents will be encouraged to be co-leaders with therapistsand educators in mobilizing a comprehensive, intensive, relationship-based, individualized approach for their children with special needs.
To implement these principles (which are described in some detail inour new Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders 'Clinical Practice Guidelines) will require significant improvements to services for children with special needs in most parts of the country. Even the best educational systems and most enlightened communities fall far short of providing sufficiently intensive, relationship-based, individualized approaches that work with the child's underlying individual differences and developmental capacities. Consequently the vast majority of children with special needs are not reaching their potential.