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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Module Two: Lesson One

Principles of the EINE Five-Component Model

The five-component model of EINE consists of a number of principles expressed as aphorisms, as described below by Dr. McWilliam.

father holding baby
  • All the intervention with the child occurs between specialists' visits. As will be described later, children do not learn in massed trials. They learn over time. Although the argument has been made that practice is essential for learning, McWilliam would argue that practice is what happens after acquisition of the skill, to make it fluent, to maintain it, and to generalize it. The acquisition itself does often involve "trial and error," but for immature brains these need to occur over time through the day, not bunched together in a session. Children are therefore learning throughout the day, whether we want them to or not! That''s where the learning opportunities occur, so what should the relatively infrequent and short visits by professionals be concentrated on?
  • Therapy and instruction are not golf lessons. This is related to how children learn and to generalization. Adults can take a lesson from a pro to, say, fix their short game. They can engage in massed trials, benefiting from every one as a learning opportunity, and they can carry what they have learned over to regular games without the pro. Little children can neither learn well from massed trials nor transfer skills well from one learning setting, especially a decontextualized one, to everyday life, where presumably they need the skills.
  • Regular caregivers (i.e., parents and teachers) need to own the goals. Who is providing children with learning opportunities between specialists'' visits? These regular caregivers are not likely to address target behaviors in which they have little investment. For example, if they are expected to carry out a weird intervention that does not fit into their routines, especially addressing an outcome that came from a test and that has no direct relevance to the caregiver, they are not likely to carry it out.


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