The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


This course examines the nature of family and community influences on the development of children, and those with sensory disability in particular. The rationale for early intervention through family-centred practice is discussed and characteristics of effective parent-professional partnerships/collaboration explored. Students will consider family systems, cultural diversity, and the role of parent education and guidance as a basis for promoting optimal outcomes for children with a sensory disability.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2018.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Command a working knowledge of the social-emotional and cognitive continua of child development;

2. Identify and apply a range of strategies to support and guide parents/families in promoting a child's optimal development;

3. Reflect on, and develop as necessary, the personal skills required to work collaboratively with parents/families and interdisciplinary teams.


Topics will include:

  • Overview - wholistic development: birth-12 months;
  • Overview - wholistic development 1-3 years;
  • Social-emotional and cognitive development: preschool to school-age(6yrs);
  • Social attachment, knowledge and skills : the school-age child;
  • Diversity of cultures, perspectives and opinion influencing child development;
  • Role of diversity in social, educational & community environments;
  • Introduction to additional disabilities and/or learning needs;
  • Family systems theory " boundaries and roles;
  • Impact of sensory disability on family life " functioning and coping mechanisms;
  • Introduction to family counselling techniques - help-giving & advocacy skills;
  • Parent-professional partnership and interdisciplinary team collaboration;
  • Introduction to family-centered practice - coaching & guidance techniques;
  • Impact of culture, language & lifestyle on service approach, delivery and guidance.


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies programs (11008 or 12365) or Master of Special Education programs (10936, 12356, or 40014).

Assumed knowledge

No prior knowledge assumed.

Assessment items

Quiz: Online quiz

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case study: Parent interview

In Term Test: Examination: Online