Our approach

The CDSE’s approach is based on developmental therapy and the ETEP developmental education model, as well as the AFI (Assessment for intervention) and NBA (needs-based assessment) models. It furthermore respects the spirit of inclusion, systemic links as well as the impact of traumatic experiences. Moreover, we take into account the principles of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

What does “ETEP” mean?

ETEP (german.: Entwicklungstherapie / Entwicklungspädagogik) stands for developmental therapy / developmental education and includes:

1. an educational support program focusing on the development of children and young people with sociol and emotional needs;
2. a prevention program for all students aimed at reducing behavioral problems.

ETEP puts the focus not on deficits but on the potential, strengths and resources of children and young people.

ETEP was developed in the 1970s by the American psychiatrist Mary Wood. In the 1990s, Marita Bergsson, a German special education teacher, adapted the ETEP program culturally and introduced it at the Jakob-Muth School which she ran in Essen.

In Germany, a large number of primary, secondary and specialized schools as well as other educational establishments are now working according to ETEP, as the request for socio-emotional support, including in mainstream schools, is increasing.

The effectiveness of ETEP has been proven in several studies.

What is ELDiB used for?

ELDiB (german: Entwicklungstherapeutischer / Entwicklungspädagogischer Lernzieldiagnosebogen) is the diagnostic tool used in ETEP. It represents the basis on which future steps or measuresare planned and organized and organized according to the stages of development.

Based on a list of competencies for young people aged 0 to 16 years, Eldib allows to determine the current starting point in terms of learning and the actual developmental age of a child or adolescent, which often deviates from his/her numerical age. Skills in the areas of behavior, communication, socialization and knowledge are identified.

Thus, individual developmental needs are determined and appropriate support goals can be set.

In order to establish a competency profile, a member of the CDSE staff, trained in ETEP, will spend an extended period of observation in the school environment. The diagnostic process also takes into account information gathered from intensive exchanges with parents or guardians, teachers and other relevant people. Different ELDiB questionnaires are available in order to clarify the point of view of parents and / or educational staff respectively on the level of development of the child or adolescent.

ELDiB is a participative diagnostic tool. Children and adolescents must become active creators of their own lives and therefore also of their educational process. From a certain age, they can also fill in an ELDiB form, which is linguistically and formally adapted and which constitutes an important basis for the implementation of future measures.

Part of the ETEP programm means to regulalry reassess the learning gain via the ELDiB. The aim is to enable the child or adolescent to develop and expand their skills in an appropriate setting, as well as to show parents / guardians and teachers the progress achieved.

During the CDSE's counseling and guidance work, ELDiB makes it possible to monitor the skills, resources and progress of the child or adolescent.

ETEP guidelines

1st principle: We focus on strengths

The strengths of a child or adolescent are taken into account which encourages the development of a behavior that is both successful and typical for the developmental age. According to this principle, the support program is not exclusively aimed at reducing behavioral patterns deemed inappropriate but instead focuses on appropriate behavior. The student becomes able to perceive himself/ herself as competent and to gradually develop a positive image of himself/ herself due to a systematic, positive feedback on the desired behavior.

2nd principle: We follow the logic of development

A child's socio-emotional and behavioral skills are learned over the course of his/her life through various social influences that are mutually reinforcing. The development of a student's behavioral skills is therefore gradual and sensitive to his/her individuality within the framework of typical developmental paths. The promotion of a student's behavioral skills is consequently designed individually, gradually and at his/her level: the observed developmental stage of a child represents thus the starting point of the support system.

3rd principle: We guarantee joy and success

The contents of the lessons are based on the strengths and existing knowledge of the pupil and arouse his/her interest and curiosity. The lessons are also tailored to individual developmental goals so that the student can achieve satisfactory and successful results. On the basis of these experiences, the child or adolescent is motivated to acquire behavioral alternatives and is able to consolidate them.

4th principle: We offer meaningful experiences

Learning can take place through experiences that are both personally and socially meaningful. The content, activities and material of the lessons are chosen in such a way that they can be transferred onto the living environment of the child or adolescent; the young person can identify with the topics put forward and feel emotionally stimulated by them. In this way, learning can take place and become meaningful on a personal and social level. Behavioral skills learned in school can also lead to satisfactory outcomes in extracurricular life.

ETEP in a specialized school setting: EPU (all .: entwicklungspädagogischer Unterricht) developmental education

Developmental education lessons (EPU) are based on learning processes that include certain framework conditions, classroom activities and intervention strategies generated to target the socio-emotional development of the children and adolescents. The lessons and the activities are designed and carried out by a team of two teachers.

EPU is based on the developmental stage evaluated by the ELDiB diagnostic, individual learning goals or class objectives.

Here are some examples of learning objectives:

- "I bring to someone's attention when I want to say something."
- "I share my work material."
- "I will accomplish my task alone.", etc.

The structure of the EPU follows the guidelines of the ETEP mentioned above (promotion of resources, logic of development, transmission of joy / success, offer of meaningful experiences).

Teachers choose learning content that offers children and young people identification opportunities. The essential elements of EPU are the ritualization and structuring of lessons, such as for example:

- time structuring (transparency of time sequences in the form of a daily and weekly schedule or a systematic change between cognitive or creative activities);

- space structuring (with different topic areas).

The degree and type of structuring are adapted to the respective level of development, thus reinforcing the student's feeling of confidence.

Behavioral intervention strategies, such as rules, encouragement, mirroring, reorientation, use of physical proximity etc. are based on the assumption of an appreciative, caring attitude and are most often actively used as a preventive measure to help the students learn to adapt their behavior to the expectations of their environment.

How is ETEP implemented at CDSE?

The ETEP program is the educational guideline of the CDSE. The CDSE is the only institution at national level where all staff work according to this concept (e.g. teachers, psychologists, pedagogues, social workers, graduate educators). This guarantees an effective and lasting cooperation as well as a fruitful networking of all the people of the CDSE involved in the support system of a child or a young person.

All CDSE professionals working with children and young people follow certified ETEP training. This training is provided by the CDSE's own team of trainers in cooperation with IFEN. This in-house team was exclusively formed by the Institute for Developmental Therapy / Developmental Therapy (ETEP Europe).

In the Annex Junglinster and the CSTs (Socio-Therapeutic Centers), the ETEP concept is applied in particular during the EPU developmental education lessons, which aim at support objectives. A well-structured and ritualized school life in an organized framework ensures the safety of children and young people who are supported by the institutions mentioned above.

In the specialized school setting of the CDSE, the teachers ensure that students can achieve their individual goals as well ass class goals. This process is promoted by a systematic culture of positive feedback; this approach creates joy of learning , encourages the social and emotional development of young people and enhances their self-confidence.

What is meant by "AFI"and "NBA" respectively?

The specialized diagnostic process, carried out within the framework of the CDSE, is based on the AFI (Assessment for intervention) and NBA (needs-based assessment) models. It has been applied and evaluated since 1997 in the Netherlands and has been elected as 'best practice' by the European Agency for Adapted and Inclusive Education (Pameijer & Pijl, 2006). In routine or standard assessment batteries, more data than necessary is collected so as to find answers or make a certain decision. It has proven challenging to translate this data into a student's educational needs and the needs of required teaching practices. In the light of the distress of the student as well as those around him/her and due to limited resources, the information collected in the context of a specialized diagnostic by the CDSE is limited to what is strictly necessary to make adequate recommendations. The evaluation process thus becomes more goal-oriented: its aim is to generate recommendations that address (or mitigate) the problems detected in the original environment.

What is meant by "ICF"?

The CDSE approach takes into account the principles of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). We hence consider a possible observed deficiency not as a disease nor an exclusively individual problem, but as a situation influenced by various factors, in particular physical and social factors. The same deficiency, the same problem might be experienced in a very different way depending on the way society looks at it and on the way in which society is organized.

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