This page includes abstract descriptions of various writing projects. Due to copyright permissions, the selections that have been published are not available for review. Drafts from various non-published projects have been included in order to provide a representative sample of my writing.

Finding Solutions to Complex Early Childhood Challenges. Paper One: Promoting Young Children With Disabilities
Sandra Hess Robbins
B2K Solutions Ltd. 

Last Minute Gift Idea: Promoting Vocabulary Development
Sandra Hess Robbins 2013
Web log post

The Effects and Feasibility of Using Tiered Instruction to Increase Conversational Turn Taking for Preschoolers With and Without Disabilities
Sandra Hess Robbins 2013
Doctoral Dissertation

The Effects of Teacher Training on Teacher Delivered Opportunities for Expressive Communication in Young Children with Autism

Sanna Harjusola-Webb, & Sandra Hess Robbins, 2011

(Topics in Early Childhood Special Education,

Abstract: This study examined the effects of a teacher training package on the teacher-delivered naturalistic communication-promoting intervention and the expressive communication of three preschool-aged boys with autism spectrum disorders. Growing numbers of children with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, attend community-based and inclusive preschool settings, and the present study provides information on how to support positive adult child social-communicative interactions by embedding noninvasive strategies in the context of natural environments. In this multiple-baseline study, the teachers received training and support in implementing specific, naturalistic communication-promoting strategies to increase child opportunities for expressive communication. As a result of the training, the teachers increased their use of the intervention strategies, and all of the target children showed increases in the frequency of expressive communication. This study emphasizes the importance of language input and how the level of intervention delivery—in this case, frequency of teacher-provided opportunities for communication—appears to influence child communicative behavior.

Recommended Practices for Assessing Children with Diverse Abilities

Sandra Hess Robbins, Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, & Jennifer Grisham-Brown, 2011

(in Assessment Practices for Working with Young Children in Blended Classrooms, Brookes Publishing)

Abstract: The purpose of this chapter is to promote the recommended assessment practices discussed in Chapter 1 as they apply to children with diverse abilities. The text that follows is divided into four main sections. The first section illustrates the need to work as a member of a transdisciplinary team when assessing young children with diverse abilities. The second section provides an overview of the challenges and general considerations for assessing these children. In the third section, specific recommendations and suggestions are made for the assessment process. Finally, the fourth section concludes the chapter with a discussion of the measures available for assessing young children with diverse abilities. Practices for serving children with severe or multiple disabilities (or both), children with diverse cultural experiences, and children who are dual- or multilanguage learners will be emphasized throughout the chapter.

Defining Evidence-Based Practice for Practitioners and Parents of Young Children with Autism: Answers to Ten Frequently Asked Questions

Sandra Hess Robbins, M.Ed., 2008

Abstract: This paper presents a set of guidelines and addresses unanswered questions to provide parents and practitioners with the tools needed to engage in evidence-based practice. Specifically, the answers to ten frequently asked questions about evidence-based practice for young children with autism are presented. The first three questions address the importance and history of the evidence-based practice movement in early childhood intervention. Derived from a synthesis of the research, a definition for evidence-based practice in early childhood intervention is provided in question number four. In questions five and six, scientifically-based research and levels of evidence are illustrated and explained in the context of early childhood intervention. Parents and practitioners can refer to questions seven through nine for information about current interventions for young children with autism and guidelines for identifying and choosing evidence-based interventions. The final question addresses how parents of children with autism and practitioners in early childhood intervention can keep moving toward an evidence-based practice model.

Evidence-based practice manuscript (DRAFT)

Response to Intervention Goes to Head Start: A Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant Proposal

Sandra Hess Robbins, M.Ed., 2008

Project Abstract: There is an urgent need for teacher training to support children with disabilities in inclusive environments. In particular, Head Start personnel feel the urgency due to federal initiatives requiring larger percentages of children with disabilities to be served. Response to intervention (RtI) is a model of tiered instruction that has the potential to meet the needs of all children in early childhood classrooms where ability levels are increasingly diverse. The aim of the proposed project is to introduce an RtI model to Head Start classrooms in an effort to increase teacher use of research based strategies that support the learning trajectories of children with disabilities. Through a collaborative partnership and series of training sessions, the Head Start teachers will learn to utilize a tiered model of instruction to foster optimal outcomes at the classroom as well as individual child level. Fidelity of implementation and child response to instruction are critical components of the proposed project. The proposal was formulated through a collaborative partnership between the Akron Summit Community Action Head Start Agency and Sandra Hess Robbins from Kent State University .

Project Narrative

Communication Toolkit

Sandra Hess Robbins & Katie Johnson, 2008

Abstract: The communication toolkit is an easy to understand manual for early childhood practitioners and families. The toolkit provides descriptions and examples of eight simple strategies used to promote communication and language development for young children. Suggestions for variations and adaptations that can be used for children of diverse cultures and abilities are included in the toolkit along with links to short video clips demonstrating the use of the strategies.

Communication Toolkit (DRAFT)

Check out the communication toolkit videos at

Mini Grant Proposal

Sandra Hess Robbins & Katie Johnson, 2008

The mini grant proposal is an assignment that I completed with the help of my classmate Katie Johnson to meet the requirements for a doctoral seminar on natural environments. The purpose of the assignment was to provide us with skills and knowledge in developing grant proposals that are relevant and current to the field of early childhood education and intervention. The proposal is directly tied to the development of the Communication Toolkit noted above.

Mini Grant Proposal