Lee et al. (2006) introduced the self-determined learning model of support which parents can use to promote self-determination in young children. The model also offered teachers the opportunity to build a collaborative partnership with parents. The article illustrated the effectiveness of the Self-Determine Learning Model of Intervention (SDLMI) from nominalists’ and post-positivists’ points of view according to the experience and observations of the model. The purpose of Lee et al.’s study was to offer a model for parent-teacher collaboration to promote self-determination in young children with disabilities. Lee et al. hypothesized that the efforts to promote self-determination are more likely to be successful when there is a collaboration between parents and teachers. Home offers children the earliest opportunity to make choices, exercise control, and exhibit competence. Many parents want their children to become more self-determined, so teachers must consider this when working with children with disabilities.
Using qualitative methods, Lee et al. illustrated a family’s experience of implementing the SDLMI model. The participant’s name was Young, an 8-year-old boy with down syndrome who does not have many friends, and the boy’s mother had to spend time with the boy’s brother as well. SDLMI is in form of questions to identify the problem, identify potential solutions to the problem, identify the barriers to solve the problem and identify consequences to each solution. If a teacher is using SDLMI in the classroom, parents should work on a complementary process at home. The schoolteacher suggested SDLMI support Young’s goals at school and recommended that his mother implement the model at home as a way to encourage Young’s self-determination. SDLMI consists of three phases. Students are supposed to ask specific questions from themselves in each phase and find a solution by the answer to the questions. The question at phase one is “What is my goal?”. The goal for Young was to have an after-school social activity with friends. Phase two is taking action, and the question is “What is my plan?”. Young decided to invite a neighborhood friend to play with. “What have I learned?” is in Phase Three, which is adjusting the goal or plan. Three months later, Young became better at playing basketball with friends. The positive outcomes of the plan were: (a) Young now plays and practices basketball with friends, and (b) his mom now has more time to work with Young’s brother. The SDLMI model is equally appropriate for children with and without disabilities across a wide range of goal content areas, from academic to family decision making. The general process embedded in the model was equally applicable for use by parents at home and by teachers in an educational context. Lee et al. described the model with a successful example of a family which made the model more comprehensive for the readers. However, Lee et al.’s article could illustrate an example of the SDLMI model implemented for a child without disabilities and make comparisons in the effectiveness of the model for children with or without disabilities. Enhanced self-determination contributes to positive individual quality of life outcomes. Promoting self-determination in young children with disabilities may affect not only the children’s quality of life but also the quality of life for their families. According to Lee et al., the SDLMI is an effective method for children with disabilities and it can be implemented by both parents at home and teachers at school.