Services and Support
Early Intervention services work best when parents/caregivers are taught how to support the child through Coaching. Early Interventionists use a variety of approaches that may include but are not limited to direct teaching, demonstration, guided practice with feedback, caregiver practice with feedback, problem solving, and reflection. Early Interventionists provide strategies that are worked on throughout a child's daily routines and activities. Early Intervention services may include the following: Service Coordination
Each and every family shall be provided with one service coordinator who is responsible for serving as the single point of contact in helping parents to obtain information, skills and support related to enhancing the skill development of the infant or toddler with a disability.
Speech therapists are trained to provide you and your child with valuable skills to enhance the ability to understand language. They help your child to learn to communicate wants and needs through the use of speech, sign language, picture exchange, or alternative communication methods. Through play, therapists are able to encourage syllable sounds, choices and the labeling of objects, either verbally or through gestures. Speech therapists are also trained to assist children who exhibit oral motor difficulties related to eating and speech. They provide exercises to improve strength and coordination. They also develop strategies to maximize your child's ability to accept and manage food safely.
Physical therapists focus on strength, endurance, and mobility. Physical therapists educate the family on how to promote rolling, sitting, crawling, kneeling, standing, and walking. They assist with negotiating stairs, running, jumping, and balancing activities. PT specializes in movement, posture, and gait analysis and assists the child to achieve independence in all motor development areas. Physical Therapists assess and manage tone and assess the need for splints, positioning devices, and walking aids.
Occupational therapists focus on adaptive skills development. The therapist will assist with improvement of independence with self-help skills including feeding, grooming, hygiene, and dressing. They also help with social/emotional development by assisting with improved interaction with family members, caregivers, and peers. Occupational therapists work on fine motor skills including grasping, eye-hand coordination, range of motion, muscle tone, and transitions during play. They also assist with sensory awareness, tolerance, and acceptance to encourage appropriate exploration of the child's environment.
Special instruction teachers focus on your child's overall development. They specialize in helping your child develop emotionally, socially, and cognitively. This includes increasing attention to task, appropriate behaviors, problem solving, following directions, and interaction with others. The SI teacher works on improving play skills, labeling objects, sorting, identifying, and exploration of toys.
Teachers of the visually impaired work to increase a child's functional vision. They work on tracking, scanning, and following objects that allow the child to be more aware of his or her surroundings.
Teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing assist a child to utilize his or her hearing. They specialize in enhancing communication skills by teaching functional signs, speech, lip reading, and hearing aid use.
*Early Intervention service providers are required to have FBI fingerprinting, child abuse and criminal record clearance checks, and 24 hours of ongoing training each year. Early Intervention therapists have bachelor or master degrees and appropriate licensing or credentialing. Availability of Early Intervention staff may be dependent on the number of families they are currently working with and demographic area. Your Service Coordinator will always work with your family to develop a team that can meet your child's needs and address your concerns.