On May 1, 2021, Governor Northam proclaimed May as Early Intervention Awareness Month in Virginia. Many EI programs use this month to raise awareness and build relationships with referral sources, physician offices, other community programs, and of course, families. The video What is Early Intervention in Virginia? is often shared widely because it provides an overview explaining what EI is, what it looks like, and how it works. One of the things I love about this video is the opportunity to see and hear from families who have experienced EI. I think family stories are perhaps the most powerful “tools’ we have to build awareness of what EI has to offer. They can help us reach new families and invite them into partnerships with us. Family stories also remind us about why we do what we do. With that in mind, I’m going to share several videos you can use to spread the word about EI from the perspectives of families. If you have other videos you love too, please share the links by leaving a comment below. Here we go!
Reflections during the Final Visit (CO Dept of Education, runtime 5:46)
This video features a mother reflecting on her relationship with the physical therapist who visited her home to support her and her daughter. I think that perhaps, showing what happens at the end of EI, like you’ll hear and see in this video, can help open a doorway to the beginning of EI for another family.
Liam’s Story: A Mother’s Voice (VEIPD, runtime 5:15)
This video also features a mother telling the story of her family’s experience with EI. This story is a powerful reminder of the impact of this work on the daily lives and relationships of families. As an early interventionist, you never know what you might say or do that can have a lifelong impact. EI Awareness Month can be a nice reminder about that too.
Dream Big: A FIT Family Story (FIT FOCUS Video Library, runtime 5:27)
In this video, you’ll hear from a mother and father about how EI worked for them. They explain the emphasis on helping the family help the child. They also describe about how coaching helped them to use strategies in their home during the things they already do rather than adding extra things to do. They also share advice for families to “dream big for your child.” (Due to permission settings, you’ll need to click the “Watch on Vimeo” button below. This video is definitely worth the extra click.)
Parents and Early Intervention (EITP Illinois, runtime 7:59)
I featured this video in another recent post because it’s new. I think it’s worth mentioning again as another resource to share a family’s story. Even though this isn’t a family in VA, I think this family’s message is universal.
That’s just a few of the fantastic family story videos that are floating around the web. If you’d like to see more videos of families in EI, check out the Early Intervention Video Library and look for Families’ Experiences in EI in the menu. You might also find the Early Intervention – General page helpful for sharing info about EI with others.
So what are you doing to celebrate EI Awareness Month? What is your favorite EI family story video?
Share your thoughts, ideas, and video links in the comments below!