Pick a visit, any visit. Walk in the door and…what are you most likely to see? What’s the most common activity to occur on a visit? Well, the title of this post surely gave it away, but you are very likely to see the provider and child playing with toys. Why? Why do we still find ourselves sitting…

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Examples of using pausing to encourage development are more powerful than me describing why this technique works so let’s start with a few examples from real intervention visits: Sandy One day on a visit with Sandy and her nurse, we played with Sandy’s favorite toy and assisted her as she activated it.  Sandy had multiple disabilities and difficulty with…

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The tension builds as you sit in the IFSP meeting… The discussion began as a celebration of the child’s progress but gradually becomes more tense as the child’s IFSP outcomes are reviewed. As each outcome is discussed, the speech therapist feels that the child has met it but the mother disagrees. She says that the child talks more during the therapy…

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Early interventionists, physicians and nurses, child care providers, preschool teachers, home visitors, playgroup leaders, family members – you all have the power to help with early identification of autism spectrum disorder. Earlier identification is associated with earlier, appropriate intervention and better long-term positive outcomes for children. It is not an easy topic to discuss with…

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The baby is in the high chair and you cover her snack with a bowl. Does she look under the bowl to find her goldfish crackers? Or maybe she drops her green ball on the floor. Does she look for it? Or does she just cry because her snack or favorite toy has disappeared? It…

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If you work with infants and toddlers,  you know the mesmerizing qualities of bubbles and the unlimited possibilities of a simple ball. Bubbles and balls are staples in many families’ homes so you don’t need to bring them with you to intervention visits;  you just ask the parent if they have one or the other…

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You’ve started working with a wonderful family. It’s a large, busy family of six. The child’s mother tells you that she has great intentions to play with her toddler, Jordan, but unfortunately she never gets enough time. She feels guilty because Jordan isn’t talking and she knows that playing is so vital to his communication…

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Imagine that you’re on a visit and you observe this mother and child playing together with their stacking rings. This is a game that they play often and that the child really enjoys. Let’s pretend that this child qualified for EI with global developmental delays. His IFSP outcomes address priorities such as learning to crawl from…

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Rule of thumb…never bring a xylophone to an intervention visit when there are siblings in the mix. This was one of my biggest rules when I was working in EI and still lugging around a toy bag. Ages ago I had a visit where I brought the xylophone along and the preschool-aged brother of the…

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How many times has this happened to you? You arrive for your EI visit to a family’s home and find that the large screen TV is on and a favorite show is airing. Perhaps it is a beloved cartoon for the child, or maybe it is the mother’s favorite talk show host. Is the father…

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