Wyatt is a happy 19-month old child who was recently released from the hospital, where he lived for the first 17 months of his life. Wyatt was born very prematurely and has been diagnosed with a visual impairment and cerebral palsy. You want to conduct an assessment to learn about Wyatt’s strengths and needs, especially …

When we whittle early intervention down to its core, I think it’s all about interactions. Interactions between the child and caregiver, first and foremost…interactions between the child and the environment (toys, sofa cushions, spoons and cups, buttons on the TV remote, the family dog)…interactions between the EI practitioner and caregiver that facilitate positive interactions with …

Last month, we considered the first five DEC Recommended Practices under the Assessment strand. Now, let’s look at practices A6-A11. These practices encourage early interventionists to consider information from a variety of sources about the child’s skills and abilities across different routines, activities, and settings and to do this on an ongoing basis. These practices …

Marco was recently referred to early intervention (EI) due to suspected global delays. His family is living in a homeless shelter and only has one more week left before they must leave. His father is trying hard to find employment but is challenged by his lack of childcare. He is the sole caregiver for three …

Abby has significant motor delays. Her mother asks you some version of this question during every visit: “Is it my fault that Abby isn’t walking yet?” or “What did I do to cause this?” The question itself makes you uncomfortable, because you can’t really answer it well and because you feel like you’ve tried to answer …

Jackie receives a call from Tate’s mother, Mrs. Comer. Mrs. Comer is really frustrated because she feels like she’s not benefiting from her visits with the physical therapist. She tells Jackie that she feels like all Alex (the PT) does is ask her questions. She says “I don’t want to just be asked questions that …

About 30 min into your first visit with Mason’s family, his father asks “Will he ever walk?” Mason had a stroke shortly after he was born which affected the left side of his body. He is just under two years old and is beginning to sit with very little support. His father is an athlete …

During the assessment, the professional team members notice some soft neurological signs in Seiko’s development, such as an indwelling thumb, slight scissoring of her legs, and low muscle tone in her trunk. Seiko was referred to early intervention by her pediatrician because she is 14 months old and not yet sitting or crawling. According to her …

From the first time we meet a family or begin working with a child, we need to be thinking about how we can fade ourselves out of the picture. This seems like an oxymoron because we’re there for a reason – to help. There’s such a fine line between helping and creating dependence, and I …

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 communication. After she …

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