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EITP Summer 2016 Newsletter
Summer 2016 Early Intervention Training Program Newsletter
News and Updates
WE NEED YOUR HELP – Please respond by June 21st!

EITP is conducting a study to determine the professional development needs of Early Intervention Providers. We would like to invite you to participate by completing the Expertise and Needs Assessments Survey. It can be completed in approximately 5-7 minutes, and you will not be required to include your name in the form. 

If you have not done so already, please submit your feedback for the EITP Needs Assessment by June 21, 2016 by clicking on the survey button above or visiting the following link:

Your opinion matters! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Early Intervention in Child Care Settings: Opportunities and Obstacles
Lynn Barts, M.A.

For many families in Early Intervention, child care is a part of their life and it is a natural environment full of rich opportunities for play, growth and development. Partnering with the family and their child care provider can offer an infant or toddler rich opportunities within their activities & routines and across settings.

When families and child care providers participate in the EI process it can help us to know WHERE, WHEN, & HOW to provide services. If challenging routines are at child care during mealtime, it can help us to decide that services should happen at child care during mealtime so that the EI provider can support the caregiver and child within the mealtime routine.

When we encourage families to include their child care provider in the EI process, it can offer opportunities to gather rich assessment information to plan a functional and meaningful IFSP. For example, by including the child care provider in the assessment process, we may learn that a toddler is having a difficult time getting outside to play with their peers on the playground because of his inability to walk on his own and navigate the toddler playground. This can offer opportunities for including a functional outcome related to “getting to the playground so that they can swing with their friends”. When the child care provider is included in the IFSP process, they can assist the team in knowing what they have already tried and what they would like to see the child achieve in the child care setting.

Establishing relationships is the key to success for the child & for you as an Early Interventionist! Here are some ideas to get you started in the relationship with families and their child care provider:

  1. Find out who is involved. Whether you are a service coordinator or direct service provider, share with families about the natural partnership between Early Intervention and Child Care and encourage them to include their child care provider if they have one.
  2. Connect with consent. If the family chooses to include their child care provider, ask for written consent so that you can connect with their child care provider. Encourage the family to begin that connection for you by talking with their child care provider about early intervention and who you are. Families can be the best advocate for services within child care if they know what you will be doing and how you can support their child care provider.
  3. Establish a Relationship. Before visiting the child care setting, consider calling and introducing yourself and setting up a convenient time for your first visit.   Offer opportunities to the child care provider to share what they know by asking questions so you can build upon their strengths during intervention visits.
  4. Learn about the child care setting.   Learning about the child care environment, the curriculum and routines, and who cares for the child can assist you in establishing a plan to get started. Get to know the director and staff. Ensure you are always wearing your ID and have considered how you might respond if another family asks why you are there. Remember, families in EI have a right to confidentiality. It is important to talk with families and their child care provider about this.
  5. Include the child care provider in planning your visits. Talk with the child care provider to find an agreed upon time for the early intervention visit so that it allows time for observation and coaching within the routines and activities that the child and/or caregiver need assistance with.
  6. Keep connected with the family. You may provide all of your early intervention visits at the child care setting and wonder how to keep the family involved. Talk with the family about how they would like to stay connected. Some families may want to have an early intervention visit at their home or in a community setting in addition to services being provided at child care and it can be built into the IFSP. Phone calls are another way of staying connected with the family if all EI services are provided in child care. One idea to consider is calling the family after a child care visit or having a time pre-scheduled to talk. Other connection ideas include using a notebook at the child care setting to communicate back and forth.
  7. Have fun! Providing services in child care settings can be rewarding and challenging. We can learn about child care settings by partnering with the care providers that we visit. They can help us to learn about their curriculum and activities and we can offer ideas about adaptations that may assist a child in having more opportunities for practice, becoming more independent and engaged in an activity. Often, when providing adaptations or strategies for one child, a child care provider may get ideas of ways to adapt for other children in their care.

We invite you to download “Working in Child Care as an EI Provider” ( on our website and share your successes in child care settings on our Facebook ( page. 

 Assessment in EI
Assessment in Early Intervention (EI) – How to Paint an Authentic Picture?
Shauna Ruzich, M.S., CCC-SLP

Assessment is a true art. It is the ability to see through the eyes of a child and family, to understand their world, to be creative and to paint the most helpful, strengths-based picture for all those that are and potentially will be in that child’s life. Assessment is really the first way we can offer support to a family. It is meant to be a helpful process that can instill hope and provide a guide for what comes next.

As EI providers, we share a common language and understand there are key components in a play-based assessment, from gathering background information; to the testing tool; to observation; to interpretation and recommendations. First and foremost, we need to understand What really matters? What is important to the family? What will guide the intervention? What is impacting the child the most in his/her every day life?

Testing, while important, is only one part of a larger process, Assessment. The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) hinges on family-centered, authentic information gathered and shared by all team members. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines assessment as the ongoing process of describing the child's needs; the family's concerns, priorities, and resources related to the development of the child; and the nature and extent of the early intervention services required to meet the needs of the child and family. IDEA 2004 also specifies that both evaluation and assessment should be based on a variety of measures that include informed clinical opinion.

As early interventionists, it is crucial that we have an understanding of overall child development to truly understand how one area may be impacting another and to consider Authentic Assessment. Our discipline specific knowledge and skills are critical to determining atypical development, however, it is not until you apply the What, that the assessment be considered authentic and a true depiction of a child’s functional competence in real-life situations unfolds. A holistic approach to assessment encompasses, yes – the use of testing, but also the use of observation, clinical knowledge, and family and team collaboration resulting in informed clinical opinion.

So, what are some ways to ensure you are painting an authentic picture?

  • Seek to understand a child’s overall development (how does one area of development support or hinder another area, how are the child’s skills working together? Is the child unable to identify pictures in a book? Dig a little deeper to understand what piece of that skill might be hindering her ability to do that.)
  • Identify real-life activities that are useful in a child’s natural environment and observe the child participating in those activities (and if you can’t observe, invite the family or other caregivers to share how the child participates)
  • Always consider skills within the context of routines (if a child was unable to perform a particular task, look for other opportunities within his day where he may use that skill and consider what factors may be challenging him or supporting him)
  • Observe and document what you see the child doing (in addition to testing items, what do you see when the child moves freely around his environment, interacts with siblings?)
  • Ask family/caregivers open-ended questions around what goes well and what is challenging
  • Collaborate among family members and providers and give equal weight to their input


  1. Bagnato, S., Neisworth, J., & Munson, S. (1997). Linking Assessment and Early Intervention: An Authentic Curriculum-Based Approach. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
  2. Roles and Responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists in Early Intervention: Guidelines. (2008)
  3. Cook Pletcher, L. & Younggren, N. (2013).The Early Intervention Workbook: Essential Practices for Quality Services. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
SPED Course
Interdisciplinary Teaming – Summer Session through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ever wonder why some teams seem to work together so well, and other teams flounder? In educational settings, professionals and family members often interact with one another on teams to determine how to best meet the needs of students. Join us for this class where you will: study the roles and functions of teams in early intervention and special education service delivery; consider models of team process within and between service settings; explore dynamics of interaction on teams, including approaches to decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution; AND examine professional roles and tasks of team members in the intervention process.

Meets June 13-July 8, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday

For more course information for the summer session visit: or download the course flyer at

Resources You Can Use
EITP Resource Pages

The EITP Resource pages contain a culmination of state and national resources on a variety of topics specific to early intervention. Each topic box is a link to a resource page that provides additional information related to that particular topic—or you can use the following list to navigate to a resource page! Resources are being added continually. To check the resources out, please visit  

The following "resources you can use" are on the EITP Resource pages as well!  The DEC RPs can be found on our Professional Associations page.  The transition resource is available on our Transition resource page, and the ASD information from the CDC is on our Autism page!

DEC Recommended Practices with Examples

The Division of Early Childhood (DEC) has produced an extension of the DEC Recommended Practices (April 2014), including accompanying examples for each practice, further explaining the real-world application of instructional disciplines developed by the DEC Recommended Practices Commission. To view and download this updated version, please visit

Transition resource: “Eligibility and Service Delivery Policies: Differences Between IDEA Part C and IDEA Part B”

National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) has developed a document which provides a snapshot overview of IDEA Part C and IDEA Part B policies in the following areas: Eligibility Criteria, Eligibility Determination, Types of Services, Service Settings, Service Recipients, Parental Rights, and System of Payments. It is intended as a resource to support transition between these programs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. To download the document, please visit

Learn the Signs, Act Early: CDC Resources on ASD

Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not being identified as early as they could be. Early identification is the most powerful tool we have right now to make a difference in the lives of children with ASD. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has resources to help all children thrive: learn the signs, act early.

Additionally, a new report from NCBDDD’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network shows that many children are living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who need services and support, both now and as they grow into adolescence and adulthood. More can be done to ensure that children with ASD are evaluated as soon as possible after developmental concerns are recognized. For more information, we invite you to read the report or a summary of the key findings.

Research Participation Opportunity
IU survey
Do you know a Family with a Toddler aged 16 to 36 with Autism or Other Developmental Concerns?

A research team at Indiana University is developing an instrument to assess parents’ views of their potential to support their toddlers’ social communication. They are asking your help to distribute a letter to parents of toddlers aged 16 to 36 months with autism or other developmental concerns. If you know a family who may fit these criteria, please share the following letter for them to learn more:

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events from EITP and others

To view upcoming events sponsored by EITP only, please visit

For a list of online trainings offered by EITP, please visit our EITP Online Events Calendar.

For a list of events sponsored by other entities (non-EITP events), please see the Non-EITP Events Calendar.

MFLN event
MFLN Upcoming Events and Save the Date

The Military Family Learning Network has the following upcoming events in June 2016:

June 23, 2016: Webinar “Engaging Families to Focus on Intervention Strategies" Free Illinois EI CEs worth 1.5 hrs! Registration and additional information available at

June 29, 2016: Follow Up Lunch and Learn “Lunch & Learn:  Engaging Families in Early Intervention" Free Illinois EI CEs worth 1.0 hour! Registratrion and additional information available at

MFLN also asks you to “Save the Dates” for their upcoming learning events around “Strengthening the Family Core” on September 1, 8, 15, & 22 from 11:00 am -12:30 pm EST.  Events in this seriers will offer NASW CE credit.