Your Child's Early Intervention Therapy Sessions

Where do the sessions occur?

Early intervention visits can occur at your home, another family member’s home, a child care setting or in a community setting that your family chooses. If you would like to explore learning in a specific environment or perhaps get support in an environment that is challenging for you or your child - Early Intervention can do that. We can plan visits at grocery stores, libraries, restaurants, parks, etc. Early Intervention services are not offered in a clinical setting.

When do THE SESSIONS occur?

  • Every effort is made to schedule sessions at a time that is good for your family. Most early interventionists offer some appointments that are outside of traditional hours to accommodate families’ schedules. I have a scheduling page that can help family’s make appointments, too.

  • Early Intervention visits should occur during a time that you need ideas around or that would support your child’s specific goals. Think about routines and try when you can to schedule sessions around a routine that naturally occurs during that time. For example, meal time, play time, play group time, before nap time and community outing times to name a few.

How are therapy or intervention services delivered?

  • Services can be provided in-person with the interventionists coming to you directly. We are also available via telehealth. Another option is using a hybrid model, where interventionists see little ones occasionally in person and then do visits in between via telehealth.

  • Early Intervention uses an evidence based practice called a Primary Provider Model. What this means is research shows that little ones and their families particularly in the age ranges of birth to three years old have better outcomes and express a higher level of satisfaction in working with one interventionist as their primary provider. This primary provider then collaborates with other therapists to obtain specific knowledge to help your child and take on roles of other disciplines other than their own. More experienced providers are typically the ones utilizing this model most effectively.

  • Early intervention looks different from a clinical model in many ways. One way that really stands out is rather than a child having individual therapists to address each specific concern such as having Speech Therapy to address communication, Physical Therapy to address gross motor delays and Occupational Therapy to address play and fine motor delays, early intervention tries to minimize the number of individuals you have to schedule with and integrate information from. An early interventionist using a primary provider model uses a developmental parenting and developmental intervention approach that incorporates all of the five elements of development (motor, self help, communication, cognition and social-emotional.)

  • It’s important to understand that in early intervention we recognize that you as parents and caregivers are the experts on your child and you know your child better than anyone else ever will. With that being said, a therapist in early intervention will be coaching and guiding you and offering you suggestions. He/She may use modeling and show you how to use certain techniques, but mostly he/she will be guiding you while you try the technique yourself. We’re here to mentor you, coach, encourage and support you. 

What’s going to happen when the therapist arrives at my door?

  • Early interventionists recognize that we are guests in your home and we are honored to be so. We will come in and greet everyone. Anyone that you want to be there can be there. Siblings, grandparents, etc. can join in the activities virtually or in person. There’s no need to have your other children gone. Early Intervention involves the whole family. 

  • At our first visit we will often meet each other in person for the first time. I’ll get to learn your family members' names, pets and any information about your family and culture that you want to share. I’ll go over some basic principles of early intervention and give you time to ask questions or share concerns. We’ll make a game plan on scheduling and what we want to focus on at the next session.

Ongoing sessions:

  • We’ll come in and gently observe what your child is interested in, ask you how things have been going since the last session and if there are any new changes or updates to share.

  • The interventionist will join in whatever routine your family is engaged in when he/she gets there. We’ll observe and gather information about that routine: how independent is the child? How engaged or active are they in the routine? And how is your child enjoying social relationships during that routine?

  • We’ll ask you questions about the routine and changes you would like to see.

  • We try to offer just a few suggestions at a time. We’ll make sure you understand how to utilize the ideas before we leave.

  • There will be closure to the session. The next appointment will be confirmed. Goodbyes will be shared. A transition song or activity (toy clean-up) will occur to let your child know that the interventionist is leaving.  

Preparing the environment for a successful session:

  • Early intervention progress depends on having parents and caregivers present and ready to work together with the therapists at the time of the appointments. Clinical settings sometimes encourage parents to wait in the lobby so the child can focus, but this is not the philosophy of early intervention.  

  • If you have larger dogs or other larger animals, please have them safely kenneled or placed somewhere else during the session - just for safety.

  • Try to limit distractions - tv, your phone, louder music.

  • If you are doing telehealth, take a look at lighting and make changes as needed.

  • Have out or ready the materials you need for the routine you’re engaged in.

  • You do not need to clean your home or make any changes to how you do things. This can feel vulnerable for some, but an early interventionist will not be judging or criticizing any aspect of what you are doing as a parent. We recognize that all parents and caregivers have strengths, are trying to the best for their child and have critical insights to share with us. 

in between sessions:

  • Reach out by text, phone call or email any questions or if you have an idea of something you want to talk about at the next session.

  • You can send videos or photos to your provider if you’d like to show how the strategies are going.

  • Communicate with your early intervention provider and service coordinator any questions or concerns you have about your appointments.

  • Try the strategies that were discussed and be prepared to give feedback on how they worked or didn’t work.

  • Strategies that are given are not homework necessarily. You won’t be tested or criticized if you weren’t able to give them a try. Early interventionists know that life is busy when you are a family with little ones.

Other tidbits:

Remember: The progress your child makes towards goals does not happen at the early intervention sessions. The progress happens in between the sessions when you as the child’s parents and caregivers weave the strategies into your daily routines that have been recommended.

Therapists in early intervention don’t typically bring toys or materials into your home regularly. This is because we know you have what you need to help your child progress. Also, we want you to have what you need to try out the strategies we recommend with the toys, materials and routines you already have in place.


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