Considering the Sibling Experience when Supporting Families in EI and Beyond Using a Culturally Competent Approach

In Early Intervention we work from Individualized Family Service Plans, and it is no mistake that the whole FAMILY is included in our planning.  We know from research that the way a family functions is the biggest influence on who a child becomes and what they are capable of.  This is especially true for kiddos with IFSPs.  We can partner with parents to figure out the best supportive seating or strategies to encourage more spoken language, but if the family is barely holding their life together, our interventions usually take a backseat, often a seat way, way in the back.
We know that it is important to slow down to think about how families are managing the additional stress of raising a child who is eligible for our services.  It is equally important to consider the well-being of siblings who are often vying for attention from parents who are stretched thin.  Those siblings, who will most likely really appreciate our attention, are often some of our biggest allies in making sure that there is time for the strategies and ideas that we feel might make a big difference in a child’s development.  

When was the last time that you slowed down and thought about how to support and work with siblings on your caseload?  Well, IDA is giving you that opportunity next month.  We hope that you will join the IDA Events team and presenters: Nikki Donnelly, Kalyn Farris and Liza Stack on Tuesday, May 16 at 6pm (one of our rare evening events) as we Consider the Sibling Experience when Supporting Families in Early Intervention and Beyond Using a Culturally Competent Approach.  For more details and registration, click Here.

Early Intervention for Children with High Likelihood of Autism

The average age of diagnosis for children with autism remains around 4 years of age in the United States, with children from historically underserved groups receiving a diagnosis over one year later than White children on average. However, we know that providing intervention as early as possible is critical to outcomes that deliver the best quality of life for children and their families as children with autism become adolescents and adults. Therefore, it is critical that early intervention providers recognize the social communication challenges in infancy and early childhood that may indicate a high likelihood of autism and begin using evidence-based interventions as early as possible, sometimes even before an official diagnosis is made. We now have many developmentally appropriate clinician- and caregiver-implemented intervention strategies to support developmental progress in children who may later receive an autism diagnosis.

Some highly recommended intervention strategies are grounded in applied behavior analysis (ABA), which has a strong evidence-base. However, autistic adults have recently raised strong concerns about the use of ABA-based therapy because of the perception that the focus is on compliance rather than learning and that using ABA strategies can be traumatizing for autistic individuals. Traditional ABA strategies developed based on the principles of learning in the late 1960s, were highly structured and often not developmentally appropriate and even used punishment as part of the teaching. Since those initial efforts at treatment, the field has made substantial progress and developed more appropriate strategies to support learning, especially in toddlers. Current state-of-the-art recommendations for early intervention call for a combination of developmental and behavioral strategies, delivered as early as possible, active involvement of caregivers in intervention, a focus on social communication needs and individualization based on family needs and culture. This is excellent news for early intervention providers who already focus on these areas.

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Try Screaming

I drove down to the ELI office today, looking at the red sun and the smoke in the air, and I couldn’t help but think…really? Again? And again?

If 2020 were a movie, I think this is the point where we would expect our hero to give a heartfelt pep talk, and together we would all rally our remaining strength and cross that finish line to victory.

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Child Abuse Prevention During a Pandemic: Considerations for Early Intervention Professionals

Child Abuse Prevention During a Pandemic: Considerations for Early Intervention Professionals

By Wendy Morrison

 Child Abuse Prevention

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