In 1986, the U.S. Congress created laws that provided special services for infants and toddlers. These services were urgent and significant for children with disabilities and development delayed. It was needed to enhance children development and minimize their potential for developmental delay. These range of services provided for infants and toddlers are what is referred to as Early Intervention. Early intervention involves children ages 0 to 3 who are at risk of a developmental delay or have disabilities. It provides services for children and their families to enhance daily opportunities for learning provided in children’s natural settings. In addition, these services are designed to identify and meet children’s needs in five developmental areas: physical, cognitive, adaptive, communicative, or social and/or emotional development. (First Sign, 2010)
Services are made available through a federal law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA provides states and territories with specific requirements for providing early intervention services to infants and toddlers with special needs.
Each state is provided grants from the federal government to provide comprehensive services and develops its own policies for carrying out IDEA and its requirements. Lastly, a complete evaluation of the child is necessary to decide whether he or she is eligible for Early Intervention programs. Services vary by state, but may include: Educational services, Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, Infant Development Programs, Speech therapy and Family counseling.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that children are given a multidisciplinary evaluation and assessment in order to determined the child’s capabilities and abilities and whether the child is eligible for Early Intervention services. If the child is eligible for the services, a team of early interventionists will develop a written plan called the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). IFSP contains information about the services necessary to facilitate a child's development and enhance the family's capacity to facilitate the child's development. This written plan is very important and parents plays an important role in it because they help the team of early interventionist develop it. The IFSP demonstrate that the family is a child’s greatest resources. Children needs the support of their family. The best way to support children and meet their needs is to support and build upon the individual strengths of their family. Therefore, the IFSP is not just a plan for the child but a plan for the whole family. The family is a major contributors in children’s development.
Families, most particularly parents, are essential participants in early intervention. It is very important that parents are not only there for the child but work together with the early intervention staffs. They have to understand that they have roles as partners and that they are decision makers in the early intervention process. It has been shown through studies that early intervention is effective when parents become central to decision-making and are active participants in the intervention. The articles that are going to be used in these this paper provide similar information; they are all similar because each articles stresses the importance of paternal involvement,
The article “The Role of Parents in Early Intervention: Implications for Social Work” discuses the importance of parental involvement in early intervention. It states that “parents need to play an important role in early intervention services to have significant effects on children’s developmental and social- emotional well being.” There have been evidence that shows parent involvement is a critical for developmental intervention.
There are three important reasons why parents should play a more active role in the services that their children receive thus enhancing parent...
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