Early Intervention Quiz
What are the 7 key principles of effective special education early intervention practices?
Find out in this quiz, adapted from The Early Intervention Workbook: Essential Practices for Quality Services by Lynda Cook Pletcher, M.Ed., and Naomi O. Younggren, Ph.D.
Providers who follow the practices and principles outlined in The Early Intervention Workbook, based on specific recommendations from a workgroup of today’s top researchers, have seen the families they work with have the greatest success. See how well you know these principles (and how well your program follows them in real life):
Early Intervention quiz
Family-centered practices: Which of the following should providers NOT do?
Treat families with respect.
Be nonjudgmental and flexible with each family and child.
Focus their efforts on families' areas of weakness.
Provide open and honest information and communication.
Assist families to be the key decision makers in all aspects of the services they are to receive.
C. Providers should NOT focus their efforts on families' areas of weakness. Family-centered practices build upon the strengths and abilities that all families have.
Family-centered practices result in families feeling and displaying their competence and confidence in their own lives. This in turn has a direct and positive influence on their ability to help their child's growth and development.
Natural settings and everyday routines: Which of the following should providers NOT do?
Help families understand how their toys and everyday household items can be used or adapted.
Observe the child in multiple settings, getting family input about the child's behavior in various family routines as part of the assessment and evaluation process.
Assist families with understanding how their daily routines and activities naturally provide children valuable learning opportunities.
Help the family and other caregivers engage the child in enjoyable activities that allow for frequent practice of emerging skills.
Work with the child in sessions or activities apart from peers or other family members so the child can pay attention to the interventionist.
E. The provider should NOT work with the child apart from peers or other family members. Children learn best when they are engaged with familiar people and things they like and find interesting.
Key Principle 1: Infants and toddlers learn best through everyday experiences and interactions with familiar people in familiar contexts.
Family strengths: Which of the following SHOULD providers do?
Base expectations for families on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, income, or education.
Suspend personal judgments and build rapport and trust to truly understand information gathered from the family.
View families as not caring about their child or apathetic if they miss appointments or do not carry through with prescribed interventions.
Explain to families that professionals can help them meet their needs in a better way than people in their informal support network can.
Assume certain types of families need more help based on family circumstances or a child's type of disability.
B. Providers SHOULD suspend personal judgments. All families have hopes, dreams, and wishes for their children. All families have strengths and capabilities to help their child grow, learn, and be happy.
When providers seek information to identify family strengths to build upon, families feel listened to, treated with respect, not blamed, and ultimately cared about, hopeful, in control of the situation, connected to others, and capable.
Key Principle 2: All families, with the necessary supports and resources, can enhance their children's learning and development.
Providers' primary role: Which of the following should providers NOT do?
Involve the family in discussions and decisions about what it is they want their child to be able to do and what the child enjoys and can do.
Evaluate progress or success by including how the family feels the learning opportunities and activities are going.
Offer information, materials, and emotional support to enhance the family's natural role in supporting their child's learning.
Show activities they have planned and then ask them to fit them into their day.
Point out children's learning opportunities as they are seen and work with families to make any adaptations to enhance the learning opportunity and the children's active participation.
Providers should not show activities they have planned and then ask families to fit them into their day.
Providers should provide feedback and encouragement as they see the family use incidental teaching moments, and should point out learning opportunities that they observe in the family's naturally occurring activities and routines, working with families to make adaptations to enhance the child's active participation.
Key Principle 3: The primary role of service providers in early intervention is to work with and support the family members and caregivers in children's lives.
Individualized support: Which of the following should providers NOT do?
Understand that families from certain cultural backgrounds are the same as other families of that background.
Treat each family member as a unique adult learner with valuable insights.
Use the family's cultural beliefs and traditional activities as sources of learning for the child.
Suspend judgment and assumptions about how a family should do things based on the provider's own cultural expectations related to child rearing and family life.
Work with the team that includes the family to collaboratively decide and adjust the frequency and intensity of services.
A. Providers should NOT make assumptions that families from certain cultural backgrounds are the same as other families of that background. Although individuals of similar cultures may have like customs, be cautious about stereotyping the ways of families based on generalized cultural practices.
Families have individual cultural values and beliefs that influence their priorities. When working with culturally and linguistically diverse families, it is necessary to develop an anchored understanding of their values, beliefs, and concerns to effectively partner with them.
Key Principle 4: The early intervention process, from initial contacts through transition, must be dynamic and individualized to reflect the child's and family members' preferences, learning styles, and cultural beliefs.
IFSP Outcomes: Which of the following should providers NOT do?
Listen to and believe the family's needs and concerns about their child.
Help the family express their priorities and concerns in written outcome statements that are clearly stated.
Write outcome statements such as "Markus will participate in backyard playtime by walking using his walker in order to play more with his brother."
Write IFSP outcomes such as "Mark and Ellen (parents) will get enough information about autism to comfortably explain Jeremiah's condition to family and friends."
Write IFSP outcomes that are discipline specific.
E. Providers should NOT write IFSP outcomes that are discipline specific. Children learn holistically, not in isolated, discipline-specific domains.
Family desires, stated as functional outcomes, keep the intervention focus on what is meaningful and helpful. Family routines and activities provide a context for addressing IFSP outcomes through strategies and activities developed with the family.
Key Principle 5: IFSP outcomes must be functional and based on children's and families' needs and family-identified priorities.
Primary service provider: Which of the following SHOULD providers do?
Share the message that, the more providers that are involved with the child, the more gains the child will make.
Regard a primary service provider as the family's gatekeeper to other disciplines and providers.
Determine the primary provider solely on the child's delay or diagnosis.
Visit other agencies and referral sources to assist them in knowing what early intervention approach the program is using and what that means.
Recognize that a primary service approach means that everyone on the team should be able to provide any service (e.g., an educator, OT, or PT can provide speech therapy).
D. Providers SHOULD visit other agencies and referral sources to assist them in knowing what early intervention approach the program is using and what that means.
Families are better able to develop meaningful relationships with a consistent primary provider who keeps abreast of the ever-changing needs and priorities of the family. Families can receive consistent and coordinated information from a primary provider who works in partnership with other team members. Families in partnership with the primary provider have access to other supports and services as needed.
Key Principle 6: The family's priorities, needs, and interests are addressed most appropriately by a primary provider who represents and receives team and community support.
Intervention strategies: Which of the following should providers NOT do?
Explain clearly the rationale for suggesting a particular intervention strategy to meet an IFSP outcome.
Believe that having a professional degree or certification means that they do not need further training.
Research intervention strategies and practices they are uncertain about before suggesting or trying them.
Keep abreast of the recommended practices in the field of early intervention through reading, attending trainings, referring to professional organizations, collaborating with peers and others, and taking advantage of other learning opportunities.
Base practice decisions for each child and family on family input and ongoing assessment.
B. Providers should NOT believe that having a professional degree or certification means that they do not need further training. Families should receive support and services from professionals with required competencies and credentials, and programs should provide continuing training opportunities beyond initial certification.
Programs should support staff who work with young children and families by actively promoting and helping providers stay abreast of quality early intervention practices.
Key Principle 7: Interventions with young children and family members must be based on explicit principles, validated practices, best available research, and relevant laws and regulations.
Provider-family interaction: When the provider leaves after the visit, the FAMILY MEMBERS should feel ...
that their needs and concerns are being given priority.
confused by what was decided or unsure about what is expected of him or her.
indebted to or dependent upon the service provider.
relieved that the provider is gone and now they can go about their daily activities.
as if he or she were not free to express concerns or suggest possible solutions.
A. The family member SHOULD feel as if the needs and concerns of the family are being given priority. Providers' behavior should reflect understanding of and respect for the family's priorities.
When the provider leaves, the family members should feel cared about, hopeful, in control of the situation, connected to others, and capable.
Relationship-based practices: Which of the following SHOULD providers do?
Focus on working directly with infants and toddlers.
Create goals for improvement based upon test results and what the professionals believe is important for the child.
Focus on building the parent's strength to develop his or her capacity to help their child develop.
Provide pre-selected information and invite questions from the family if time allows.
Bring toys for child to play with so providers can have time to chat with the parent.
C. Providers SHOULD focus on the parent to develop the family's capacity to help their child develop and be involved in all aspects of family life. The quality of the child's relationship with the parent or other caregivers is key to the child's development.
When parents are overwhelmed with daily life they are less likely to give time or expend energy in activities such as holding, playing, or interacting with the child. Therefore, rather than just targeting the child for intervention services, providers should work to support and strengthen the parent-child relationship, helping the parent understand, interact, and enjoy his or her child in growth-enhancing ways.
A key to doing this is to enhance the parent-provider relationship—seeing the parent as capable, using open and honest communication, respecting family priorities, displaying genuine caring, and being flexible. Supporting adults is distinctive in that adults respond to instruction that links to their priorities; they do not respond to instruction that is not meaningful, useful, or interesting to them.
Learning must happen in a climate of reciprocal respect, where parents and providers feel comfortable sharing their impressions, ideas, and viewpoints.