Family Training Model in Early Intervention
I am really excited to share our very first Therapy Associates Blog post, focused on Early Intervention.
I have directed Therapy Associates for nearly 20 years and before that I worked directly with children and as a clinical Supervisor and professor of Speech Language Pathology. In this post, I want to discuss what I consider to be the absolutely best thing about the NJ Early Intervention System –the embrace of the Family Training Model.
In many other settings, therapists are faced with conflicts between the requirements of the system and best practices for therapy. Because the NJEIS places the Family Training Model at the center of its philosophy, EI therapists are able to work with families in the ways that they know are best for children and families. As an agency, Therapy Associates feels privileged to help facilitate these efforts.
Why is a Family Training Model so important?
In the New Jersey Early Intervention System, developmental outcomes are developed by the Early Intervention evaluators, service coordinators AND families and are outlined in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
Children from birth to 3 years spend most of their time at home with family members. Early intervention therapists will usually only spend a few hours per week working directly with a child. In a Family Training Model, therapists and family members build strategies for achieving developmental outcomes into daily activities and routines within the child’s natural environment. This tremendously increases progress toward IFSP goals.
Therapy Associates’ therapists work with children AND families to enhance development. We encourage family members to see themselves as part of the Early Intervention Team. Therapists do not tell parents what to do, but educate parents and other family members about how all members of the team can work together to enhance developmental outcomes. Families whose children receive Speech Therapy, Physical or Occupational Therapy or even ABA Therapy are able to work with their child on their own throughout the day and reach the best possible outcomes.
If you are a therapist in the New Jersey Early Intervention System or a parent of a child receiving Early Intervention Services in New Jersey, I encourage you to embrace the Family Training Model!