This short and to the point article was written by our guest blogger Kim Pritikin. Kim is the amazing Managing Director of Clinical Services at Therapy Care. Check out Therapy Care and see Kim’s testimonial about therapyBOSS!
When you decide to become an early intervention provider, no one tells you about the rules that you need to follow! In early intervention these are known as the Principles of Early Intervention. Let’s take a minute to discuss the fifth principle – specifically the written home program:
“Intervention shall be integrated into a comprehensive plan that encourages transdisciplinary activities and avoids unnecessary duplication of services. The plan shall be built around family routines, with written home activity programs to encourage family participation in therapeutic activities on a daily basis.”
Home programs in early intervention should emphasize parent participation and education to maximize their child’s development. As a provider it is our responsibility is to encourage family participation around their family routines. Be honest with parents from the onset – we can’t do it without them! Encourage parents to discuss their family routines, their culture, and their schedule. Once those conversations start to happen we can start to generate ideas that will be linked to the child’s specific outcomes and goals. A home program should be verbally communicated and put in writing with specific examples. Try to focus on one or two ideas for each session…too many can be overwhelming and parents are less likely to follow through. Examples need to show how the family can work toward meeting the functional outcomes in the IFSP. Be specific with examples at first, “each time Joey says ‘car’, you say ‘blue car’.” As the family becomes familiar with how to incorporate the suggestions into their routine, the home program can become a fluid document that the family can look to on a daily basis.