Research has shown the most critical time period for developmental growth is the time between birth and 36 months. Early Intervention is a system of supports and services for families that assist them in helping their children develop and learn. Early intervention helps to minimize developmental delays and decrease the need for special education services when their child enters school.
Caregivers influence how their children learn and grow. They spend many hours with their child every day. Early Interventionists in turn can support caregivers’ competence and confidence resulting in optimal learning opportunities for the child. Because adults can learn in small time spans and can generalize quickly, Our best route to meeting successful child outcomes is through caregivers.
Family-child interactions and other learning opportunities occurring between home visits is critical to child learning. Therefore family-directed models are extremely important for learning success.
In a Primary Service Provider model, the team members consisting of a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and early childhood specialists, combine and integrate their collective expertise to provide more efficient and comprehensive assessments, intervention strategies and services to families (Bruder & Bologna, 1993).
In this model, the main services and supports to the family are delivered through one of the team members. Depending on the needs of the child and family, other team members will provide joint home visits and consultations. In addition, weekly team meetings are conducted to ensure support is provided for each child and family in the program. Every team member continues to be recognized as the authority on techniques on their own primary discipline. (Bruder & Bologna, 1993, p. 118).
The American Pediatrics Association has produced a publication about Early Intervention, IDEA Part C Services, and the Medical Home: Collaboration for Best Practice and Best Outcomes.