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Parent Participation in Early Intervention

parent with keysFamilies, most particularly parents, are vital participants in early intervention. Your contributions are invaluable:

  • at the individual level where you are intimately involved in determining the services that your own child will receive; and
  • at an organizational level determining policies and scope for EI programs.

The resources below have been identified because they address the many dimensions of parent involvement, including the parents’ right to be involved in decision making regarding their child and the early intervention services he or she receives.  There are also resources to help early intervention systems promote the active involvement of families at either the organizational or individual levels.


Resources For Parents

Watch a video | Early Years and Parent Involvement.
This 4-minute video features a mom speaking about parent involvement opportunities and the early experience of educating her son, Trent, with Down syndrome.

Early intervention parental rights.
From the My Child Without Limits website.

Early intervention and your rights.

Tips for your child’s developmental assessment.
From  ZERO TO THREE, the National Center For Infants, Toddlers and Families.

A parent’s guide to early intervention.
While this guide is written for New York parents, its basic information about EI and parent involvement will be helpful to all.

Find out about your rights in your state.

Join the Early Intervention Family Alliance.
The Early Intervention Family Alliance is a national group of family leaders dedicated to improving outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The EIFA works to assure meaningful family involvement in the development of Part C policies and their implementation at community, state and federal levels.

Rights and safeguards of families.
Assuring the Family’s Role on the Early Intervention Team: Explaining Rights and Safeguardsprovides a thorough discussions of what rights and safeguards we’re talking about and includes clear, easy-to-read materials that can be shared.

A parent’s perspective.
This article, Early Intervention for Young Children on the Autism Spectrum, gives you the parent’s perspective.
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Resources For Early Intervention Programs

The principles of family involvement.
This 2-pager from PACER Center gets right to the point.

More on principles: What about family-centered care?
The purpose of early intervention is to achieve family outcomes as well as child outcomes. Visit NECTAC’s Family-Centered Principles and Practices page to find resources illustrating the principles of family-centered service delivery.

Involving Latino families.
Addressing the Needs of Latino Children: A National Survey of State Administrators of Early Childhood Programs (Executive Summary) examines the linguistically and culturally relevant practices that state administrators reported were recommended or being used by early education and intervention programs that enrolled Latino children and families.

Working with culturally & linguistically diverse families.

Walking the walk: A guide to diversity resources for trainers.
This annotated listing of high quality resources includes videotapes, books, curricula, and other materials that can be used to assist in growing a more diverse and better prepared workforce to serve infants, toddlers, children and families who are culturally and linguistically diverse.

What’s the literature have to say about the impact of parent involvement?
Find out in this integrated review of the literature, Family Engagement, Diverse Families, and EarlyChildhood Education Programs. From the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Looking for a bibliography?
Here’s one from the Harvard Family Research Project: Bibliography on Family Involvement in Early Childhood Education.

Getting fathers involved.

Influencing the interaction between parent and child.

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This information has been included, with sincere appreciation, from the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities website, which provided informational resources for over 20 years. Regrettably, funding from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education ended on September 30, 2013. Our thanks to the many individuals who compiled and created this useful information.    Posted to Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss January 2014.