EI on the Fly

A podcast focused on all things Early Intervention

Series 2 Episode 3 - Valuing and Respecting Team Members

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In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Naomi Younggren, consultant with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA Center), to talk about the importance of showing that we value and respect our team members, including family members, colleagues, and agency partners. Strategies and stories to help you reflect on this component of teaming and addressing challenges are shared.

Series 2 Episode 2 - Sharing Common Tasks & Understanding Unique Roles among Team Members

In episode 2, we discuss how early intervention teams share common tasks and understand the unique roles of team members. Strategies for overcoming challenges related to how teams collaborate are shared and the importance of recognizing what each person brings to the team, including family members, is emphasized.

Series 2 Episode 1 – Understanding the Team’s Shared Purpose

This episode launches our series on teaming and collaboration with a discussion about the importance of early intervention teams understanding their shared purpose, which is to work together to support families. We are joined by two guests: Rachel Moyer-Trimyer, Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, and Cori Hill, Project Director and Early Intervention Training Specialist from Virginia’s EI professional development team with the Partnership for People with Disabilities at VA Commonwealth University. We explore what it looks like when teams share this purpose and strategies you can use to facilitate this shared understanding with colleagues and family team members.

Episode 8 - What Functional Assessment Means to Supervisors, Practitioners, and Families

Description: In our final episode in this series, we hear from an early intervention program supervisor and practitioners who have also been parents receiving intervention. They share their thoughts and experiences as they answer the question, “What does functional assessment mean to you?”


Episode 7 - Ongoing Functional Assessment

In this episode, we discuss how to integrate ongoing functional assessment into your work with families during service delivery. We describe why and how to conduct it as a collaborative process with a family and model this process by discussing a challenging situation. We  review how the components of functional assessment help you monitor progress, address outcomes in family activities and interactions, be responsive to family updates and changing priorities, and help the family reflect on their efforts with their child during and between visits.

Episode 6 - Functional Assessment and the Initial IFSP

In episode 6, we discuss how functional assessment contributes to the development of the initial Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). We imagine different scenarios that illustrate (or do not illustrate) functional assessment practices during this important part of the early intervention process.

Episode 5 - Implicit Bias

In episode 5, we discuss implicit biases and the importance of building our awareness of how our experiences and perceptions affect what we bring to functional assessment. We define implicit bias and discuss how to recognize it in the context of interactions with families. We also emphasize the importance of reflecting on how bias impacts our perceptions, behaviors, and attitudes so we can be more successful with “meeting families where they are.”

Episode 4: Active Listening

In episode 4, we define active listening and discuss the importance of listening to families as they share information. We explore examples and strategies to help early intervention practitioners build their active listening skills, emphasizing the HEAR model to guide practices.


Episode 3: Asking Meaningful Questions

In episode 3, we discuss how to gather functional assessment information from families by asking meaningful questions. We consider differences between formal interviewing and informal conversations with families and delve into different types of questions, such as conversation openers versus closers and open-ended questions. Strategies are discussed to help early interventionists address challenges with gathering information and encourage families share what they know. 

Episode 2: Intentional Observation

In episode 2, we dive into the first component of functional assessment: observation. We define observation in the context of early intervention and consider how it helps us “watch to listen and learn.” We discuss observation during the initial evaluation/assessment and service delivery, emphasizing how observation helps us gather functional information about children, how they interact with family members, and what interests and motivates them – all without inferring meaning or judgement. We’ll also review tips for helping families understand the importance of observation.

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