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EARLY ON: WHAT IT MEANS TO INFANTS AND FAMILIES. Kathy Manta LMSW , ACSW. SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW 1970’s. Extension of civil rights Michigan approved special education laws before the Federal laws were enacted

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special education law 1970 s
SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW1970’s
  • Extension of civil rights
  • Michigan approved special education laws before the Federal laws were enacted
  • Michigan law provided services from birth to 26 (one of five states with a birth mandate)
  • Federal law provided services from three to 21
infant preschool programming in michigan prior to early on
INFANT/PRESCHOOL PROGRAMMING IN MICHIGAN PRIOR TO EARLY ON
  • Followed classroom approach
  • Teachers and therapists were the experts
  • School year schedule
  • IEPs yearly
  • Only educational personnel included in services
  • Goals written based on developmental expectations
federal law for birth to three 1980 s
FEDERAL LAW FOR BIRTH TO THREE, 1980’s
  • Services provided in the natural environment, defined to mean where children without disabilities would be
  • Families are the experts
  • Year round schedule
  • IFSPs developed every year, goals reviewed every six months
  • Goals written by families
slide5

Includes services from education, medicine, and other community agencies

  • The IFSP and the family service coordinator organize the services
points of confusion
POINTS OF CONFUSION
  • Both Special Education and Early On (Michigan’s name) are part of the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA. Special Education is Part B and Early On is Part C
  • In Michigan, we still have rules that cover children with disabilities birth to three under Special Education. In addition those children are covered by Early On. Some children are dually enrolled
slide7

After referral, all children under three receive a multidisciplinary evaluation completed with standardized tools.

  • Five areas of development are measured: cognitive, gross motor, fine motor, speech, social emotional and self care.
  • Children with any level of delay are eligible for Early On and
slide8

When an evaluator feels a child is at risk of a delay, the child can be eligible for Early On and

  • Some medical conditions automatically qualify a child for Early On
  • Children who have more significant delays and meet the criteria for a diagnostic category under Special Education laws are eligible for Early On and Special Education. These children are dually enrolled.
why department of education
WHY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
  • Each state needed to decide a lead agency for Part C
  • In Michigan, the Department of Education was selected because of the birth mandate
  • All agencies involved with infants and young children are part of Early On i.e. Department of Social Services, Community Mental Health and Public Health
slide11

In some counties, Early On is perceived to be education’s responsibility

  • In some counties, other agencies write IFSPs and refer the child to education at three.
  • Paperwork is separate from the paperwork that is required by other agencies
  • The continuum from mild impairment to severe impairment is more adaptable to education
what do early on services look like
WHAT DO EARLY ON SERVICES LOOK LIKE
  • Parents self-refer or respond to a suggestion by their doctor, friend, etc.
  • Can call 1-800-EarlyOn or their local Intermediate School District
  • Will receive a response within 24 hours
  • Evaluation completed and initial IFSP within 45 days of referral
  • IFSP signed within 60 calendar days of the referral being received
slide13

If child is eligible, goals are written and services are determined

  • Services will be provided in the natural environment unless there is a written rational for services given in another location
  • Goals are reviewed every six months
  • IFSPs rewritten every year
  • Transition plan developed 90 days before the child’s third birthday
routines based interview
ROUTINES BASED INTERVIEW
  • IFSP process includes asking :
    • What is your typical day like
    • What part of the days is most enjoyable
    • What part of the day is most difficult
    • What supports are helpful
    • What activities do you enjoy doing with your child
    • What activities are very stressful
what are your concerns
WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS
  • Not just those related to evaluation but also child’s ability to:
    • Play with other children
    • Calm down, quiet down
    • Look at you
    • Sleep
    • Relate to family members
what do you want to know more about
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT

This can include anything including:

  • Planning for the future
  • Child care
  • Information on child’s condition
  • Financial resources
  • Finding specialists
  • Talking with other families with a child like mine
we just wanted to have a baby understanding families
“WE JUST WANTED TO HAVE A BABY”UNDERSTANDING FAMILIES
  • Grieving the baby they thought they were having
  • Loss of many supports due to grief of others
  • Strain in marriage
  • Need to find a reason
slide18

Denial asa coping skill

  • Parent needing to act as a professional
  • Worry about other siblings
  • Facing the community
what staff can provide
WHAT STAFF CAN PROVIDE
  • Tell the truth but be kind
  • Respect the need for defense mechanisms
  • See the positives in the child and speak of them
  • Support the parent/child connection
  • Recognize the stress of a new baby, a sick baby, sleep deprivation, etc.
slide20

Try to demystify the school and IFSP/IEP process

  • Be knowledgeable of community resources
slide21

EARLY ON ALLOWS ALL OF US TO PROVIDE A STRENGTH BASED, FAMILY FOCUSED , SUPPORTIVE INTERVENTION FOR FAMILIES WITH INFANTS AND TODDLERS WITH DEVELOPMENT DELAYS AND HEALTH ISSUES. IT IS WONDERFUL WORK

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