Conduct a Functional Assessment
An effective assessment process:
- Addresses the family’s questions about enhancing their child’s development, focusing on each family member’s concerns and priorities.
- Collects information for a specific purpose, for example, the evaluation conducted by the early interventionist at the beginning of the IFSP process determines if the child is eligible for services.
- Reflects a complete and accurate picture of the child’s strengths, needs, preferences for activities, materials, and environments.
- Has a person familiar to the child conduct observations and other assessments in settings familiar to the child (e.g., home, outdoor play area, child care program).
Collaboratively Develop Expected Outcomes
After assessment information is collected, the team meets to review the information and the family’s concerns, priorities, and resources to develop statements of expected outcomes or goals. Active family involvement is essential. Collaborative goals focus on enhancing the family’s capacity and increasing the child’s participation in valued activities.
Assign Intervention Responsibilities
After outcomes are identified, the early intervention team assigns responsibilities for intervention services that support those outcomes. An IFSP requires an integrated, team approach to intervention. Using a trans-disciplinary team model is one method of integrating information and skills across professional disciplines. In the trans-disciplinary model, all team members (including the family) teach, learn, and work together to accomplish a mutually agreed upon set of intervention outcomes.
Individuals’ roles are defined by the needs of the situation rather than by the function of a specific discipline.
In a trans-disciplinary model, one or a few people are primary implementers of the program. Other team members provide ongoing direct or indirect services, such as consultation. For example, an occupational therapist can observe a toddler during meals, then recommend to the parent how to physically assist the child.