The easy thing to do here, obviously, would be to reiterate the facts, qualifications, and statistics of our program. But seriously, you have probably already read all of that, and if you haven't, check out or https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/index.html http://www.dhs.pa.gov/citizens/earlyinterventionservices/ for specifics on Pennsylvania's Early Intervention Program. For all intents and purposes, this is a therapist's perspective, coming to you, about what Early Intervention is to me.
There is a family. They have a kiddo. This kiddo is experiencing some difficulties which are making overall development a bit more challenging than that of other kiddos. These parents, they love this kiddo, lots and lots and lots. They have spent hours reading, Googling, WebMDing, talking to friends/family and finally; they find us. This time spent, could have been extremely helpful for them, or not helpful in the least. They may be coming to us with a wealth of knowledge, or ready to explode with frustration because they feel helpless. Regardless of where they are, we are there.
We show up. We listen. We take it all in. Cause you know what? That family, they are the expert on that little kiddo. They have and will continue to put in everything they have into figuring out how to make their child be the best they can be, and guess what, now they have a partner. As long as they answer my knock on the door and offer their expert information on that little one, they have a partner. Together, we will read and research. Together we will laugh and cry. Together we will brainstorm and problem solve. Together we will succeed and fail. But we will do it together because we are partners. I bring my clinical expertise, my years of treatment, my professional experience, but you know what I have never done before? Worked with THIS kiddo. So their expertise will guide me, so I can guide them. We become a well-oiled machine after a period of time, and my knowledge begins to transfer to them so they can begin to see things from a different perspective. They will never become a speech therapist from the training I offered, just as I will never become a parent to their kiddo. BUT together, we are an incredible team with one common goal in mind, success for a kiddo we both love lots and lots and lots.