Early Interventionists, Developmental Interventionists, Developmental Therapists, EI Specialists, Whatever You’re Called in Your State… You Matter!
Today I received this email from an early interventionist who felt left out of my recommendations to parents, so I need to clarify my position a bit:
I absolutely love the positive impact you are making on families around the country. I heard of you from an SLP who was consulting with me on a child. Since then I have been sharing your website, materials and ideas with families and other professionals. I am profoundly thankful for your insight and knowledge!
As I read the article about parent coaching and the importance of teaching parents how to implement strategies, I was a bit saddened by the idea that only an SLP or “skilled therapist” can teach strategies to parents that produce positive outcomes. I’m an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist and an exceptional education teacher. I have not only spent years learning about delays and disorders that affect children under three, but I have also spent countless hours in the homes, sharing strategies and coaching families. I have learned so much from the speech, occupational and physical therapists on my teams and I use this knowledge to support families.
In my state, families are more likely to receive services from an early interventionist, than an SLP. We in EI work just as hard to provide for families as do other professionals. We also advocate fiercely for our clients when we know other services like speech are needed.
Please keep us in mind when you mention professionals who support families in early intervention. Honestly, EVERY family on my caseload will hear about teachmetotalk.com and the amazing Miss Laura! I could not do what I do without your influence. Thank you so much!
In my world, YOU are a “skilled therapist” and I never, ever meant to leave you or your colleagues out!! I believe in Developmental Specialists (EI specialists or whatever you’re called in your state!) so much that I used to host my podcast with a Developmental Therapist from 2008 to 2013 and I don’t think I’ve ever made that distinction or downplayed that important role in EI services in any way. I hate that you interpreted it that way, but I’m glad you let me know so I can make sure it’s not misrepresented. Actually, in most states where I speak, conference attendees are split half and half between SLPs and EI therapists – they’re just called different things in different places and in my mind, I am not separating those positions and using the all inclusive term “therapist.” I GLADLY welcome all EI providers and hope that everyone feels valued and respected!! Thanks for letting me know how you read that, but again, it was never, ever, ever intended to be that way!!
I hope this post clears up this misunderstanding! Actually, what I really hope is that no one else misunderstood : ) Laura
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