by Crystal Williams, Ed.M.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began early in 2020, early intervention systems had to transform their service delivery model almost overnight. Over time, some states have been able to put in place forms of remote service delivery, such as telehealth in order to safely meet the needs of young children with disabilities and their families. Telehealth is generally defined as an alternative to providing services in-person using audio and/or video to connect providers with caregivers to support a child’s development within daily routines and activities . With regulations regarding telehealth varying and changing frequently it is important for early intervention providers to stay up-to-date and knowledgeable about their state’s guidelines.
Early intervention providers who are new to telehealth as a means of delivering services can learn from providers who may have been using telehealth for some time. EI providers known to this author were asked to complete a brief questionnaire about their experiences with early intervention telehealth in order to share insight and concerns with others in the field. This blog post series, highlights the responses of these EI providers from across disciplines and states to the following questions: (a) What’s going well? (b) What are the challenges? (c) What resources do you use? and (d) What supports do you need? To read earlier posts in this series, click on the hyperlinked text in the previous sentence. This final blog post focuses on the supports that EI providers report needing to adequately do their job.
What supports do you need?
Providers reported a lack of confidence and competence when implementing telehealth services. The resources below provide support to early interventionists to enhance their skills and sense of confidence and competency in implementing telehealth services.
- Information to support parent-child interactions
- Specific ideas for working with families through telehealth
- Help discovering how to model for families via video
- Specific trainings on implementing telehealth
- Strategies for conducting virtual evaluations and assessments
The goal of this blog series was to share what EI providers have discovered about telehealth thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read previous posts in the series, use these hyperlinks for the first, second, and third posts. Finally, leave us a comment with your own insights, resources, and ideas on this topic.