Family Development

Meet Our Team: Early Intervention

Our purpose is to serve military family service professionals in the area of family development through early intervention. We have developed an online community of resources and information designed to support this important work.

Early Intervention (EI) operates within the Family Development team of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN). The overall purpose of EI is to enhance the capacity of professionals working with military families who have young children (birth to 5 years old) with or who are at-risk for disabilities and development delays.

FD Early Intervention Team

As a professor in the Department of Special Education and currently in her role as Associate Provost for Faculty Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Santos engages in professional development every day.  For over two decades, she has worked in various settings as a special educator, teacher educator, and researcher. Her research activities focus on understanding the unique needs and strengths of families of young children with disabilities and how best to train providers to work with families from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Her passion and commitment to strengthening the capacity of professionals and family members to support their young children has helped in her role as one of the Principal Investigators of the MFLN FDEI Concentration Area, along with Dr. Ostrosky.  Dr. Santos assists in planning and implementing the yearlong professional development activities offered by MFLN-FDEI, along with providing fiscal and management oversight of the project.

Especially during her busy days, she tries to carve out time to go on long walks for both her mental and physical health. She enjoys the challenge of Soduko. She especially loves to spend time with her family. Her child’s school and after-school activities keep her on her toes after work hours and on weekends!

  • FD Early Intervention Project Leader University of Illinois

Dr. Ostrosky is the Head of the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a professor with research interests in the areas of: a) young children’s social emotional competence and challenging behavior, b) attitudes and acceptance of typically developing children toward individuals with disabilities, and c) peer relationships and inclusion.

  • FD Early Intervention Project Leader University of Illinois

Robyn DiPietro-Wells is the Family Development Early Intervention (FDEI) program coordinator for the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN).  She designs and produces professional development through various forms of online media for the Family Development Early Intervention concentration area of the MFLN.  She is passionate about empowering individuals to advocate for equity and justice for children and families in all areas of society, but specifically in education.  She seeks to broaden professionals’ understanding of the unique needs of diverse families and children, and to ensure that families are aware of the resources and opportunities available to them and their children whether they are typical developing or experiencing developmental delays. Ms. DiPietro-Wells is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in diversity and equity in education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • FD Early Intervention Program Coordinator University of Illinois

Misty serves as an assistant to the Family Development Early Intervention team.  She is involved in the production of professional development materials, webinars, and conferences.  Misty is passionate about building family systems and empowering parent-child relationships through intentional play.  She obtained her master’s degree at the University of Illinois with a focus on early childhood special education.  As a birth to three prevention initiative provider through the CU Early program at the Urbana, Illinois School District, Misty has implemented the Parent’s Interacting with Infants (PIWI) modeled playgroup at CU Early to provide new opportunities for families to play and learn.  Through collaboration and building connections with families and community providers, Misty seeks to build awareness and understanding of the unique needs of diverse at-risk families and their children.

  • FD Early Intervention Team Assistant University of Illinois

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