Parent Participation in Early Intervention

Families, most particularly parents, are vital participants in early intervention. Your contributions are invaluable:

  • at the individual level where you are intimately involved in determining the services that your own child will receive; and
  • at an organizational level determining policies and scope for EI programs.

The resources below have been identified because they address the many dimensions of parent involvement, including the parents’ right to be involved in decision making regarding their child and the early intervention services he or she receives.  There are also resources to help early intervention systems promote the active involvement of families at either the organizational or individual levels.


Resources For Parents

Watch a video | Early Years and Parent Involvement
This 4-minute video features a mom speaking about parent involvement opportunities and the early experience of educating her son, Trent, with Down syndrome.

Early intervention parental rights
From the My Child Without Limits website.

Early intervention and your rights

Tips for your child’s developmental assessment
From  ZERO TO THREE, the National Center For Infants, Toddlers and Families.

A parent’s guide to early intervention
While this guide is written for New York parents, its basic information about EI and parent involvement will be helpful to all.

Find out about your rights in your state

Join the Early Intervention Family Alliance
The Early Intervention Family Alliance is a national group of family leaders dedicated to improving outcomes for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. The EIFA works to assure meaningful family involvement in the development of Part C policies and their implementation at community, state and federal levels.

A parent’s perspective
This article, Early Intervention for Young Children on the Autism Spectrum, gives you the parent’s perspective.

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Resources For Early Intervention Programs

The principles of family involvement
This 2-pager from PACER Center gets right to the point.

More on principles: What about family-centered care?
The purpose of early intervention is to achieve family outcomes as well as child outcomes. Visit the ECTA Center’s Family-Centered Principles and Practices page to find resources illustrating the principles of family-centered service delivery.

Involving Latino families
Addressing the Needs of Latino Children: A National Survey of State Administrators of Early Childhood Programs (Executive Summary) examines the linguistically and culturally relevant practices that state administrators reported were recommended or being used by early education and intervention programs that enrolled Latino children and families.

Being responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity
The National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness is a resource hub for Head Start programs. You’ll find lots of useful materials here to help you work with young children from culturally diverse families.

What’s the literature have to say about the impact of parent involvement?
Find out in this integrated review of the literature, Family Engagement, Diverse Families, and Early Childhood Education Programs. From the National Association for the Education of Young Children. 

Looking for a bibliography?
Here’s one from the Harvard Family Research Project: Bibliography on Family Involvement in Early Childhood Education.

Getting fathers involved

Influencing the interaction between parent and child

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