EI Training News, Spring 2010

April 2010, Volume VIII, Issue III

Printable version (pdf)

In This Issue

  1. Spotlight On Success: From Early Intervention to High School Graduation
  2. Interpreter/Translator Required Training Revised
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Seven Key Principles: Looks Like / Doesn't Look Like
  5. Developmental Stages of Team Development (Briggs, M.H., 1997)
  6. Pointers For Parents…Charting Your Child's Healthy Development: 0 - 2 months
  7. EI Resources

Spotlight On Success: From Early Intervention to High School Graduation

The following story, shared with permission and with great pride, tells of dreams becoming reality for one family. Because Early Intervention was part of its beginnings, this family continues to dream. Meet the Olson family...

Nineteen years ago, my family unexpectedly joined the ranks of parents of children with disabilities and entered the world of Illinois Early Intervention. We took one day at a time and Patrick's high school graduation was so far out on our distant radar that I really couldn't even think about it. He was just a tiny baby with special needs related to his newly diagnosed Down syndrome, and high school was just too far away to even consider. Yet here we are, at the other end of Patrick's formal education. It's still unbelievable to me. It seems almost surreal.

My husband and I tried the other day to list all of the service providers who have touched our family's life through Patrick so that we could invite them to join family and friends at Patrick's graduation party. Wow! Developmental, speech, occupational and physical therapists... preschool, early childhood, elementary, junior high and high school teachers... not to mention the assorted medical providers, service coordinators, counselors, etc. I'm certain that the list we came up with is not complete. That process of looking back on our own family experience made me think about parents who are just beginning their

journey, as we did, with Early Intervention. Although we always encourage parents to have dreams for their children, I know that looking too far into the future really is a hard thing to do! We certainly had, and still have, many dreams for Patrick. Our own journey, however, has been full of twists and turns, unexpected outcomes (both good and bad), and changes in plans. Flexibility has certainly been an essential and acquired skill. I wouldn't really change a thing even if I could. We all learned so much together along the way.

May 28th, 2010, my husband and I and our other sons, surrounded by family and friends, will witness what will no doubt be one of the happiest and most emotional events of our family's life... watching Patrick graduate. There will be cheers and tears of joy as well as silently spoken thanks to all of those people who helped along the way, beginning with Early Intervention. It will mark the end of one journey and the beginning of more yet to come. Way to go, Patrick. Here's looking at you!

Serving in a field in which progress is often measured on a very small and slow moving scale, success is often viewed retrospectively. Think of Patrick and his family the next time you find yourself looking a little too closely at your work in early intervention, unable to see the great success a child or family is reaching!

Interpreter/Translator Required Training Revised

The Early Intervention Program currently requires that bilingual interpreters/translators complete two types of training prior to enrollment into the program,

  1. Early Intervention Systems training
  2. Training for bilingual interpreters/translators, called Interpreter Training.

These two training curriculums have been revised and combined into one, three-day face-to-face training, "System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System." Specifically designed for bilingual interpreters and translators entering the Illinois Early Intervention System, this revised training willreplace the current two separate trainings, effective July 1, 2010. This change does not impact bilingual interpreter/translator proficiency testing requirements in any way. Those enrolling as Interpreters and/or Translators are still required to show language proficiency upon applying for enrollment. Interpreters for the deaf may choose to attend the traditional systems overview or the "System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System" training.

The new three-day "System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System" training provides a comprehensive overview of the Illinois Early Intervention System in conjunction with information about the roles an interpreter and translator fulfill when they become enrolled to provide services. Interpreters and translators can expect to learn about specific activities, responsibilities, and ethical guidelines unique to their role within in the Illinois Early Intervention System.

The "System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System" will be piloted on May 24, 25, and 26 at the Double Tree Hotel in Alsip and is open to Interpreters and Translators already enrolled in Illinois Early Intervention and to Interpreters and Translators seeking enrollment. However, those participating in this pilot presentation will be expected to evaluate and offer feedback on the curriculum and presentation format of the training. Online registration is available through the EI Training Program's website, www.illinoiseitraining.org.

Effective July 1, 2010, the "System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System" training replaces the interpreter/translator current training requirement , Illinois Early Intervention System Overview AND Interpreter Training. Therefore, on July 1st, interpreters and translators seeking enrollment in the Illinois Early Intervention System and who might have attended one, but not both of the currently required trainings, will be required to attend the new three-day training. Interpreters and translators who have completed both the Illinois Early Intervention System Overview and the Interpreter Training prior to July 1, 2010 are not required to attend the new three-day "System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters and Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System" training, but are welcome to attend and may choose to do so to gain further understanding and information about the roles of the Interpreter and Translator in Illinois Early Intervention.

For more information about enrollment as an Interpreter/Translator in the Illinois EI System as well as answers to Interpreters' 'Frequently Asked Questions', check out "New to EI" on the EI Training Program's website.

Frequently Asked Questions

I completed the System Overview Training and have sent my application to Provider Connections. When can I go to work?

A: The Illinois Early Intervention System does not receive employment applications and is not a hiring entity. Enrolling in the Illinois Early Intervention System and having an EI credential is becoming part of a paid provider group. Unless you are already employed by an agency that provides early intervention services, Illinois Early Intervention recognizes you as an independent provider, responsible for contracting your services with CFCs on your own. Neither the state nor the CFC office has a responsibility to any provider to guarantee him/her a defined number of authorizations for services, as these numbers are driven by supply and demand, which are based on the number of available providers and the unique needs of the children enrolled in the service area.

How do I let the CFCs know that I am available to see kids? Is there a form that I need to fill out and let them know that I am certified with EI?

A. Once you have received an EI Credential and have confirmed you are enrolled with the EI Central Billing Office (Specialist only), you should contact the CFC(s)for which you will be taking referrals. CFC(s) may request more information from you such as a vita or resume. A listing of CFC Offices is located on Provider Connections website.

My credential expired. Will I be able to be paid for the services that I have rendered?

A: If the provider's plan is to continue providing Early Intervention services then we encourage the provider to get re-credentialed/re-enrolled as soon as possible thru Provider Connections. If the Payee is an Independent provider with no employees the Provider may continue to provide services for children for whom they already have authorizations until those authorizations expire. If the Provider does not wish to continue to provide services until the authorizations expire, the Provider should immediately notify each child's service coordinator to find a new provider. If the Payee is an agency that employs Providers, the payee has three options:

  1. Allow the Provider whose credentials have lapsed to continue to provide services under existing authorizations for which the Provider has been the primary Provider of services;
  2. Hand off those services to an equally qualified Provider who is employed by the Payee; or
  3. The Payee can immediately notify each child's service coordinator to find a new Provider.

The CBO will continue to pay for services provided by a Provider whose credentials have lapsed until the existing authorizations for which the Provider was the primary Provider expire. No new authorizations will be generated to a Provider whose credential has lapsed.

I just completed one of your online trainings. I have a certificate number, but what do I need to do to get my certificate? How long will it take?

A: With the exception of the online training module, "Assessing the Impact of Early Intervention Services by Examining Child and Family Outcomes", our online trainings are run by an Adobe system and designed to issue a certificate number upon completion. The Training Program regularly monitors registrations and participation in the online courses. Typically 1-2 times each week staff will e-mail Certificates of Completion to participants who have completed the online modules and issued a certificate number by the system. The Online System Overview is monitored more closely the week before a scheduled One Day Follow Up Session and all online trainings during the latter half of each month.

The 'Request for EI Activity Credit' form says that it takes up to 30 business days to process. Does it really take that long? Is there anyway it can be rushed?

A: Yes, it can take 30 business days to process a credit request. The Training Program makes every effort to process your requests as quickly as possible. Credit requests are prioritized according to the date our office receives it and the date your credential expires. Because EI credit can be issued prior to or after an event has taken place, the date a particular activity submitted for review is held is not a priority for our review team.

The volume of requests being processed at any one time will directly effect how long requests are in process, but the number 1 reason credit requests are stalled in processing is because we did not receive all of the information requested and clearly stated on the Activity Request form. Sending all of the information requested along with the form, is the best and quickest way to expedite the review process.

I lost my Certificate of Attendance. Can you send me a new one?

A: The EI Training Program has attendance records from July 2002 through current of events that the Training Program has presented and/or sponsored. In order to have duplicate certificate(s) issued, print the 'Request for Duplicate Certificate' form from our website and follow the instructions. There is a processing fee of $10 per copy.

Seven Key Principles: Looks Like / Doesn't Look Like

The sixth of seven excerpts, this document, developed by the Workgroup on Principles and Practices in Natural Environments (February, 2008) elaborates on seven key principles identified by work group members listing the concepts underlying the brief statements. Each principle also has descriptive statements illustrating what the principle should "look like" in practice. There are also descriptions of what it "doesn't look like" because often those practices are still being used. While the work group offered much input, no attempt was made to reach consensus. The statements are simple examples and many others could be added. This document may be particularly useful as training material.

6. The family's priorities needs and interests are addressed most appropriately by a primary provider who represents and receives team and community support.

Key Concepts:

  • The team can include friends, relatives, and community support people, as well as specialized service providers.
  • Good teaming practices are used.
  • One consistent person needs to understand and keep abreast of the changing circumstances, needs, interests, strengths, anddemands in a family's life.
  • The primary provider brings in other services and supports as needed, assuring outcomes, activities and advice are compatiblewith family life and won't overwhelm or confuse family members.
This principle DOES look like this This principle DOES NOT look like this
Talking to the family abut how children learn through play and practice n all their normally occurring activities Giving the family the message that the more service providers thatare involved, the more gains their child will make
Keeping abreast of changing circumstances, priorities and needs, and bringing in both formal and informal services and supports as necessary Limiting the services and supports that a child and family receive
Planning and recording consultation and periodic visits with other team members; understanding when to ask for addition support and consultation from team members Providing all the services and supports through only one provider who operates in isolation from other team members
Having a primary provider, with necessary support from the team, maintain a focus on what is necessary to achieve functional outcomes Having separate providers seeing the family at separate times and addressing narrowly defines, separate outcomes or issues
Coaching or supporting the family to carry out the strategies and activities developed with the team members with the appropriate expertise; directly engaging team members when needed Providing services outside one's scope of expertise or beyond one's license or certification
Developing a team based on the child and family outcomes and priorities, which can include people important to the family, and people from community supports and services, as well as early intervention providers from different disciplines Defining the team from only the professional disciplines that match the child's deficits
Working as a team, sharing information from first contacts through the IFSP meeting when a primary service provider is assigned; all team members understanding each others on-going roles Having a disjointed IFSP process, with different people in early contacts, different evaluators, and different service providers who do not meet and work together with the family as a team
Making time for team members to communicate formally and informally, and recognizing that outcomes are a shared responsibility Working in isolation from other team members with no regular scheduled time to discuss how things are going

*Seven Key Principles: Looks like/Doesn't look like, can be found in its entirety at http://www.nectac.org/topics/families/families.asp.

Developmental Stages of Team Development (Briggs, M.H., 1997)

Stage I - Forming

Confusion, uncertainty, and anxiety are the norm as members attempt to figure out whether they should, or even want to (or have to!), be on the team. Interactions may be superficial and marred by everyone's hesitations to commit. A strong leader is essential.

Stage II - Storming

The superficial relationships that previously characterized the team's interactions may have become contentious and fractious. Blame is directed toward the leader. Hostility and disagreement reign as the team is attempting to reconcile opposing needs of separation and of affiliation.

Stage III - Norming

Similarities rather than differences predominate. The sense of harmony experienced by all gives a needed rest! Systems for working together have been hammered out. The team is finally ready to get to work.

Stage IV - Performing

Cohesion and collaboration now define the team's interactions. The team is meeting its goals, and people are enjoying the process. There is pride in the team and a satisfaction with all that the team has accomplished. Productivity yields contentment and a "team" spirit.

Stage V - Transforming

Having completed its mission and accomplished its goals, the team is not dependent on its leaders or any one member. The team thinks, acts, and feels as one. Personal learning and fulfillment are at an all-time high!

Pointers For Parents…
Charting Your Child's Healthy Development: 0 - 2 months

The following chart describes many of the things a baby is learning between birth and two months and what a parent can do to support their child in all areas of development. This is one of a series of handouts made available from ZERO TO THREE, the nation's leading resource on the first three years of life, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information on this and other family and provider resources, go to: www.zerotothree.org or www.aap.org.

What's going on: What you can do: Questions to ask yourself:
One of the most important tasks of the first 2 months is to help newborns feel comfortable in their new world. They are learning to regulate  their eating and sleeping patterns and their emotions, which help them feel content, safe and secure.
  • Observe carefully. This will help you figure out what your baby's cries are telling you.
  • Soothe your baby. When you respond to your baby's cries and meet his needs, you let him know he is loved. You can't spoil a baby. In face, by responding lovingly to his needs, you are helping him learn skills now that allow him eventually to soothe himself. You are  promoting a strongbond and healthy brain development.
  • What soothes your baby? How do you know?
  • What most distresses him?
Newborns use their gestures (body movements), sounds and facial expressions to communicate their feelings and needs from day 1. They use different cries to let you know they are hungry, tired or bored. They ask for a break by looking away, arching their backs, frowning or crying. They socialize with you by watching your face and exchanging looks.
  • Figure out what your baby is trying to tell you. Responding makes him feel important and tells him he is a good communicator. This builds a positive sense of self and a desire to communicate more.
  • Talk and sing to your baby. Tell him about everything that's going on around him. Pay attention to the sights and sounds he likes. Find toys and everyday objects with different colors and textures and see which he likes best.
  • How does your baby ommunicate with you?
  • What kinds of interactions does he like best? How do you know?
  • How does he  let you know when he has had enough?
Even as newborns, babies can play in many ways. They can connect sounds with their sources, and love when your talk and sing to them. Play helps babies learn about the world around them. It is also an important way they connect with you, helping them to develop a strong attachment and promoting healthy social development.
  • Offer your baby lots of different objects for him to look at, touch and even grip in his palms. He can focus best on things that are 8 to 12 inches away.
  • Play 'tracking' games by moving yourself and interesting objects back and forth. First he will use his eyes to follow. Eventually he will move his head from side to side. This helps strengthen his neck muscles as well as exercise his visual abilities.
  • What experiences does your baby seem to like best? (For example, talking with him; looking at toys or other objects, hearing the cat 'meow.')
  • What kind of toys grab your baby's attention? How does he let you know what he's interested in?
  • What kind of play do you enjoy most with your baby?

EI Resources

Illinois Department of Human Services Bureau of Early Intervention

Provider Connections

Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse

Hearing and Vision Connections

Early Intervention Monitoring Program

Early Intervention Central Billing Office