Early Intervention teachers, social workers, and program administrators’ work cooperatively with the family to meet the individual developmental needs of each child.
EI teachers are part of New Jersey’s Early Intervention evaluation team assigned to assess a child with a presumptive visual diagnosis and/or a suspected visual concern for eligibility for EI services. The teachers administer a functional vision assessment and a full developmental evaluation. The EI program staff often collaborates with other early interventionists (e.g. physical, occupational and/or speech therapists) to ensure that a comprehensive evaluation is completed to assess all needs.
Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP):
Early Interventionists work cooperatively with caregivers to develop an IFSP addressing the needs of each child. The IFSP is a unique plan of instruction to ensure each child has the opportunity to reach their greatest potential.The IFSP outlines the services that each child will receive and identifies each child’s goals.
Developmental Vision Instruction:
Early Intervention teachers provide instruction in the areas of vision stimulation, sensory integration and self-help skills, in a natural setting. The teachers promote active learning and floor play techniques so infants and toddlers can learn to use all of their senses to understand the world around them.
The teachers promote a relationship based model in which teachers work closely with the family to strengthen the bond that the parent has with the child and is able to reinforce skills that are being taught by the teachers during the home and community visits.
The overall goal of the EI is to successfully transition children with visual impairments to an appropriate preschool program at age three. To that end, the EI teacher and social worker are available to attend the Transition Planning Conference with the local school district and the family.