The Early Intervention Program (EIP) provides services for children from birth to 5 years of age with or at risk for developmental delays, living in Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands. It is a multidisciplinary service based on child needs and family priorities.
Your Priorities and Goals
When first meeting with someone from the Early Intervention Program, you will be asked for the goals you have for your child, this will determine who will work with your child. Certain priorities or goals might require more than one team member. And, should your priorities and goals change as your child changes, so might your child’s team.
These goals will:
- Come from your knowledge of your child
- Start from your child’s strengths
- Be short term or long term
- Reflect the uniqueness of your child
- Assist us to develop a plan for working with you and your child.
- As much as possible, this picture of your child should be in your own words. You can assist us to understand your child by describing your child’s emerging strengths as well as your concerns, and provide us with the direction you want to go in.
You may want to review your priorities and goals when:
- You receive new information from an assessment
- Your child has accomplished one or more of your learning goals
- Your child explores a new activity in the community
- A new service provider(s) from within or outside of EIP gets involved with your family
- Your family changes teams or programs
- Your child will be entering the school system
EIP Assessment and Treatment
Usually, your child will need to be assessed before your team’s therapists will provide treatment to your child. Assessments may be as informal as an observation of your child while visiting you at home. Other assessments are more formal and may involve standardized testing materials or equipment.
Guided by your priorities and goals, assessments help team members to determine what to do to help your child. Periodic reviews show whether a particular treatment plan is working or needs to be modified.
Once intervention has begun, where and how often you and your child will see each of the professionals working with your family will vary. You will discuss whether the most effective treatment would be done at home, in a child care setting, or at one of the Early Intervention Program office sites.
It can include:
- Consulting to caregivers
- Giving handouts with ideas and activities
- Individual intervention
- Group intervention
- Connecting children and families to community based services and supports
Contact with a member of your child’s team could range from a phone call followed by suggestions in the mail to one-to-one treatment sessions. The results of your child’s assessments and your family preferences will guide possible options for treatment.
If your child requires one-to-one treatment, a schedule of treatment sessions will be arranged with the therapist(s) on your child’s team. Sometimes, team members might work together with your child, at other times they will work individually.
EIP Team Members
The Infant Development Consultant
The Infant Development Consultant provides support and information to your family to facilitate all aspects of your child’s early development. The Infant Development (IDP) Consultant may assist you by:
- Completing developmental screens and assessments
- Working together with you, in your home, to plan developmentally appropriate activities that best meet your child’s and family’s needs
- Sharing information on community programs, resources, and supports
The Occupational Therapist (OT)
The Occupational Therapist (OT) helps your child participate in their everyday life skills. OT’s have specialized knowledge of sensory processing, fine and oral motor development, and the development of play skills. For infants, toddlers and preschoolers, OTs can help children to:
- make sense of their environments, encouraging participation at home and in the community.
- use their hands, fingers and bodies to play with and use toys.
- help with self care tasks such as feeding, dressing, toileting and bathing.
The Physiotherapist looks at your child's physical development, posture and ability to move. The physiotherapist will support your efforts to:
- Help your child move and play within his/her environment.
- Promote the strength and mobility for gross motor skills.
- Modify or adapt the environment to support your child's needs.
The Psychologist will help in addressing questions about your child’s behaviour, learning abilities, or social and emotional development. The psychologist may work with you and your child to:
- Complete an assessment of your child’s development, or learning strengths and difficulties.
- Develop strategies to promote positive behaviour and reduce challenging behaviours.
- Develop strategies to support your child’s social and emotional development.
The Speech and Language Pathologist
The Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) looks at your child’s ability to respond to what is being said and to communicate.
The SLP will support your efforts to help your child to:
- Understand what others are saying to him/her
Communicate through use of speech, gestures, sign
- language and/or pictures.
- Improve his/her ability to be understood by others
Eat and drink safely.
The Social Worker/Team Leader
The Social Work/ Team Leader helps to ensure your services are coordinated and works with you to obtain the resources and support your family needs. The Social Worker may assist you by:
- Coordinating the services your family receives.
- Helping you to access services and resources in your community.
- Suggesting practical parenting ideas.
- Providing supportive counseling including connecting you with other families, offering individual and/or group parent support and assisting you to advocate for your child and family’s needs.
The Supported Child Development Consultant
The Supported Child Development Consultant becomes involved with your family when your child is attending a childcare setting, and will work with your family and the childcare provider to support your child to fully participate and develop in a childcare program. The Supported Child Development Consultant might assist you by:
- Completing a Support Guide, which will assist in helping the childcare setting successfully include your child.
- Observing your child in a childcare setting and leaving suggestions with the educators regarding various strategies and modifications that will support your child’s development in the program.
- Helping your child make the transition into the school system.
The Teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing (TDHH)
The Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH) will help you become knowledgeable about the implications of hearing loss and strategies that you can use with your child. The TDHH will support you by:
- Helping your child use their amplification equipment in everyday settings (hearing aids, FM equipment, cochlear implant devices).
- Developing techniques to enhance auditory, speech, language, and communication skills.
- Informing you of the choices and methods of communication (auditory-verbal, total communication, ASL, signed English, cued speech).
At some point your child may not require any direct service from anyone with the Early Intervention Program. A developmental monitoring questionnaire can be sent to you periodically to monitor your child’s development and the need for any future services from the Early Intervention Program if you wish.
Coordination of Services
A service coordinator for your child will be identified to you. A service coordinator is helpful when a number of professionals are supporting your efforts to help your child. The service coordinator may be that team member whom you see the most. If you only have one team member involved with your child, that person will fill the role of service coordinator.
The service coordinator:
- Explains how services are provided by EIP
- Details the roles and responsibilities of the different team members
- Links your family with service providers outside of EIP
- Informs you of advocacy services
- Facilitates meetings regarding your child, and
- Reviews with you the progress made on your priorities and goals for your child
As you become more acquainted with the services of the Early Intervention Program, you may want to take a more active part in how your child’s team works together. We encourage you to be as actively involved as you would like to be.
Making the Transition to School
If you are still actively involved with EIP when your child enters school, you will have support for their entry into the school system.
When your child enters kindergarten, his or her team can work along with you to assist with this transition. With your permission, your child’s receiving school team will receive final assessments and treatment reports to prepare them for your child’s learning style and needs.
General Information on Early Intervention Program Assessment & Treatment (EIP)
Queen Alexandra Centre for Children's Health 2400 Arbutus Road
Victoria, BC V8N 1V7
Sarah Bower, BCYC
Manager, Child & Family Rehabilitation Services