What should I do if my child’s early intervention services have been disrupted due to COVID-19?
In a nutshell: communicate, research, ask, trust, remember, and advocate. Each point is expanded upon below.
- Communicate with your service coordinator. Check in to see if services can continue virtually for the time being.
- Reach out and connect with your Regional Colorado Hearing (CO-Hear) Resource Coordinator. CO-Hears are trained professionals employed by the Colorado School for the Deaf & Blind (CDSB) in the State of Colorado who work with children who are Deaf or hard of hearing between the ages, birth to 3 years old, and their families. A list of CO-Hear Coordinators and the counties they represent can be found here.
- Find out best way to reach your service provider. See if your provider will be available by phone/email/video conferencing to answer questions and offer suggestions, even if formal sessions aren’t taking place.
- Ask if changes to your child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) are needed. If changes are needed, how you can work with the rest of the IFSP team to make those changes.
- Trust yourself. You know your child best. Follow your instincts on what your child needs and which aspects of daily activities and routines are most conducive to their progress.
- Remember your parent training. Consider the strategies and interactions you already know work well and what you are doing to foster communication development.
- Let real life be the guide. Young children learn best in the context of real-life activities and with the people who are most important to them. Weave communication interactions and goals into everyday routines and activities such as mealtime, bath time, changing time, playtime, and household chores.
- Engaging in early intervention services is a choice. It’s okay to say that you need to cancel services if virtual or other modified services are not a good fit for your family.