Brenna Franken, an early childhood special education consultant/early interventionist at Northwest AEA, was happy to report a successful virtual visit during the first week of the quarantine. She was working with a family who has a 28-month-old boy. The child has a diagnosis of receptive and expressive language disorder, meaning he doesn’t say many words and his comprehension and understanding of what is being said or asked of him is low, as well.
The AEA team uses a primary service provider model and because of his delay, the speech-language pathologist was determined to be the best provider for him and his family at this time. The services revolve around the activities and routines the family is already doing, including book time, meals, bath time, and more. It is called Family Guided Routines Based Intervention.
The family identifies priorities and concerns in their daily routines and the early interventionists problem-solve with the family in a way to develop skills during those times. The primary service provider also observes routines in the home and coaches and brainstorms with the family on new strategies to try—or tweaking what they are already doing—to get the best results. The family then implements the strategies during their everyday routines and activities.
The virtual home visit began by asking the family how things were going and how the strategies from the last visit were working for the family. The mom just took it from there, explaining how she is using what she has learned from the AEA helping her son to talk. She was able to turn the video to him so AEA staff could observe him and turn it back to her for more coaching. The team was able to problem-solve with her all while watching from their homes.
With all of the COVID-19 pandemic pressures, the AEA team was able to bring some normalcy into that family's home. As Brenna says, “It was amazing!”