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Principles of Early Intervention

What are the Principles of Early Intervention (EI)?

  • The primary goal of EI is to support families in promoting their child’s optimal development and to facilitate the child’s participation in family and community activities.
  • The focus of EI is to encourage the active participation of families in the intervention by imbedding strategies into family routines.  It is the parents who provide the real early intervention by creatively adapting their child care methods to facilitate the development of their child, while balancing the needs of the rest of the family.
  • The family must be present and engaged in interventions at all times.  The child should never be served by providers separate or isolated from the family.
  • EI requires a collaborative relationship between families and providers, with participation by all involved in the process.  An on-going parent-professional dialogue is needed to develop, implement, monitor, and modify intervention activities.
  • Intervention must be linked to specific goals that are family-centered, functional, and measurable. Intervention strategies should focus on facilitating social interaction, exploration, and autonomy.
  • Intervention shall be integrated into a comprehensive plan that encourages transdisciplinary activities and avoids unnecessary duplication of services.  The plan shall be built around family routines, with written home activity programs to encourage family participation in therapeutic activities on a daily basis.
  • Intervention should be monitored periodically to assure that the strategies implemented are successful in achieving outcomes.
  • Children and their families in Tennessee’s Early Intervention System deserve to have services of the highest quality possible.  High standards will be set for the training and credentialing of administrative and intervention staff.  Training, supervision, and technology will be focused on achieving excellence.

Additional Information

Please see the Questions & Answersdownload pdf filebrochure.