Relationships Among Family Participation, Team Support, and Intensity of Early Intervention Services
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AIMS: In America, children with disabilities and their families may receive early intervention (EI) services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). The IDEA mandates that decisions on service delivery are based on the needs of the child and family. It is unclear how decisions on intensity of services are made in EI. The purpose of this study was to determine whether parent participation and team support are determinants of the recommendation for intensity of service at the initial Individualized Family Service Planning (IFSP) meeting. METHODS: The participants were 63 parents of children 2-33 months of age and 74 professionals. The first author observed all IFSP meetings and completed the Parent Participation Measure. Following the meeting, parents completed a demographic form, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, and the Family Needs Survey. The recommended intensity of service was recorded. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Parent participation and team support were not significant determinants of intensity of EI service after controlling for child development and family needs (R2 = 0.145, p = .14). The recommended intensity of service was 240 min per month for 57% of the families suggesting that factors other than parent participation and team support influenced the decision on intensity of service.
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