Illinois

Early Intervention Clearinghouse

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The Illinois Early Intervention (EI) Clearinghouse identifies and collects research-based and best-practice early intervention information to share with families.

The Early Intervention Dream Team

When my first five children were little, I knew many young moms like myself. Our church and neighborhood were full of them. Several times a week we would call each other and get together to share important news such as who had just slept through the night, taken their first step, thrown a public tantrum, used the potty, and, quite often, who was expecting … again.

Three years ago, at 41, I became the mother of a newborn again. In many ways, my past experiences were a big help, but in other ways I was starting over again. My support system had changed. Also, T’s timetable for some skills has been a bit different from my other children. He smiled early and often and engaged people in delightful social interactions, but his physical and verbal skills came along later than usual. He required more support and encouragement from me to reach milestones such as crawling, walking, using words, and following directions.

Because of T’s delays, he qualified for early intervention (EI) services. Our EI experience began with a joint visit from Judy (developmental therapist) and Barry (physical therapist), who came into our living room, kicked their shoes off, and sat down on the floor with us. Barry was able to explain the mechanics of crawling and walking to help me identify very small steps of progress and to be encouraged by each one as it came. He assured me that walking would come, even if it didn’t happen on the schedule provided on the developmental milestone checklists.

On her first visit to our home, Judy pointed out T’s strong social skills. She noted that each time she pulled a new toy from her bag, T would look at me to make sure I was watching, too. “That’s establishing joint attention,” she said. I knew right away that I would enjoy having her in our home. One of T’s first words came from his times with Judy, when he would look at her large, zippered bag, sign and say, “Open!”

Later on, we added speech services with Maureen and occupational therapy services with Stacie, who provided sensory input during therapy. Sara, who provides developmental therapy for vision, also joined the team to monitor and provide input on issues related to T’s vision. Maureen and Sara brought valuable experience both as therapists and as mothers who had seen their children through early intervention and special education services. They gave me the kind of mom-to-mom insight I needed. “You have to remember that they are kids first. Don’t let disabilities or delays make you forget that. Right now, he’s just being 2!” These conversations took me back to those crowded living room chats years ago. They encouraged me; they reminded me I was not alone.

Although I knew the time was right for T to “age out” of the EI program when he turned 3, I will miss our early intervention days. Not only was therapy good for T, it met a need in my life, providing new ideas and input and a team of concerned listeners who were genuinely interested in our news. This time around, my experience as a mom has been different, but I’m certain that I will remember these past three years with happy thoughts of my friends who saw me through.

A mother of six discovers a new support system when her youngest child starts EI services.

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Who we are...

The Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse is operated by the Early Childhood and Parenting (ECAP) Collaborative at the University of Illinois. The EI Clearinghouse is funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The Illinois Early Intervention (EI) Program provides a collection of services for families of children from birth to age 3 who have disabilities or developmental delays or who are at risk of having developmental delays. Families are the key to successful early intervention. Our mission is to provide families with the information they need to support their children's growth and development.

Resources...

The EI Clearinghouse Web site provides families with access to an extensive early intervention library collection of books, videos, and journals. Some materials are available in Spanish as well as English.

The Web site also contains a calendar, a newsletter for parents, and links to other early intervention information intended for families.

EI professionals: We provide a list of videos approved for CEU credit as well as our library collection. Visit the Web sites of Provider Connections, the statewide network of (Child and Family Connections) CFC offices, and the Illinois EI Training Program.

Contact Us...

Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse
Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Children’s Research Center, Room 20
51 Gerty Drive
Champaign, IL 61820-7469

Toll free: (877) 275-3227
Local: (217) 333-1386

Fax: (217) 244-7732

Web FormFor questions and material requests,
please complete our Online Request Form OR send us an email: Illinois-eic@illinois.edu

Learn more about the Illinois EI Clearinghouse.

Disclaimer
The information provided on this Web site is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. The opinions, resources, and links provided on the Web site are intended for information purposes only and are not intended to take the place of medical or legal advice, or of other appropriate services.

The content of the EI Clearinghouse Web site does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or the Illinois Department of Human Services; nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or the Illinois Department of Human Services.

 
University of IllinoisUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of Education
Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative

Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse
www.eiclearinghouse.org
(877) 275-3227
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