A Description of Live Video Visits

The focus of early intervention is to facilitate the active participation of families in the EI process by engaging caregivers in the planning and implementation of services. Live video visits (e.g., telehealth or teletherapy) may enable you and your child to receive early intervention (EI) services. Below, we provide some ways live video visits compare with in-person EI visits.

Similarities Between Live Video Visits and In-Person Visits

  • You continue to meet with your EI provider or service coordinator for your EI services.
  • You receive coaching from your EI provider. Coaching may include:
    • You and the EI provider jointly planning your EI session.
    • The EI provider observing your interactions with your child
    • The EI provider providing feedback about strategies to use with your child
    • You and the EI provider reflecting about strategies to use with your child.
  • The use of interpreters and co-treatment can still occur via live video visits or in-person.
  • You can choose to split up the session into two 30-minute sessions or a one-hour session.

Differences Between Live Video Visits and In-Person Visits

  • Live video visits are conducted via an Internet platform such as Skype or Zoom.
  • Live video visits are not conducted in-person.
  • In live video visits, your provider may share resources with you over the Internet platform via a link in a chat or via email/text (versus in-person).
  • Families cannot be asked to encounter financial hardship (e.g., buying equipment or Internet service) to receive live video visits. For in-person visits, no technology may be needed.
  • Technology devices (iPads or hotspots) can be borrowed from the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse.
  • You and your EI provider need to agree on which approach will be used for visits.
person using a tablet

Tips for successful live video visits

  • Find a location that you think will be comfortable for you and your child, has minimal distractions, and that has a stable Internet connection.
  • Use a blanket on the floor to help define a “play area” or work space for your session.
  • Identify toys or other items that will help you child be comfortable during the visit.
  • Consider what you want to share with the EI provider before the visit.

What Do Live Video Visits Look Like?

Live video visits can look different depending on the context, the child, the service being provided, and a variety of other scenarios. You can find some clips about live video visits at https://eiclearinghouse.org/public-awareness/live-video-visits/

Publication date: 2020     Reviewed: 2023