Live Video Visits, Phone Consultations, and In-Person Early Intervention (EI) Services: What’s Right for My Family?

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. Here are some things to consider when deciding which option is best for your family.

Who chooses the way my family receives EI services?

You will have a conversation with your service coordinator and providers to determine whether to receive in-person services, live video visits, phone consultation, or a hybrid model. Your service coordinator will document your decisions.

What should be considered when deciding how to receive EI services?

To the maximum extent possible, you and the EI provider should discuss options for live video visits, in-person visits, and/or phone consultations. Just as with in-person visits, you will receive coaching during live video visits and phone consultations.

Early Intervention (EI) services, regardless of service delivery method:

  • Are designed to build on the child/family’s strengths and meet the needs of the child/family in culturally and linguistically responsive and affirming ways 
  • Are based upon the family-identified functional outcomes in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
  • Use a coaching approach to service delivery and focus on building caregiver capacity
  • Focus on learning opportunities and interventions embedded into naturally occurring routines and activities with family members/caregivers
  • Do not require or expect children to sit and attend for extended periods of time
  • Consider the scheduling needs and preferences of the family/caregiver
  • Comply with privacy, confidentiality standards, and adhere to legal safeguards
  • Must be individualized and flexible to adapt to changing priorities and circumstances of families 

How will I know my rights during this process?

Your rights are in your procedural safeguards, which will be given to you by your service coordinator. If you have questions about the process or your rights, you can contact:

  • The Bureau of Early Intervention (217-782-1981,
  • Family Resource Center on Disabilities, if you live in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will counties (312-939-3513,
  • Family Matters, if you live anywhere else in the state (866-436-7842,
Publication date: 2020     Reviewed: 2023