The Family’s Role in Assessment


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources. Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

parents and child playing with blocks


Authentic Assessment for Early Childhood Intervention: Best Practices
Stephen J. Bagnato
Guilford Press, 2007
This book discusses assessment in early intervention and early childhood special education, including evaluations of early development, severe disabilities, cognitive functioning, and school readiness.
Call#: WS 105.5 .E8 B147 2007

The Early Intervention Guidebook for Families and Professionals: Partnering for Success
Bonnie Keilty
Teachers College Press, 2016
Keilty explains what early intervention looks like and how families can best partner with professionals so that young children can learn, grow, and thrive. The book includes a chapter on assessment and planning outlining how parents and professionals can work together throughout the process.
Call#: WS 350.6 K27e 2010

Family-Centered Early Intervention : Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments
Sharon Raver
Brookes Publishing, 2015
This book prepares professionals to support infants and toddlers with special needs and their families.
Call#: LC 4019.3 .R39 2015

Seven Essentials for Family-Professional Partnerships in Early Intervention
Bonnie Keilty
Teachers College Press, 2017
This book features a set of concrete practices for partnering with families, presents authentic voices of families and professionals in action, promotes enhanced reflection as readers apply the lessons learned to their work, recognizes and highlights the individual nature of each family–professional partnership and includes tools to help plan, implement, and evaluate the use of the practices described.
Call#: WS 350.6 .K34 2017


Individualized Family Service Plan: Bri, Her Family and Early Intervention
77 minutes; DVD
Produced by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program, this video presents an example of a meeting where families and professionals develop an individualized family services plan meeting.
Call#: HQ 784.H3 .I53

Successfully Parenting Your Baby with Special Needs
50 minutes; DVD
Edvantage Media, 1999
This video provides a comprehensive, easy-to-follow introduction to early intervention services, including how parents can best communicate with professionals on how to meet the needs of their young child.
Call#: HQ 759.913 .S833 1999

Lily’s Assessment & IFSP Development
32 minutes; online
Virginia Early Intervention Professional Development, 2016
This video illustrates the early intervention assessment and IFSP development processes for Lily, a young toddler, and her family. While specific to Virginia’s EI system, the concepts discussed apply to all of Part C.


Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
This national technical assistance center supports state early intervention and early childhood special education programs in implementing high-quality programming and enhancing outcomes for young children.


Infants & Young Children, 22(3), 224-233
The Routines-Based Interview: A Method for Gathering Information and Assessing Needs
Robin McWilliam, et al. (2009)
The RBI is a method for gathering information on the everyday routines, activities, and events of children and families, which is important for outcomes and interventions that make a difference for children and families. Once professionals conduct these interviews, they connect better with the family and attend to more meaningful interventions.

Young Exceptional Children, 39(1), 2-11
Strategies for Achieving: Family-Driven Assessment and Intervention Planning
Harriet Boone & Elizabeth Crais. (1999)
This article describes how to introduce a family to the early intervention system and involve them in the assessment process.

Young Exceptional Children, 9(2), 2-11
Moving From Assessment Information to IFSPs: Guidelines for a Family-Centered Process
Lee Ann Jung & Jennifer Grisham-Brown. (2006)
This article shows how information gathered in the assessment process is used to develop goals for young children and families.

Young Exceptional Children, 14(4), 44-56
Empowering Families During the Early Intervention Planning Process
Teresa Byington & Peggy Whitby. (2011)
This article offers ideas to strengthen the understanding of the importance of family-centered practices during the IFSP or IEP planning process, presents strategies that professionals can use to empower families, and shares ideas on how to convey a personalized view of the child to team members.

Involving Families in the Assessment Process
Julie Rutland & Anna Hall. (2013)
Strategies for parent participation as consumers,informants, team members, and advocates are discussed as well as outcomes for children and families.

Web Resources

Communicating With Parents During Sensitive or Difficult Situations
This list provides resources to help providers discuss difficult topics with parents. Web articles, books, journal articles, and organizations are listed.

Conference Time! Talking to Your Child’s Teacher or Caregiver
Many parents feel nervous about parent-teacher conferences or other talks with their children’s teachers or caregivers. Here are some parent-tested hints to help you have good meetings with the people at your child’s program. Also available in Spanish, Polish, and Korean.

Connecting with Parents: “But He Doesn’t Do That at Home!”
Linda bites her classmates. Nate’s rude talk upsets everybody. But the parents seem stunned when you tell them you would like to find ways to help their child get along better at school. Here are some suggestions that may help when parents say, “He doesn’t do that at home!” Also in Spanish and Polish.

Assessing Your Child (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Engaging Families as Assessment Partners
This tip sheet includes methods and strategies for gathering information from families and promoting their participation during the assessment process.

Family Engagement and ongoing Child Assessment
The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement
This resource highlights the value of sharing information and describes how to share information among parents and providers.

The Family’s Role in Early Intervention: How You Can Help Your Child (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Parent Participation in Early Intervention
This resource list from the Center for Parent Information and Resources provides information for families and providers on parent involvement in early intervention.

What Happens During a Typical EI Visit? (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

ECTA resources on Assessment
This Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center list provides assessment checklists and practice guides for practitioners and families.

What is the Routines Based Interview?
This module includes RBI videos, tools and related resources for the EI/ECSE fields.