The Family’s Role in Early Intervention Services


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.

mom and child playing with blocks and smiling

Did you know that you are the most important person in your child’s life? Research has shown that young children who have a strong attachment with an important adult (that’s you!) are most likely to grow up secure and happy. You know your child better than anyone else, so your input and participation in your child’s early intervention (EI) service plan is critical. In fact, you can greatly influence and support your child’s learning and development by working closely with your child’s EI providers. These resources are all about your role in your child’s services. They should give you some ideas to discuss with your child’s EI providers.


Does My Child Have a Developmental Delay?: A guide for Parent on the Early Intervention Process
Sarah Vanover
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2018
This book is a step-by-step guide for families on how to navigate the early intervention process.
Only available as an eBook

Early Intervention Every Day! : embedding activities in daily routines for young children and their families
Merle Crawford
Brookes Publishing, 2014
Effective early intervention doesn’t stop when the provider leaves the family’s home. Targeting 80 skills in 6 key developmental domains for children birth to three, this reader-friendly guide gives professionals dozens of ready-to-use ideas for helping families and caregivers embed learning opportunities in their everyday routines.
Call#: HV 888.5 .C73 2013

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 K27 2016

Mothering Special Needs: A Different Maternal Journey
Anna Karin Kingston
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007
In a series of interviews with mothers of children with special needs, Kingston explores what it means to be a mother and how that translates into real-life experience, giving examples of good and bad practice when working with professionals.
Call#: WS 107.5 .R5 K55 2007

A Parent’s Guide To Developmental Delays: Recognizing and Coping with Missed Milestones in Speech, Movement, Learning, and Other Areas
Laurie LeComer
Perigee, 2006
Using real-life examples and case studies along with checklists, exercises, and other hands-on advice, the book covers a range of delays and disorders that include autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, aggressive behavior, and motor-control problems.
Call#: WS 350.6 .L465p 2006

Seven Essentials for Family-Professional Partnerships in Early Intervention
Bonnie Keilty
Teachers College Press, 2017
Family–professional partnerships are essential to early intervention practice (birth–age 3). Building and sustaining these partnerships is complex work. This book is about digging deeper and looking closer at what it takes to have successful relationships with each and every family.
Call#: WS 350.6 .K34 2017

Supportive Parenting: Becoming an Advocate for your Child with Special Needs
Jan Starr Campito
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007
Developmental psychologist and educator Campito draws on her own experiences as a parent to personalize the experience of becoming an advocate for one’s child. She explains how parents can work with communities of care to meet their child’s needs.
Call#: WS 107.5 R5 C196 2007


Child with Special Needs
30 minutes; DVD
Parents Action for Children, 2005
In this video, families of children with special needs share their stories to help other parents understand what to do when they find out that their child has a special need, how to find answers to their questions, how to advocate for their child, and how to focus on their child’s unique strengths.
Call#: WS 350.6 .C536dvd 2004

Floortime DVD Training Series, Volume 1: The Basics: Relating and Communicating
2 DVD Videodiscs + 1 training guide (52 p. ; 28 cm.).
ICDL, 2005
This training series introduces the Floortime approach for helping children to master the basics of relating and communicating. The creators of the approach demonstrate techniques that both follow the child’s natural emotional interests and challenge the child toward greater mastery of the social, emotional, and intellectual capacities. Cases related to birth to three-year-olds can be watched for EI credit (3.25 hrs): Introduction: The DIR model (45:13); Case 8. Gary, 22 months (66:00); Case 10. Alex, 2 years (87:24)
Call#: WM 203.5 G815t 2005 Vol.1

The home team. Early intervention illustrated : the family-centered approach for supporting families with babies who are deaf or hard of hearing
14 minutes; DVD
Boys Town Press, 2005
This DVD shows you how to establish trusting, caring relationships between early intervention specialists and families of infants and toddlers with hearing loss.
Call#: HQ 755.7 .H765v 2005

Precious Lives, Meaningful Choices
41 minutes; DVD
Fanlight Productions, 2006
In this video, four families discuss their journey of raising and caring for children who have progressive, life-limiting illnesses. Parents share their reflections on care assistants, medical staff, and embracing their children’s lives with courage and hope.
Call#: WS 200 P923 2006


C.I.T.Y. of Support
The mission of C.I.T.Y. of Support is to create a dynamic community, both online and in person, that supports all families navigating the needs of their child in therapy, regardless of diagnosis.

Family Matters Parent Training & Information Center
Serving as a parent training and information center for Illinois residents outside of Chicago, this organization seeks to empower parents to achieve the strongest possible outcomes for children with special needs through a toll-free help line, information services, and training opportunities. Parents can subscribe to a quarterly newsletter via the Web site, register for training events, and access other resources.

Family Resource Center on Disabilities (FRCD)
Created by parents, professionals, and volunteers, FRCD seeks to improve services for all children with disabilities through parent training, special education rights seminars, and information assistance and support through telephone and mail requests. They also maintain an extensive list of Parent Support Groups.


Exceptional Parent, 34(1), 154
Early Intervention Matters: Part 3. Family-Centered Philosophy and the Role of the Family in Early Intervention
Susan Addison. (2004)
This article provides a brief summary and overview of family-centered philosophy and the position of the family in early intervention services.

Young Exceptional Children, 9(3), 20-27
Interventions for Toddlers with Autism: Buiding on the Parent-Child Relationship to Promote Joint Attention
Hannah Schertz & Michele Robb. (2006)
A mother who is also an early interventionist shares the story of how she discovered that her son had autism. The article describes a model that helped parents of three toddlers with autism to promote joint attention.

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.

Talking with Your EI Service Providers (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

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.

Transition at Age 3: Leaving the Early Intervention Program (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

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

Who Is on Your Early Intervention Team? (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Paying for EI Services
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Tiara’s Story: Encephalopathy and Seizure Disorder
Meet Tiara and her family and see the routine-based interventions that were planned for her.

Related Resource(s)