How Do I Choose an Early Intervention Provider?
Looking for Early Intervention Services for Your Child and Feeling a Bit Overwhelmed?
Whether your child has been evaluated and is eligible for Early Intervention (EI) services or you are just exploring your options; you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. There are a number of possibilities but it is difficult to know exactly what you are looking for in a provider. You might have questions like: “How do I know what my child needs?“ or “Who can help me understand what to expect?”
teli (The Early Learning Institute), a nonprofit Early Intervention Services Provider, has helped thousands of families explore their options. Teli can help you navigate this journey starting with some basic information you will want to explore with any Early Intervention Services provider. We take pride in over 50 years of experience in caring for children with developmental delays and would like to share our experience with you. The following questions are a good start in choosing the best Early Intervention therapy provider for their child. These are the questions a number of our own families asked as they were just where you are, at the beginning.
How long has your organization been providing EI services?
Experience is important when choosing a provider, you want to be sure they are established and have expertise in the field incorporating new advancements along the way.
teli has been providing supports for children with developmental delays since 1958. We balance current technology and up-to-date approaches with our vast years of experience.
How much experience do your therapists have in providing EI services?
Longevity in the staff is an important indicator of the strength of an organization. Employees stay where they are appreciated and feel good about their work and the organization.
teli’s therapists have experience ranging from 5 to 31 years in providing EI services, averaging more than 13 years of experience. And many teli therapists are themselves parents of children with developmental delays, so they approach every child with the perspective of a parent.
Want to see more? Check out our EI therapist bios
Are your therapists staff or contractors?
An organization that makes a commitment to employ the majority of their therapists is a signal that can ensure continuity of care for your child.
At teli, almost 90% of our therapists are employed vs contracted, which ensures continuity for our families. The average tenure of our staff is 13 years. In fact many staff have been with teli for 20 or more years. Quite a statement about the commitment of our staff!
Click here to read more about our devoted staff
How do you measure children’s progress and success in the program?
A child’s success is an individual matter and how they perform vs the goals of their therapy is an important measure of the strength of the organization’s program. Ask an Ei provider what measurements they use to monitor progress.
At teli, we have several measures of success as a way of really helping the child and the family recognize their child’s progression. Here are a few measurements of success:
- 93% of teli’s clients achieved the goals identified in their treatment plan as of the time of discharge;
- 99% of parents/caregivers felt that their therapist is knowledgeable in his/her field of expertise;
- 99% of parents/caregivers were “very satisfied” (highest satisfaction ranking) with their child’s therapy;
- 100% of parents/caregivers felt that their therapist is courteous, patient and attentive to them and their child.
Click here to read more about what parents say about teli
Will my child have to see a different therapist every time?
Continuity of care is key to the development of your child’s relationship with their therapist. Look for an EI provider that assigns a particular therapist to work with your child.
At teli, we understand how important continuity and the development of a nurturing relationship is to your child. That’s why our therapists are primarily staff, not contractors. And unless we have unusual circumstances (illness, etc.), your child will have the same therapist throughout his/her EI experience.
Is your Early Intervention provider a For-Profit company?
The ultimate goal of an organization must be the care of your child. A company not concerned with profit puts all their resources into supporting the care of your child.
As a nonprofit organization, teli’s primary focus is your child – not profit. Our highly-trained, professional staff are focused on your child’s success – and that critical focus is demonstrated in every session with your child. We believe so much in children that we provided nearly $400,000 in charitable (free!) care last year.
Can my child receive his/her therapy in my home as well as outside the home in typical surroundings like day care?
It is important to ensure comfortable surroundings to help your child and family learn how to manage in their natural environment. Be sure your EI provider is able to provide care where your child is.
At teli, care within your child’s normal environment is encouraged! Our therapists travel to wherever the child is during the day and our sessions make use of their natural environment to make it successful! In fact, last year 100% of our sessions were provided in the child’s typical surroundings!
What is the average length of time a child receives EI services?
Your child is unique with different needs and until evaluated. Establishing goals and measuring against those goals are the best means to monitor progress. Make sure your EI provider has individualized plans and measurements for children in their care.
At teli, we realize the importance of goals and measurement as it depends upon the child and his/her particular goals and needs. This is why it is so important to ask your provider about measuring progress and success. Your input is always important to us, we will always be asking you about how you see your child’s progression, and work with you to help achieve your goals for your child during his/her time in EI.