A Strong Commitment to the Early Impact of Early Intervention
How long has teli provided Early Intervention?
Early Intervention was literally its’ infancy in the early late 1980’s when teli, previously the St. Peter’s Child Development Center, expanded its services to include Early Intervention for infants from 0-3 years of age. New advances were being realized when children with developmental delays in those age groups were able to improve dramatically when provided with the right individualized therapies. A recent speech therapy graduate began her work at teli and she soon realized that she was becoming part of something special.
Tracy Zeiler, now Director of teli’s Early Intervention Program, was fortunate enough to participate in one of the first programs at the University of Pittsburgh to educate therapists in Early Intervention.
“It was so exciting to be there at the start of what has become such an important therapy that has had such a positive impact on so many children.” says Tracy. “The training at Pitt provided the necessary Early Intervention education to compliment my Speech Therapy degree and I was able to be on the ground floor as teli began this new chapter in our history.”
How has teli’s Early Intervention Program continued to evolve since its beginning?
As the Director of teli’s Early Intervention Program, Tracy is responsible for the supervision and overall management of the program insuring that teli remains a leader in the delivery of the variety of Early Intervention Services.
Early Intervention Services for children with developmental delays began with a single therapist responsible for all the needs of the child. “Today, our clients and their families have the benefit of a number of specialized services which include Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Developmental Therapy, Child Nutrition, Vision and Family Social Services,” noted Tracy.
“The variety of therapeutic expertise enables teli to tailor a program of services that are unique to the developmental challenges a child may have. A team of teli therapists work together with the family and the child to develop a unique care plan designed for the child.”
In the past, therapy might have delivered in a clinical or child care setting. However today, most therapy takes place in the child’s natural environment which is typically their home. “We coordinate a team of teli Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and Developmental Therapists as well as Nutritionists, Family Social Workers to guide the child and family through the care plan.”
Families are very involved and our teli staff works closely with the parents to understand their goals for their children and design their child’s therapy around achieving those outcomes. “Parents become a vital part of the team as our therapists work to help them reinforce and incorporate elements of the therapy into their child’s daily routine.”
What types of technological advancements does teli incorporate into the delivery of Early Intervention Services?
“teli has been a leader in incorporating technology into a child’s Early Intervention individualized care plan through the use of interactive applications,” says Tracy. “Learning sounds and recognizing shapes and objects utilizing specific applications has been an amazing advance!” Additionally, the availability of technology via tools such as iPads has enabled families to share their child’s successes. “Often parents will video their child and share their progress with other families and friends. This is also very helpful for our therapists to be able to monitor their progress between therapy sessions,” notes Tracy.
What is unique about Early Intervention Services delivered by teli?
teli’s success in delivering Early Intervention Services is something that Tracy can trace back to results. “We have seen some amazing changes in our clients and our families. Over the number of years we have been delivering services we have touched thousands of children and have consistently received ratings at the 98% level of satisfaction from parents.”
A key driver of teli’s success is the commitment of the staff states Tracy, “Our staff is very devoted to the teli mission and the children they serve. Our staff’s average tenure with teli is over 13 years, with some staff having over 30 years of experience in the Early Intervention.”
For those involved in the delivery of Early Intervention, it is hard to believe there was a time when, this vital service was not available. At teli, the staff is committed to insuring that the Early Intervention Services provided gives a child with developmental delays the best possible opportunity to succeed and achieve their goals. “I believe we truly improve lives!” says Tracy proudly.
Interested in learning more about how teli can help?
Learn the teli Advantage for Early Intervention or call teli at 412-922-8322. ext 10 to set up an appointment for evaluation. Most insurance plans are accepted.