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Four Steps to Selecting an Early Intervention Provider

Tracy A. ZeilerYou are worried about your child and you want to find the best supports available from an Early Intervention provider. But what is important to look for when considering all the potential providers?

Tracy A. Zeiler, M.Ed., Director of Early Intervention at teli has had more than 20 years of experience helping families understand the importance of selecting the right provider. "At teli, we have identified four key steps that we recommend to parents when considering an Early Intervention provider.

1. Research the providers. Do your homework! Check provider websites to get a sense of their experience in the field. Has the provider been offering services for a long period of time? Does their listing of their staff members provide the number of years with the provider? Tenure with one provider is a good indicator of a solid organization with happy employees. Check for credentials that indicate the staff is well educated and versed in their specialty. Look at the provider social media such as Facebook to get a sense of their professional activities along with comments regarding their service.

2. Talk to other parents. Ask others in your social circles, families, neighborhoods, or schools. Reach out to other parents who have used Early Intervention services. Get opinions about what they liked best about a provider. Was the staff approachable and friendly? Did their child and family look forward to their visit? The relationship with your therapist is an important component to your child's success.

3. Look for a range of services. Early Intervention involves different therapies and services to address a variety of children's needs. When all the therapy can come from one provider the holistic approach is easier to implement.

4. Make a call to a select number of providers. Give the provider a call and interview them to understand how they approach a new child. Discuss your child's challenges and ask them how they would proceed to help you. Ask about their staff's licenses and length of service. Consider asking for references for parents that you could speak with that have used their services. Often you can get a "feel" from the conversation and judge if there is a good fit for your needs.

Choosing a provider is an important decision, at teli, we work to provide the best possible experience and services to families and their children. Contact us by calling 412-922-8322 or visit the teli website at www.telipa.org.

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