Eligibility: Engaging Families of Children with Disabilities or Suspected Delays
Jen Fung: Hi, everybody. Welcome, and thank you so much for joining us today, for our session called Eligibility: Engaging Families of Children with Disabilities and Suspected Delays. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of partnering with families to really understand their experiences, and in particular, partnering and engaging families of children with disabilities and suspected delays during the ERSEA process and beyond.
This is really important because, while every family experiences the identification of their child’s disability or developmental delay differently, we know that there are some common ways in which families are impacted. This can really impact and shape our work and how we partner and support families.
My name is Jen Fung, and I am the inclusion lead at the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning, or DTL as we call it. I am very honored to be joined today by my friend and colleague, Adriana. Adriana, do you want to say “hi?”
Adriana Bernal: Hi everyone. My name is Adriana Bernal, and I’m also with DTL. I’m part of the equity and outreach team. Thank you for having me.
Jen: Thanks, Adriana, and thank you again to everybody who’s joining us today. We couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to be here with you. A couple of housekeeping items. First, I wanted to point out that a copy of today’s slide deck is available in your Resources widget. We also have a Viewer’s Guide for today’s session in the Resources widget. We encourage you, if you haven’t already, to take a moment to download that. The Viewer’s Guide has some additional information, some spots for reflection, and we’ll be encouraging folks to visit their Viewer’s Guide throughout the session today.
The other item that I wanted to point out is that, if you’d like to listen to this session in Spanish, go ahead and click on your Interprefy widget, which should be open on the screen. If not, it might be in the widgets toolbar at the bottom of your screen. Click on that to be able to hear this session translated live in Spanish. One important thing to remember, if you choose to utilize the Interprefy widget, is to make sure to mute the volume button that you see on the media player.
The media player is where you see us, where you see your presenters now. If you hover over the lower right-hand corner, you’ll see the little volume button. Just click on that to mute us so that you’ll be able to readily hear the session in Spanish. If you have any trouble in general with technology during the session, but also if you’re having trouble switching languages and using the Interprefy widget, please go ahead and just pop your questions in the purple Q&A widget.
Our learning objectives today: we know that at least 10% of Head Start recipients’ funded enrollment must be children who have been found, who have been determined eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. To that end, ERSEA is an ongoing process that’s led by program leadership, Policy Councils, and governing bodies and is really integrated into the practice of all program staff.
Today we want to target getting a deeper understanding of what families and children with disabilities might experience and think about how we use that information to be able to provide support and build relationships that promote positive outcomes for families and children. We also want to be able to have participants identify some strategies that they can use to build equitable, responsive relationships with families during the ERSEA process and beyond.
Our goal of being here today and sharing this information and having folks reflect and interact with this information is to help support the recruitment, enrollment, and regular attendance of children with disabilities or suspected delays. If you haven’t yet downloaded the Viewer’s Guide, now would be a great time to do that.
Let’s get started by talking about why partnerships and intentional engagement of families of children with disabilities and suspected delays is so important to our practice. Let’s start out by framing this in a couple of frameworks that should look familiar to you. What you see here on the screen is the Head Start framework for effective practice. We know that responsive, equitable partnerships with families are foundational to Head Start and Early Head Start programs. That’s represented here on this framework with the family and parent engagement right there in the center and being an ongoing process that we continuously engage with.
As part of our work partnering with families in order to form positive, goal-directed relationships, we strive to use key practices and relationship-based behaviors on that ongoing basis. These might include effective communication and responsive communication, including parents and families in decisions about teaching practices for children’s learning, working with families on an ongoing basis to ensure home-school consistency, and, again, really working with families to ensure that practices, any practices used, are responsive to families’ priorities and that they’re culturally and linguistically responsive.
Another important practice or behavior is to share the importance of regular attendance with families and also share the impact of absenteeism – that loss of learning experiences that are really designed to promote school readiness, and then lost access, potential lost access to disability services that are provided through the Head Start or Early Head Start program. We know that creating and maintaining those positive goal-oriented relationships with parents and families is the foundation of the work that we do.
Within the context of those relationships we are supporting families to achieve their desired family outcomes. This is so important because we know that, as families achieve those outcomes that they’ve identified as important to them, we know that outcomes for children are positively impacted, which is reflected here in the Head Start Parent, Family, and Community Engagement Framework, or the PFCE Framework. There’s also some more information about the PFCE Framework in your Viewer’s Guide if you’re not familiar with it. We definitely encourage you to take a look at that to familiarize yourself with this framework if it feels new.
We know that having a child with a disability can have an impact on a variety of family factors and outcomes that are called out here in the PFCE Framework. In particular, we know that having a child with a disability or a suspected delay might have an impact on family well-being, on parent-child relationships, and on family connections. We know that it’s important for us to understand how a family’s experiences, when their child is identified or diagnosed as having a disability or delay, might impact these outcomes. That’s why we’re here today.
I do want to note that it’s really important to keep in mind that just how a family reacts to their child’s disability or identification of a delay can be influenced by so many different family characteristics, which we’re going to talk about today. It is very likely, as I said, that having a child with a disability might influence family outcomes and the support and the resources that families might need to access in order to achieve positive outcomes.
Today, as we’re talking, we really encourage you to use your Viewer’s Guide to reflect on what might be important outcomes for families of children with disabilities and suspected delays. Think about what’s important. What families you know, what might they identify for themselves as outcomes? What support or information or resources might be needed to achieve those outcomes? Continuous ... We encourage you to continuously reflect on that as we’re talking today. Also if you have any thoughts right now, please feel free to share those in the Q&A widget with us.
Let’s talk a little bit about what we know about emotional reactions, outcomes, and needs for support that we commonly hear for families of children with disabilities and suspected delays, which, in turn, we know can have an impact on family outcomes. We know that there are some common reactions and need for support that families experience, particularly families of very young children who have just been identified as having a developmental concern or a developmental delay or disability.
This is particularly relevant for us as we’re discussing ERSEA because this is relevant. This is an important family experience for children with disabilities during the recruitment and enrollment process, or as developmental concerns are identified through screening and ongoing assessment.
We know that providing support, individualized support to families that helps achieve positive family outcomes, really begins by partnering with families to understand their unique experiences. Before we dive in, I do want to acknowledge that, while we’re going to be talking generally about family experiences based on what we often see and hear from families, it’s really important to recognize and remember that all families process and experience events differently. While understanding common experiences can be helpful to our work, it’s critical that we approach our work with families with an open mind, without assumptions, and really with a sincere desire to get to know each family on an individual level.
That being said, we know that these ... family experiences, these emotional reactions that we’ll discuss and needs for support that we’ll discuss are individual, and can be influenced by a variety of family factors, including a family’s current situation, community supports that are or may not be available to them, child-rearing practices, and family values and beliefs.
We know that, while each family’s experience will be unique, there are some common emotional reactions, processes, and needs for support and information and resources that families of young children with disabilities and suspected delays commonly report. We know that, in turn, having an understanding and knowing about these experiences may help program staff feel better prepared to recruit families by providing information and resources that highlight the benefits, both for the child and the family, of enrolling in a Head Start or Early Head Start program, and using that information to establish those positive goal-oriented relationships with families.
Today we’re going to talk about some common processes, some common emotional reactions that families tell us that they experience as they adapt and cope with the new identification or diagnosis of a disability or a delay. Then one more thing before we move on: as we talk about the coping and the adaptation process, it’s so important for us to recognize that family adaptation and the building of resilience is a process that occurs over time, and that family adaptation really is fluid. Families’ perceptions of their child’s disability or delay, their needs for support or information, and the resources that might be beneficial to them will change over time.
Because of the age of children who are enrolling in Early Head Start and Head Start programs, we are often meeting families just as they’re learning about their child’s disability or their child’s delay. Or we know that the disability or delay might be identified once a child is enrolled in a program. Again, acknowledging that family experiences change over time and that family adaptation is an ongoing process, today, we’re really going to talk about family experiences during a very specific time: during that time immediately after the identification of a developmental delay or a developmental disability.
We know that it’s really important for program staff to understand that impact of a recent diagnosis on a family because many families report that the whole diagnostic process or the referral and eligibility process was one of the most stressful times in their family’s life. They also tell us that during that time, and immediately after the time that their child is found eligible or is diagnosed with a disability, that many families experience a really high level of concern, of challenges, and of needs of support.
We know that these emotional reactions and these needs for support might be at the forefront of family’s experiences as we’re actively recruiting families into our Head Start programs. There may be reactions that we need to be prepared for as an enrolled child or family moves through that evaluation and diagnosis process. Again, acknowledging that reactions to a diagnosis or a child being found eligible for special services can be very individual, even within a family we can see varied reactions from family member to family member.
There are some common emotional reactions that we often hear from families. These include, as you see here on the screen, relief for many families, the feeling of relief – that the concerns that they’ve had, maybe for a while, have been validated and kind of corroborated. The feeling of guilt or anger, and often this reaction that often occurs as families are trying to kind of attribute meaning or reason for why their child might have a disability or a delay.
Many families experience or express that they have feelings of grief as an emotional reaction. Then we know that many families also express this feeling of lost time. For families who live in communities or families who don’t have ready access to eligibility or evaluation or diagnostic services where they have to wait a long time to be able to have those evaluations or those diagnoses completed, we know that that’s a big feeling for many families, is that feeling of frustration with that lost time.
We also know that many families of children with disabilities and suspected delays who have just been identified or diagnosed are at greater risk for negative individual outcomes. We know that parents of children with disabilities more often report feelings of isolation, higher levels of emotional distress, like depression or anxiety. They report higher levels of parenting stress, which are often related to parenting demands. We know that parents of children with disabilities often are more often to report or experience physical symptoms like high blood pressure, migraines, or ulcers.
While we know that knowing about, and understanding, and potentially anticipating some of these emotional reactions or outcomes that our families of children with disabilities might experience, it’s really important to emphasize that while we’re talking generally about families, these outcomes, aren’t universal. While some families may experience more negative outcomes, particularly in that time immediately following their child’s diagnosis, negative outcomes are not inevitable.
During this time we’re either recruiting or re-recruiting our families into Head Start programs through our responsive relationships with families. Through those responsive relationships, we can showcase and emphasize to families how Head Start can be a wonderful placement for their child, and how staff will partner with families and parents to advocate for their child’s services and learning success.
Again, we want to point you to your Viewer’s Guide to read more about common emotional reactions and family outcomes for families of children with disabilities and suspected delays, and also to reflect on other outcomes and other reactions that you’ve seen, and you’ve experienced in your work with families.
As we’ve mentioned, not all families experience these outcomes in general, or to the same degree. In fact, we know that family outcomes and experiences can be quite different from one another, and they can vary in intensity, and that this response and how differently families respond and cope and adapt to the identification of a disability or a delay can vary and be impacted by a variety of family characteristics and contexts.
We know that there are several different factors that have been found to mediate how different families react, cope, and adapt to their child’s disability. This is important because we know that these would be important factors to assess and learn more about during recruitment and enrollment if the child and family enter a Head Start or Early Head Start program with an established IFSP or IEP and to support a strong transition into the program.
Then also this is valuable information to gather for families of children who have suspected delays, or when potential delays are identified as part of the ongoing screening or assessment process so that we can really build in the needed supports throughout the evaluation and eligibility determination process if families choose to move forward with that.
As you see here on the screen, factors that are known to mediate family coping and adaptation include the level of financial strain, the availability of child care or respite services, how accessible support services are to families. When we think about accessibility, we’re thinking about how available the services and resources are – as I mentioned earlier, whether or not there are waiting lists, what the fees associated with different services look like, how payment is accepted.
We also know that when we’re thinking about accessibility, we’re talking about how readily families are able to access the resources, the information, and the services that might be provided to them or their child. That might include the language of the materials, the language that are spoken by the professionals. When we think about accessibility, we’re thinking about the match between the services and the supports, and the culture and the preferences and the values of the family.
A few other factors that have been known to mediate this coping and adaptation process: the level of isolation experienced by families, and then families perceptions. How satisfied are they with the social support that’s available to them? We’ll talk a bit more about social support later in the session.
We also know that child characteristics, including developmental and behavioral characteristics, including a child’s level, developmental level of speech and communication, self-care skills, feeding skills, and whether or not children may have behaviors that feel challenging to adults. Those factors can also impact how families cope and adapt.
Your Viewer’s Guide has more information about some of the factors that have been shown to impact family coping and family resilience. We encourage you to take a look at that and then also to reflect on other factors that might impact family resilience and how we as professionals and program staff can help support family resilience and promote resilience.
I’m finished with all that background, and now is the important part. We know that there is no better way to understand family experiences than to hear directly from families. We’re excited to be able to feature a couple of family voices, a couple of family stories today. As you’re listening to these families share their stories, we encourage you to listen for and share with us in the Q&A. Listen for the ways that programs and families worked together to navigate the eligibility determination process and worked together to advocate, to develop a plan that worked best for the child and the family.
Now I am going to turn it over to my wonderful colleague, Adriana, who’s been able to form some strong and wonderful relationships with these two families that we’re going to hear from today and to get to know and understand their experiences. Adriana, first and foremost, thank you for making a connection with Miss Melqui Lopez and Miss Wendy Lopez to help them share their stories with us. Adriana, before we take a look at this first video, what would you like us to know about Miss Melqui Lopez?
Adriana Bernal: First of all, I want to say, Jen, thank you for having me here. I’m also very excited about sharing. Being part of these interviews, for me, was a very delightful and joyful experience. The moms had a lot to say about the extraordinary services and supports that they have been receiving. It was very refreshing to have contact with Head Start direct recipients in general.
Now to start, we have the honor to have Miss Melqui Lopez, a mother from our COE Migrant and Seasonal Head Start in Southern California – you can know where we are located – who will tell us about her experiences with the migrant program and how she felt supported by the program’s staff to be an active parent and to navigate the system for eligibility determination and the provision of special services for her son, Joshua.
Ms. Lopez had a lot to say about the services that her family has been receiving and how that has supported them as a family. But for these session purposes, we will just show you a little bit of her story with Head Start.
Melqui Lopez [Speaking Spanish]: Hello, everyone. My name is Melqui Lopez, and I am Joshua Correa’s mom. We are in the Head Start program for farm workers at Centro, California. I would like to share with you my experience as a family in the Migrant Head Start Program at Riverside County.
First, I would like to share that during registration, my family and I felt very welcomed in the program. The staff showed that they were very interested in getting to know us and individualize for our needs. The services helped my husband and I immediately, and we were able to continue working in the fields.
From the first meeting, I was elected as Policy Council representative, which opened the door for me to many trainings and continuous learning. In 2019, we were approved for services by the program. The first year, it was through a home services provider, and then we transitioned to a preschool program with Ms. Ana, who was the teacher. Shortly after he started, she recommended a language evaluation, and he was referred to services at San Diego Regional. Cecy, the community worker, and the site director, Joel Perez, supported me a great deal during the follow-up of Joshua’s services.
It was when COVID-19 started that we realized that Joshua needed more for his learning, more help in his learning, since it was difficult for him to stay focused. I was offered different options by the program to help achieve my son’s learning goals. Today, I am very thankful to the Head Start program because as of today, Joshua has developed his language quite a bit, and achieved all of his learning goals.
Finally, I would like to share that during these last four years, I have felt very supported. My husband and I have increased our confidence in our parenting skills, and we have grown together as a family, thanks to Head Start’s comprehensive services.
Jen: Well that was beautiful for Ms. Melqui. We are very thankful that they gave us their time to do this video. Now we also have Ms. Wendy Lopez, who is Melqui’s sister, who also received services by RCOE Migrant and Seasonal Head Start in a different city. Her experiences are a bit different since Wendy has been preferring the family child care services option over center base.
Now Wendy will tell us about how she felt as soon as she enrolled in the migrant program and how she has been supported to be an active Head Start parent and to be an advocate for her child with disabilities by the family child care provider and by the program staff.
Wendy Lopez [Speaking Spanish]: My name is Wendy Lopez, and I am the mother of two children who are in the Head Start program for farm workers in Calexico. I would like to share with you my experience as a family in the Head Start program in Riverside County. From the first moment I applied, I felt very comfortable. They were very helpful, and they quickly started providing services.
I started with center-based care, the I switched to family child care providers, and I am still receiving services through family child care providers. I would like to highlight the work that teachers as well as providers do for our children, especially since I have a child with autism whom they have helped throughout the whole process from the beginning up to this moment.
My child is now five years old. Particularly I would like to thank them for everything they do for our children, all the work they do to help us as parents. Sometimes we don’t see the things that you, as teachers and providers, are able to see. I truly don’t have words to thank you for your work, which is exceptional.
You have done so much to help us as parents. That is what I really wanted to highlight, the fact that they have helped me a lot. I am very, very grateful to the center as well as to the child care providers. I would like to thank them and emphasize that in the program we all really started a little afraid because well, it’s like, “How am I going to leave my child? Will they treat him well?”
But honestly, based on my experience, things went very well. So that is all, and thank you very much.
Jen: I’m on mute. That is my signature webinar move [Laughing] is to start talking and not unmute myself.
That was wonderful to hear from Ms. Melqui and Ms. Wendy Lopez. We’re already seeing some expressions of being grateful to these two families for sharing their voices, that they’re so heartfelt, that this is a really great example of how Head Start can help families. Thank you, again, Adriana, for partnering with those families to help elevate their voices.
We’d also love to encourage some more reflection and some more sharing from our participants. As you watched those videos and you listened to the family stories, what did you hear from them in terms of questions or concerns that these mothers expressed about their child’s disability, their experiences, or services; and what did you hear these families talk about in terms of support that the families received?
As you’re reflecting and thinking about these families’ experiences, think about and share with us what other questions might arise for families of children with disabilities or suspected delays, in general but especially during the recruitment and enrollment process. Please feel free to either, again, reflect in your Viewer’s Guide, or share with us in the chat – in the Q&A.
We’re seeing some comments come through here. Somebody was struck about how families had some reservations about moving forward with the process, but how trust between the families and the program staff were clearly formed. Then we’re also seeing somebody said that families often ... we often hear that families don’t know that their child had a delay and that by being identified while the child was in Head Start and receiving those specific supports and services, the children can catch up in their development and get back on track.
Adriana: I think, Jen, this was the case for Melqui and Wendy. They didn’t know that the children were behind until they were enrolled in Head Start. Also they were very hesitant about what kind of services they needed, and they felt really, really supported.
Jen: Yes. Perfect. When I was listening and reflecting, I heard Ms. Melqui Lopez talk about how her son started to receive the supports and services from the regional center. Then during COVID, she wondered what other strategies they might be able to use and what additional services were available. One thing that really stuck out to me is hearing Ms. Wendy Lopez talk about how she was worried about how she would leave her child and whether or not he would be treated well.
Wonderful. Thank you to everybody who’s sharing their thoughts with us in the Q&A. We’ll push some of those out to everybody so that you can all learn from one another. Thinking about other questions or concerns that families who have children with disabilities or suspected delays might have during the recruitment and enrollment process, or as children are identified as having potential delays once they’re enrolled, some really common questions that we hear families have.
Will the children – will the teachers know about my child’s disability? Will the center and the services and the learning environments, whatever those look like, will they be accessible to my child and my family? Will being identified or diagnosed as having a delay or having a disability impact how my child is treated or how my family is treated, whether that’s by other children or whether that’s by program staff?
We know that many families have questions about the specialized services that their children, their child, might be eligible for through the IDEA program. What are special services? How might this change the services that my family and my child is already receiving? Where will the services be provided? Will the therapist come here to provide services? Will this happen in my home? What might that look like, and how will I navigate that?
It’s adding on a different level of complication and a new set of professionals to interact with and a new system to get to know. Knowing and anticipating some of these questions and concerns, and intentionally engaging with families to understand their questions and concerns, will impact how we engage with families and how we partner with families.
To wrap up here, let’s talk about a couple of specific strategies and practices we can use to partner to support families of children with disabilities, and then also some strategies that we can use to build relationships with other community leaders or community organizations to create more easy pathways for recruitment and enrollment of families of children with disabilities or suspected delays into Head Start programs.
We initiate our relationships with families during the recruitment and enrollment activities, and we know that these partnerships continue through the child’s enrollment and through their transition out of Head Start programs. A really important part of effective partnerships and providing meaningful support to families is knowing what some of those common support needs or needs for information or needs for resources are expressed by families, with that focus on the time immediately following their child’s diagnosis or identification of a disability or delay.
As we talked about earlier, learning that a child has a disability or a developmental delay can bring about some challenges, some really specific questions, and maybe some specific demands that many families didn’t expect to encounter in their parenting journeys. It’s helpful, I think it can be really helpful for us to know that and to anticipate that so we can be prepared to meet families where they are in terms of need for support and need for resources.
The experiences, those needs for support, those needs for information are really going to be unique from family to family, based on their individual family experiences and characteristics, including the culture and language of the family, their values and priorities, their parenting practices. But there are some commonly expressed needs or priority areas that families tell us they experience in that time immediately following their child’s diagnosis.
You see these here on the screen. Some of these high-priority needs include the need for more information about the child’s disability, and specifically about the expressive need for information that’s individualized to their questions and their concerns about their child. Here’s general information about a disability, but what does this mean for my child?
Think about how accessible the information about the disability is, including in a format, language, that families can easily access. As we’re thinking about how we can meet this need for families, thinking about working with community partners and local programs that might offer information in various forms and handouts in several languages, or that might be able to offer translation services for families.
We know that families often express the need for emotional or social support. We know that this type of support can come in many different forms, which we often refer to in two broad categories: formal supports and informal supports. Formal supports include information about a warm referral to, or even support accessing more formal support services in the program or in the community. Maybe mental health supports, maybe family support groups, maybe respite care. Those are formal supports.
Informal supports are people like family, friends, other parents, or family members who might already be part of a family’s network. Or they might be new connections that program staff might help facilitate between the family and other people.
When we think about these two types of support, we know that both types of support are important. What’s going be most meaningful to the family is based on their experience, but we know that that level of satisfaction, and those perceptions of how useful the informal supports are, is actually more strongly linked to positive family outcomes.
We also know that many families express the need for support to access resources. These can be instrumental resources, like financial assistance for special equipment, medication, language, or interpretation services. But resources also include time, time as a family resource. Potentially, depending on the family, maybe some support to access child care or respite services.
We know that attempting to locate and access those services related to a child’s disability can be really frustrating and time-consuming and stressful for families. Families might benefit from support to identify and eliminate potential barriers to accessing those services. Then, as we heard Ms. Melqui Lopez and Ms. Wendy Lopez talk about, support for advocacy can also be a priority for families in general but especially thinking about this time immediately following a child’s diagnosis.
We know that there are so many different ways that program staff can support families to develop those advocacy skills. That might include learning about their rights in different systems, helping families learn the vocabulary of different systems, helping families learn and use skills that help them collaborate and communicate with different professionals, and really participating on their child’s educational team as a full and essential member of the team.
This is a high-level look about at what we know about common family priorities and needs for support in that time immediately following diagnosis. Your Viewer’s Guide has some more information on these areas ... of support and some space for you to jot down your ideas about other forms of support or resources that families might want to access.
Thinking about effective family engagement, we know that the practices, the relationship-based strategies and attitudes and behaviors that we use can really impact the quality of ... engagement and the success of family engagement. You see many characteristics here on the slide of effective family engagement. One thing that I really wanted to point out that is especially important to keep in mind as we’re thinking about engaging families of children with disabilities is that program-wide collaboration and that team-wide collaboration.
As we’re working with families and engaging families to understand their priorities and then to provide support, we know that really strong coordination and collaboration amongst team members is critical: one, to ensure that the support and the resources that we’re providing to families are culturally and linguistically appropriate; but also to ensure that the support and the information we’re providing is clear and consistent and that we don’t overwhelm families with our support.
Just to wrap up, when we think about engagement and partnerships, partnering with families is critical, but as we mentioned, partnering with other community organizations is also important. We need to build relationships with community leaders and organizations to really create those pathways for accessing services, but also for recruitment and enrollment of families of children with disabilities into Head Start programs where we know they can receive these really beneficial and meaningful services.
We’d love to see from you in the Q&A. How do you engage your community partners? We know that this is something that’s top of mind for all program staff and grant recipients, but especially for those who support disability services. This is a big area of focus right now, and we spend a lot of time talking to program staff and asking them, “What are your challenges, but also what are your successes?”
I just want to highlight a couple things that we’ve heard. There are some great ideas right now, and I encourage you to join us if you’re not already a member on our Head Start Disabilities and Inclusion MyPeers network. We see a lot of sharing of strategies and suggestions there. One thing that’s really stuck out to me is to have Head Start and Early Head Start program staff brag about and share the benefits and how amazing Head Start’s comprehensive services are. Many people we hear from have made the point that community organizations don’t know about all of the services that Head Start programs provide beyond education services – including family engagement, nutrition services, dental, family medical homes.
Also many organizations and many potential partners don’t realize that Head Start programs provide disability services. That’s one thing that we’ve really heard has been successful. It takes time. We know it takes time to form those partnerships and to create those processes for communication, but what we’ve heard from folks who have persisted in those efforts and really gotten creative in those efforts is that it’s really paid off.
Thank you everybody for being here. Thank you for joining us, and thank you especially for the important work that you do on behalf of children and families every day. We know that this was a short session. There’s a lot of information. If you have any questions, if there’s anything you want to follow up with us on, feel free to find us on MyPeers, but also you see our email there on this slide.
Thank you again. Thank you, Adriana. Thank you to Ms. Melqui Lopez and Ms. Wendy Lopez. And thanks again to all of you.
Adriana: Thank you.Close
While every family experiences the identification of their child’s disability or developmental delay differently, there are some common ways in which families are affected. These outcomes may influence family priorities or needs for support in the time following their child’s diagnosis. Learn about the importance of partnering with families of children with disabilities to understand their unique experiences, strengths, priorities, and challenges. Explore effective communication and engagement strategies that program staff can use to create positive, goal-oriented relationships with all families.
- Gain a deeper understanding of what families of children with disabilities might experience as part of having a young child with a disability or suspected delay.
- Use this information offer support and build relationships that promote positive outcomes for families and children.
- Identify strategies they can use to build equitable, responsive relationships with families.