Early Intervention staff have continued to carry out home visits virtually, starting from the beginning of the COVID crisis. We were able to move pretty smoothly into this method of delivering services, after coping with a few technology glitches in the beginning! Families have made the adjustment and we have found that the majority of families have chosen to continue to participate in this new situation. Our model of Early Intervention services is based on coaching families and caregivers so they can provide interventions for their child, so though we are not there personally, we are still able to carry out our mission, which is to support families and provide them with the tools they need to help their child develop in all areas. Team members continue to support each other and provide consultations via virtual joint visits, and we continue to meet with school districts and help children transition into the services they will need after age three. We are anxious to get back out into homes, but at this point we don’t know when that will happen! Until then, we will continue to do the best we can to support the families and children in our program from birth to age 3.
Wood Lane School Students
Teachers, specialists, and classroom staff all worked hard to put together lesson plans and activities for each of our students to see them through the end of the year, and these have been sent home to families along with supplies and many suggestions for ways to work on the goals and objectives of their IEP. Teachers and specialists are in regular phone and/or email contact with families and caregivers to provide support, check on progress, and to share in the problems and successes involved in trying to provide distance learning to children with special needs. We have also continued to work on assisting families to obtain needed equipment, and problem-solve about a multitude of issues.
All staff are available to families if they need support or are just looking for new ideas. Classrooms have been working on ways to remain connected with their students, including reading stories via YouTube video and setting up class meetings that all students can join so they can see their peers.
We love it when families send photos of students working on the lessons we have sent home! Caregivers and families of many students have sent in photos of their students doing things like counting, sorting, painting, using switch toys, language skills, and working on cooking skills at home. With communication through virtual meetings, pictures, and videos, families are supported in many areas in addition to educational activities by teachers and specialists, such as positioning and activities of daily living.
As part of getting ready to transition to life after school, our older students have been participating in virtual meetings with their classroom staff at least weekly, and in some cases more depending on the student’s preferences and needs. One student is participating in a cooking project alongside her teacher via video. They are also reading stories, counting, sorting laundry and talking about different vocational tasks that can be done at home that are related to daily living skills as well. All of our staff are working hard to help students adjust to their “new normal, and help them understand that their peers and classroom staff are all at home too as they work on their school activities. In addition, Wood Lane School has also supported families by delivering meals and other needed items like masks, books, and classroom materials on a regular basis.