I have recently been able to get started an early intervention system, providing OT to families in their homes and communities. It definitely required a lot of paperwork to get started, but there was also a need for mental preparation and acquiring tools. Though my school system job involved using IFSPs, I was providing services in a preschool and had (ample!) materials provided. Here are some resources that I used in preparing to perform OT assessments and treatment in an early intervention setting.
I reviewed a number of assessments when I was trying to decide what to buy. Some were seriously outdated or limited the areas assessed. I wasn't able to consider others because they were made to be a true team assessment, which is true of the TBPA. While I can't speak to the practicality of using the assessment as a team arena approach, I do want to discuss the intervention book. So often, the intervention books that come with assessments are rather worthless. This is a book that I want to add into my own collection. The intervention book has many strategies to increase skills in all domains and adaptations for performance factor limitations. I think it would be helpful to anyone in early intervention because it gives you information from a multidisciplinary point of view, so it had info that I had not previously been exposed to.
After looking at multiple assessments (which had to be on an approved list), I decided to purchase the ELAP. The fact that I needed to be able to assess all domains of development, not just motor or adaptive, was a heavy factor in this decision. Also, I needed to keep costs low and the manuals and scoresheets for the test were very reasonably priced and the kit can be assembled in a non standard manner. This is a criterion referenced test which allows you to figure out an approximate age. I have friends who use the EIDP, which is even lower in cost, but I was a little worried that I wouldn't see enough during the test to get a good assessment. I also decided later to purchase an infant-toddler sensory profile (the SPM-P is not approved in my state, so it is the only sensory measure).
This picture shows some of the materials I was able to get for my testing kit. Many of the items came from yard sales or discount stores. I have always loved the pipsqueaks markers, so they were a must-have item for me. I liked the tactile puzzles we had at school so I felt fortunate to find one for sale. I found a surprising number of high quality wooden beads and blocks for cheap, which I was super happy about. The orb over on the right has spinning lights and I got it for a quarter... it is going to be a favorite toy. I need more things that make noise for kiddos with visual impairments, but the squeaky toy I got (in the pet section) is super responsive and loud, so it will do for now. Not pictured, but worth a mention is the formboard puzzle I got from Manzanita Kids on etsy. They were very responsive to my custom order, made it with high contrast materials as requested, and it is a very high quality piece.
What to Expect from an EI eval- from the dual perspective of therapist and parent
Abby's blog has been featuring parent interviews which includes tips they'd like therapists to know