S E A R C H   
IFSP Tutorial - Evaluation and Assessment

Planning with Families for Evaluation and Assessment:

Recommended Reading

Dunst, C. J., Bruder, M. B., Trivette, C. M., Hamby, D. W., Raab, M., & McLean, M. (2001). Characteristics and consequences of everyday natural learning opportunities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 68-92

This research study provides a wealth of sources emphasizing the importance of everyday natural learning opportunities for changing child behavior and performance. Any one physical location provides many different activity settings or situations for learning how to interact, move and communicate. These natural learning opportunities provide the building blocks for early intervention services.


Fadiman, A. (1997). The spirit catches you and you fall down. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Annie Fadiman, a medical anthropologist, tells the story of Lia Lee, born in the San Joaquin Valley in California to Hmong refugees. When she was 3 months old, Lia showed signs of having what the Hmong know as quag dab peg (the spirit catches you and you fall down), a condition diagnosed by Western doctors as epilepsy. Fadiman traces the clash of western treatment by medication with the introduction by Lia's family of folk remedies to coax her wandering soul back to her body. She expertly identifies the profound cultural differences and linguistic miscommunication that ensues, and highlights issues for early intervention providers to consider in their interactions with cross cultural groups.


Hanft, B., & Pilkington, K. (2000). Therapy in natural environments: the means or end goal for early intervention? Infants and Young Children, 12(4), 1-13.

The authors emphasize that how therapy is provided in natural environments is just as important as where it is provided. They explore how working in natural environments reinforces family-centered care, discuss the benefits for all parties when therapy is provided within a child's daily routines and settings and describe a team decision-making process for selecting learning opportunities (outcomes) and intervention models.


Krauss, M. (2000). Family assessment within early intervention programs. In Shonkoff and S. Meisels (eds), Handbook of early childhood intervention (pp. 290 -308, second edition). New York: Cambridge University Press.

This chapter explores the context and processes of assessing, with families, their priorities, concerns and resources within early intervention. Topics include the legal and programmatic frameworks for family assessment, theoretical bases, challenges to doing such assessments, and informal and formal strategies. A summary of research studies on available family instruments is included.



Lynch, E., & Hanson, M. (Ed) (1998). Developing cross-cultural competence (second ed). Brookes Publishing: Baltimore, MD.

This book provides practical information for early intervention providers who work with children and families from diverse cultures and linguistic backgrounds. Topics include the influence of culture on a person's beliefs, values, and behaviors; descriptions of the challenges a family may face when adapting to a different culture; and strategies that promote respectful and effective interactions.Summary text here.



Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program. (2001). Maryland Individualized Family Service Plan process and document. Baltimore, MD: Maryland State Department of Education.

The Maryland individualized family service plan process and document provides guidelines for building family and professional partnerships that enable families to make informed choices about the early intervention services they want for their children. The IFSP process provides a framework for discussion and planning between families and early intervention service providers; the IFSP form is a working document that reflects the continually changing needs of very young children.


Especially for families:

Jung, L. (2003). More is better: Maximizing natural learning opportunities. Young Exceptional Children, 6(3), 21-26.

The most effective way to maximize intervention for young children is not by providing more one-one services from providers, but by supporting a family’s ability to maximize natural learning opportunities and embedding intervention into their own activities and routines.








Website designed and hosted by:
The Center for Technology in Education (CTE)
Johns Hopkins University Copyright 2003



Legal Requirements
Planning with Families
Comprehensive Eval/Assess
Getting Started
View Outline