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IFSP Tutorial - Developing and Implementing

Developing the IFSP:

Essential Content

Page 4 of 13

Concerns families may have while developing an IFSP

It is important to anticipate, and address as appropriate, concerns that family members may have during the development of their IFSP. Many questions related to a child’s rate of development and future independence cannot be answered completely during a child’s first few years. Keep in mind that some parents may not feel comfortable asking the following questions or talking about concerns that they are only beginning to think about, particularly with early intervention providers they have just met. When family concerns do arise, early intervention providers can:

  1. Encourage family members to talk about what is on their minds;
  2. Listen, before making suggestions, in order to understand and show respect for a family’s beliefs and values;
  3. Provide information, as appropriate, to address specific concerns;
  4. Review with families their informal support networks; and
  5. Offer to link families to formal support networks, such as parent-parent programs through a local infants and toddlers program or other organizations.

Some examples of concerns that may arise as parents think about desired outcomes for themselves and their child:

About a child’s development….

  • Will my child ever be able to …..?
  • Why isn’t my child developing like other children?
  • I don’t know what my child can do.
  • I’m not sure about my child’s diagnosis, so why do all this now?

About participating in early intervention…

  • Will this help me/my family cope, learn what to do about……?
  • What if all this doesn’t help my child to ….?
  • I don’t know if I accept the results of my child’s evaluation/assessment.
  • What assurance is there that this approach will make a difference?

About schedules, services and supports…

  • I want more/less time/services for my child.
  • There are too many /not enough people coming to my home.
  • I/my partner work and aren’t home during the day.


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