Developing the IFSP:
Law, M. (2000). Strategies for implementing evidence-based practice in
early intervention. Infants and Young Children, 12(2), 32-40.
This article focuses on specific strategies that
can be used to support an evidence-based early intervention practice.
Methods are described about gathering information from the literature,
to review research studies critically, and to summarize research information
McWilliam, R., Ferguson, A., Harbin, G., Porter, P., Munn, D., &
Vandiviere, P. (1998). The family-centeredness of Individualized family
service plans. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 18(2),
This study assess the validity of a rating scale
of how family-centered an IFSP is and includes a detailed Appendix with
characteristics such as writing style, active voice, positiveness, judgment,
specificity, and context-appropriateness. Examples of family-centered
and non-family centered IFSPs are also provided in the Appendix.
National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (2000). From
neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development.
Committee on Integrating the Science of Early Childhood Development. Jack
P. Shonkoff and Deborah Phillips, eds. Board on Children, Youth, and Families,
Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. D.C.: National
Academy Press. (see www.nap.edu/execsumm/0309069882.html
for an executive summary)
This extraordinary report regarding research and
evidence-based practices supporting early learning and development was
produced by a committee of 17 researchers and clinicians with backgrounds
in neuroscience, psychology, child development, economics, education,
pediatrics, psychiatry and public policy. Their charge was to review
all research about the nature of early development and the influence
of early experiences on children’s health and well being, to separate
established knowledge from erroneous popular beliefs, and to examine
the implications of the science base for policy, practice, professional
development, and research.
Rosenkoetter, S. & Squires, S. (2000). Writing outcomes that make
a difference for children and families. Young Exceptional Children,
This early intervention provider/parent team offers guidelines for
developing the “heart of the IFSP”, the outcome statements
which map the path the team members will take together. The authors
pose six questions for evaluating outcomes:
1. Do we know why we’re writing this?
2. Does this outcome mesh with activities that the family chooses
3. Have we explored informal, natural and community-based supports
to determine whether they might accomplish developmental aims, rather
than automatically listing more restrictive options?
4. Who will pay or provide?
5. Is the outcome written in language the family might use, rather
than professional jargon?
6. Does this outcome really matter to this child and family?
Especially for families:
Nebraska Department of Education, Early Development Network. www.answers4families.org/ifspweb/outcomes.html
Nebraska’s online discussion of the IFSP
provides a clear summary of information for families about developing
an IFSP for their children as well as other topics of interest to families.
Squires, S. (2000). Our family’s experience: An important outcome
achieved. Young Exceptional Children, 4(1), 9-11.
This article was written by a parent of four children
(one of whom has cerebral palsy). Squires illustrates how the IFSP process
was used to develop outcomes and strategies to educate the nursery caregivers
in the family’s church to integrate her twin girls in the nursery
group during church services. One of the girls enjoyed a new social
opportunity, her twin was freed from translating her sister’s
needs, and the rest of the family participated in church services knowing
that both girls were safe and happy.
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