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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Module Two: Lesson One

Four Problems in Early Intervention

According to Dr. McWilliam, the EINE model is designed to address the following four problems in early intervention.

First, there has been a pernicious slide towards overspecialization, with the common assumption that every need requires a service. Another assumption is that, if the child or family is eligible for the service, they should have to receive it.

Second, many families and professionals alike have the erroneous belief that more is better. The "more" in question is either a greater number of hours a week of specialized services (e.g., therapy) or a greater number of services. The evidence, by and large, does not support that more hours of a specialized service or more services are better (McWilliam & Casey, 2004).

Third, the quest for professionalism in the field has led to an objective distancing between professionals and parents. Students and employees are exhorted not to become enmeshed in families' lives so they can be objective. McWilliam believes we should get as close as we can to families and then work on establishing distance as necessary.

Fourth, home visits often look like a clinic- or classroom-based model has been dumped on the living room floor. This means that home visitors can be seen "working with" the child, rather than supporting the family so they can "work with" their child between home visits.

These thought-provoking problems have led to the EINE model described here. It is a new model comprised of many old ideas and some innovative ones.


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