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Module Two: Lesson Two

Developing Functional Outcomes

Throughout the interview, the person taking notes, who can be the interviewer or the second person, writes down, in short notes, important information. The RBI Report Form has space for these notes. Concerns, which are potential outcomes, are especially noted. You may place stars next to these so you can find them easily when reviewing the notes. The RBI Report Form has a star to circle for this purpose. Note that these are not the parent's chosen outcomes yet-just concerns, of which there will be 10-20 in a typical interview. At the end of the interview, these are reviewed to remind the parent. The interviewer reads aloud these notes about potential problem areas, and the family selects 6-10 outcomes (i.e., goals). The family then puts these outcomes into priority order. This list is the product for which the interview was designed. The next step is to word the outcomes for the IFSP and to explore strategies with the family and other team members. Only after the outcomes and strategies have been compiled can the team, including the family, discuss what services are needed.

In the following video segment, Robin McWilliam discusses the importance of prioritizing the family's outcomes.

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Text version

The family then puts these into priority order, which is important because it's really hard to do everything in early intervention, so it's important to know, out of their six to ten outcomes, which is on average what families come up with when you use a routines based interview, you want to know which is the most important. And families surprise me all the time about this. They might spend very little time talking about something like, let's say, spending time reading stories to the older sibling. That might have just come up very, for a small amount of time during the routines based interview, but then they stick it up as the top priority.

Then, we have to understand, for this family, at this point in time, this is really where, you know, this is the main thing, so it doesn't matter what else we do, we've got to make sure that we allow opportunity for that to happen. Then we have our mission accomplished.

Now, what we've done, then done, is that we have, the family has selected outcomes to work on, and that's the overt mission here. We've got a list of things to put on the IFSP. The covert mission is that we've empowered the family along the way. So, this means that this process that is part of the IFSP development process is actually a very powerful intervention.

I was recently doing a routines based interview in New Orleans, and the mother that I had just interviewed was walking out of the building, this is at the CEC National Conference, and she was walking out of the building with her service provider. And she said "That conversation turned my life around". And, you know, all I did was I interviewed her about her routines, but nobody had ever really done that before, and it really made her reevaluate what it was that she really wants her family to be able to do, including her child with significant disabilities. Before, it had all been about getting this service and doing this activity and this exercise with the kid, but it was always just narrowly focused around the child. Now, she was able to put what she really wants for her life into a bigger perspective.

 

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