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

The Vanderbilt Home Visit Script

To help make the transition from activities emerging from the toy bag to a support- and routines-based visit, the Vanderbilt Home Visit Script (McWilliam, 2004) has been developed. The overview of the script is as follows:

  1. General well-being: How have things been going?
  2. New Questions or concerns: Do you have anything new you want to ask me about?
  3. Outcomes in priority order: How have things been going with each IFSP outcome, in priority order?
  4. Problematic routines: Is there a time of day that's not going well for you?
  5. Other family members: How is [family member] doing?
  6. Appointments: Have you had any appointments in the past week? Any coming up?
  7. Workload related to intervention: Do you have enough or too much to do with [your child]?

For each question, the following follow-up prompts are provided:

  1. The 4 Es:
    • Ears (listen)
    • Elicit (ask)
    • Empathize
    • Encourage
  2. Do you need any information to help with this?
  3. Should we try to solve this?
  4. Would you like me to show you?

These leading and follow-up questions at any time can generate discussion between the home visitor and the family that results in the home visitor's assessing the goodness of fit between the child and a given routine and demonstrating an intervention for the family. Many home visits will never proceed further than half-way through the script.


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