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

Identification of the Primary Service Provider (PSP)

mother playing with babyIn the EINE model, one professional, the primary service provider (PSP), provides weekly support to the family, backed up by a team of other professionals who provide services to the child and family through joint home visits with the primary service provider, as needed. The intensity of joint home visits depends on child, family, and primary service provider needs.

Early Steps requires the IFSP team to select the primary service provider for each child and family. This person can be a therapist, other licensed healing arts professional, or an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist (ITDS). The primary service provider may also be the designated service coordinator. To decide who on the team should be a particular family's PSP, the team should consider the following factors:

  • a method that emphasizes how children really learn,
  • a plan that is unified around the family's functional needs
  • to capitalize on families' forming close relationships with a primary service provider,
  • to use specialists as efficiently as possible, and
  • to use our limited resources most effectively.

The same person does not always have to be in the role of the primary service provider and can change based on the changing needs of the child or family/caregivers or the focus of the current functional outcomes being addressed.

The primary service provider approach is consistent with the principles articulated earlier in Module Two: Lesson One, that all the intervention occurs between specialists' visits (that's when children learn), that therapy and instruction are not golf lessons (young children cannot process massed trials and cannot transfer skills effectively), and regular caregivers (not specialists working directly with the child) need to own the goals.

Remember that this is not a one size fits all methodology and flexibility is interwoven into this approach to ensure that each child's needs are individually addressed and reviewed.


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