COVID-19 and EI Tele-Intervention Updates

On this page, you will find resources specific to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on early intervention programs, staff, and families across Virginia and the United States. Information about COVID-19, tele-intervention or telehealth, and other guidance will be updated on a regular basis so please bookmark this page and check back often.

For COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for Virginia’s early intervention system, start here:

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia - UPDATED 5.13.20
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

In keeping with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) guidance on providing early intervention services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services is issuing several temporary policies and procedures to support providers in delivering services in a manner that is consistent with the most updated public health and safety recommendations. These temporary policies will be in effect until May 31, 2020 or until written notice from the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia changes these policies.

For national information about COVID-19 and early intervention, start here:

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)

This site is the central hub for resources related to COVID-19 and early intervention/early childhood special education. You will find links to information from the Office of Special Education Programs, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the CDC. Information is also posted related to Tele-Intervention, Distance Learning, and COVID-19 as well as links to statements and resources from other state and national organizations.

Click the tabs below to review the resources.

Available Resources



Virginia-Specific Information

 

Challenges and Solutions for Telehealth
Infant & Toddler Connection of the New River Valley

This document addresses common challenges associated with providing early intervention services via telehealth (tele-intervention) and suggests possible tips and solutions.


COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia - UPDATED 5.13.20
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

In keeping with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) guidance on providing early intervention services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia at the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services is issuing several temporary policies and procedures to support providers in delivering services in a manner that is consistent with the most updated public health and safety recommendations. These temporary policies will be in effect until May 31, 2020 or until written notice from the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia changes these policies.


Coronavirus Information & Resources
The Arc of Virginia

This page provides information about staying healthy, information about disability services, and guidance for direct support professionals. Links to videos are also included.


COVID-19
VA Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS)

Visit this site for guidance and resources for contracted entities and licensed providers under DBHDS.


COVID-19 Briefing for the Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council (VICC)
Angela Myrick-West, MPH, CIC, Central Region Epidemiologist, VA Dept. of Health
March 11, 2020

This presentation provides an overview of human coronaviruses, COVID-19 signs and symptoms, prevalence, and epidemic information. Guidance for outpatient settings is also provided including reporting requirements, prevention and control actions, cleaning, testing, what to do with in the case of community spread, etc.


COVID-19 in Virginia
Virginia Department of Health (VDH)

Visit this site for the most current information about COVID-19 in Virginia, including prevalence data, situation summary information, information about coronavirus, and guidance for individuals and households, businesses, educational organizations, and community partners.


Early Intervention during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Frequently Asked Questions - UPDATED 5.21.20
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

This document answers questions related to providing EI via telehealth, other alternative service delivery options, reimbursement, procedural safeguards, transition, using an interim IFSP, and the Family Survey.


Informed Consent for In-Person Services during COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Here are sample consent forms from two Virginia early intervention systems. The form from the ITC of Harrisonburg-Rockingham also includes a screening questionnaire and guidelines for team members.


Some Resources for EI Providers for Possible Use with Families of Young Children with Hearing Loss during COVID-19 Closures for Continuation of Learning
Debbie Pfieffer
VSDB Outreach Services

This list includes resources for EI service providers are working with children with hearing loss, using American Sign Language (ASL), and/or using listening and spoken language skills.


Telehealth Insurance List
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

This spreadsheet provides information about private insurance providers, EI billing codes, and whether or not outpatient telehealth has been approved. Since there are many different insurance companies and products, it is strongly recommended that you contact the companies that you bill to confirm the procedures they prefer.


Transition from Early Intervention to Early Childhood Special Education FAQ – UPDATED 5.20.20
Virginia Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood and Department of Behavioral Health and Disability Services

On March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam, closed all public and private schools through the end of this school year due to this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. This FAQ document provides answers to commonly asked questions related to the transition from Early Intervention to Early Childhood Special Education.


Transitioning to In-Person Activities during COVID-19 Reopening: Considerations for Local Infant & Toddler Connection Systems

This document includes key considerations for local systems as stay-at-home orders are eased and in-person activities begin to resume. Recommended considerations may evolve over time, and this document will be revised, as needed, to reflect that.


Virginia Medicaid Memo: Provider Flexibilities Related to COVID-19 (3-19-20)

This memo sets out the Agency’s initial guidance on the flexibilities available to providers in light of the public health emergency presented by the COVID-19 virus. The guidance that is most relevant to Early Intervention can be found on pages 2-3 and 4.


Virginia Medicaid is Taking Action to Fight COVID-19

This infographic provides information about changes to co-pays, pre-approvals, prescriptions, and the use of telehealth due to the pandemic.


Virginia Telehealth Guidance Documents for Therapy Disciplines

These documents provide the most current guidance for speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists in Virginia on the use of telehealth.


National Guidance

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Visit this site for up-to-date information about COVID-19, including how to protect yourself and what to do if you are sick. Information is provided about symptoms, resources for the community, cases in the US, information for healthcare professionals, and all of the latest updates. This site is updated daily.


Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA)

This site is the central hub for resources related to COVID-19 and early intervention/early childhood special education. You will find links to information from the Office of Special Education Programs, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, and the CDC. Information is also posted related to Tele-Intervention, Distance Learning, and COVID-19 as well as links to statements and resources from other state and national organizations.


COS Completion: When Teams Can’t Meet In-Person
Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and DaSy Center

This document is intended to assist teams conducting COS rating determination meetings using telecommunication devices such as phones and/or computers with or without video to have discussions with team members in different locations through teleconferencing.


Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak (March 2020)
Office of Special Education Programs – Dept. of Education

This Questions and Answers document outlines states’ responsibilities to infants,toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families, and to the staff serving these children.


Resources for Small Businesses
These resources provide guidance for small businesses about available programs and initiatives.


Resources to Support EI/ECSE During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

This site provides information and links for early intervention and early childhood special education practitioners.


Articles & Documents

Behl et al. (2017). A multisite study evaluating the benefits of early intervention via telepractice. Infants & Young Children, 30, 147-161.
This study supports the effectiveness of telepractice in delivering early intervention services to families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Everyday Early Intervention During Coronavirus
Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse

Visit this site for examples of information to share with families about tele-intervention (referred to as video visits) and how to help infants and toddlers learn during daily routines. Please note that some information is specific to Illinois and would have to be customized to reflect Virginia's COVID-19 policies and practices.


Informed Consent for the Use of Virtual Early Intervention
Indiana First Steps

This is an example of an informed consent form to document family consent for tele-intervention visits.


Part C Providers Continue to Support Language Development through Teletherapy
Special Ed Connection

This article highlights the work that the Infant & Toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church has done to adjust to providing early intervention services using teletherapy. Susan Sigler (Local System Manager), Kimberly Griffith (Speech-Language Pathologist), and Emilie Mulholland (Deaf and Hard of Hearing Educator) share insights into how they are supporting families using video conferencing.


Planning for the Use of Video Conferencing for Early Intervention Home Visits during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Larry Edelman

The purpose of this document is to suggest key topics to be addressed and provide information and resources to assist in planning how to use video conferencing for home visiting.


Provider and Educator Use of Technology
ECTA Center

Visit this site for videos, handouts, and links to other resources that illustrate and support the provision of early intervention services through video conferencing.


Tele-Intervention Infographics – Early Childhood Intervention Tele-Practice
The Family, Infant and Preschool Program

This page houses a series of downloadable infographics about tele-coaching, tele-intervention, and tele-teaming as well as a video about these practices. Click below to view each infographic.


Tele-Intervention Tips and Strategies
EI Strategies for Success Blog

Visit the blog to read posts and share ideas about providing strategies for engaging parents and using recommended practices during tele-intervention visits. Subscribe from the home page to receive notifications about new posts. Featured posts include:


eLearning/Webinars

A Practical Guide to the Use of Tele-Intervention for Providing Early Intervention Services
National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM)

Service providers and parents are encouraged to watch the following free trainings from The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management (NCHAM) for information about best practices and tele-intervention. Please note that these trainings are offered as a free resource and have not been tailored to Virginia policies.


Strategies for Engaging Parents (not Children!) during Tele Intervention
Brookes Coffee Chat
Presented by Dana Childress, PhD

During this brief coffee chat webinar, strategies are discussed that early intervention and early childhood practitioners can use to engage parents during tele-intervention visits conducted using video technology. Strategies address what to do to prepare for the visit, what to do during the visit, and how to plan for and support the parent between visits. This webinar content was based on a blog post on the EI Strategies for Success blog by the same name. For other recorded coffee chats, visit the Brookes Coffee Chat page.


Supporting Families in the Midst of a Crisis
VA’s Integrated Training Collaborative | Partnership for People with Disabilities
Presented by Lisa Terry, MS, MEd

This webinar introduces the 5Rs of Healthy Brain Development. It includes the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on stress, empathy, behaviors, and embedded strategies to support the caregiver, child, and early interventionist. Resources for this webinar include: Webinar Handout, Supporting the 5Rs of Health Development, Supporting the 5Rs Example.


Telepractice in Early Intervention
Molly Wallace, MA, CCC-SLP and Brooke Lambert, MEd, CCC-SLP
Pronto Therapy Group, LLC
Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

In this webinar, two early intervention speech-language pathologists, Molly Wallace, MA, CCC-SLP and Brooke Lambert, MEd, CCC-SLP, discuss how to use telepractice to facilitate intervention with children and families using video conferencing technology. They describe equipment needs, debunk myths, and review evidence for telepractice. They also discuss clinical competencies, legal considerations, troubleshooting, and responsibilities of both the EI provider and the family. Specific to the EI provider, the facilitators share five “must have” skills for telepractice, including 1) following the caregiver’s lead, 2) engaging the family, 3) pacing the session, 4) responding to and managing behavior, and 5) completing documentation. Video clips are used throughout the webinar to illustrate how to coach and support children and families during EI telepractice visits. This webinar was a collaborative effort of Pronto Therapy Group LLC and the Infant & Toddler Connection of VA.


Tools

Learning Bytes about Tele-Intervention

Learning bytes are brief learning activities that supervisors, faculty, or other leaders can use to facilitate professional development with staff and students. These activities are designed to be of short duration and include instructions, handouts, links, worksheets and answer keys (as needed) to help you facilitate the activity with small or large groups. The learning bytes below focus on topics related to providing tele-intervention or conducting tele-assessment. These activities can be facilitated via video conferencing or in-person. Visit the Learning Bytes page to look for additional activities.


Telehealth Preparation Checklist - DOC | PDF
Infant & Toddler Connection of Greater Prince William

This tool provides guidance about how all participants, families and EI practitioners, can prepare for an early intervention visit conducted via video conferencing technology. The tool is available as a PDF and Word document so it can be adapted for local program use.


Virtual Early Intervention Technology Checklist
Indiana First Steps

This checklist can be used with families to prepare for tele-intervention visits and determine if the family has access to the needed technology.


Videos

Look for this icon to find videos that demonstrate tele-intervention with EI practitioners and families!


ASHA Web Event Series on Service Delivery Considerations in Early Intervention

Visit this page to access recorded video chats for EI providers supporting families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include: The Big Picture, Telepractice Evaluation and Assessment, and Empowering Families and Professionals (this chat features VA practitioners). While these chats are hosted by ASHA for speech-language pathologists, they include lots of information and strategies that would be helpful to any EI provider.


#COVID-19 ASL Video Playlist
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

This video series provides information about COVID-19 in American Sign Language. Topics include when to get care, social distancing, parents supporting children, prevention tips, risk factors, symptoms, caring for someone with COVID-19, etc.


Early Intervention Tele-Assessment Video Chats

Each of the following two chats feature five early intervention practitioners and leaders from Virginia discussing tele-assessment, or how to conduct developmental assessments with children and families using video conferencing. The chat addresses how to prepare families and teams, what successful tele-assessments look like, and tips and advice for others who are embarking on tele-assessment.

Special thank you to practitioners and leaders from the following systems who participated in the chats: Infant & Toddler Connections of Danville-Pittsylvania, Fairfax-Falls Church, Greater Prince William, Loudon, Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck, Norfolk, and Staunton-Waynesboro.


Getting Started with Telehealth (Live Video Visits) for Early Intervention Providers - Tips & Tricks
Sweet Pea Pediatric Wellness

This video features an occupational therapist and physical therapist from Colorado’s early intervention system describing how to provide early intervention support to families via telehealth. Many tips and strategies about how to conduct telehealth EI visits are included.


A Home Visit with Ares’ Family
ECTA Center


In this video, Ohio speech-language pathologist Lindsay Miketa delivers an early intervention home visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video illustrates the experience of a family new to early intervention that has only received home visits via video conferencing. The story is accompanied by insightful observations offered by Lindsay and Ares' parents, Jacqueline and Daniel.


A Home Visit with Sam’s Family
ECTA Center


This video features a tele-intervention visit with a mother, her son, and an occupational therapist. The mother and therapist also describe how intervention works.


A Home Visit with Zander’s Family
ECTA Center


In this video, a tele-intervention visit is shown with a family and a physical therapist. The therapist and mother also provide insights into tele-intervention.


Provider and Educator Use of Technology
ECTA Center

Visit this site for videos, handouts, and links to other resources that illustrate and support the provision of early intervention services through video conferencing.


Providing Early Intervention Services through Distance Technology
The Family, Infant and Preschool Program


Visit this site to watch a 20-min video that describes how to provide EI services and coach families using video conferencing. After strategies and tools are discussed, an example of an EI speech-language pathologist providing tele-intervention is included. The resource, Promoting Interest-Based Child Learning in Natural Settings using a Coaching Interaction Style, is mentioned in the video and can be found on this page.


Sunny Days Virtual Intervention
Sunny Days EI Services


This video provides information about providing EI services at a distance from both the perspective of a service provider and a parent. An example of what an early intervention session may look like when using video conferencing technology is also shown.


Supporting Families During the Pandemic: Four Therapists Share Their Wisdom
Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center

In this video, four early intervention practitioners from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Ohio) share their experiences and advice about using video conferencing to deliver home visits.


Teleflections Video Series
Integrated Training Collaborative

Teleflections provide reflection from VA early intervention service providers on tele-intervention. The following videos are available in the Teleflections Video Playlist on the VEIPD Videos YouTube Channel:


Tele-Intervention – Coaching during Family Chore-Laundry
Lynn Shea


During this video, an early interventionist coaches a mother via tele-intervention as she engages her toddler during laundry time.


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