What if Problems Arise?
Your local Early
Start Program will help you access coordinated early intervention
services for your child. But if problems arise, the following are
strategies to resolve any problem.
- Use your support network to plan strategy, boost morale,
rehearse statements or questions for meetings with
service personnel, etc.
- Know who to contact when questions or problems arise.
- State your concerns, needs, and fears before making
demands. Be prepared to problem solve with the people
working with your child and you. Negotiate solutions
based on outcomes, rather than personalities
- State your requests and expectations clearly, and allow
time to develop solutions. Make sure you are clear on who
will take the next step.
- Follow up on your verbal requests in writing.
- Ask for a response or a meeting within a specific time
- Document all contacts and steps you have taken to seek
- Use the "chain of command" when your concerns
- Request a review or appeal if issues remain unresolved.
Learn the policies that are in force and how to handle
complaints. Ask for assistance from your service
coordinator in preparing a request for review or hearing.
- Obtain copies of the laws and policies that relate to
your specific areas of concern. Seek help from
knowledgeable professionals and parents in interpreting
- Decide what to do when agreement is not possible; agree
to disagree, or call a halt for the time being.
- Consider requesting to work with someone else if
differences between you and a professional appear
Strategies for Successful Meetings
- Prepare a plan ahead of time, including the outcomes you
hope for. It is helpful to write it down.
- Clarify the issues or reasons for meeting, as you see
- Ask clear, direct questions, as appropriate.
- Ask for a specific statement of policy as it relates to
- Ask for this information in writing.
- Listen closely to all that is said. Ask for clarification
of issues or terms that are unfamiliar.
- Take notes on what you are told.
- Take someone with you who will help you stay with your
plan and also make observations or take notes to augment
important thing to remember is that the Early Start Program is
for you and your child. Keep all of this information in
perspective. You need to focus on your baby and your family and
take care of yourself, too. One option is to become actively
involved at the local level or in the legislative process on
policy issues that affect you and your family. The early
intervention system has evolved in response to parents who
advocated for more effective and family-centered services.
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