Therapists’ Perspectives

The Impact of COVID-19 on Implementation of Early Intervention Services in Illinois, Florida, and the United Kingdom

Authors

  • Emily Garratt Early Steps Team, Clermont, Florida
  • Sara Garner Southeast Missouri State University
  • Tammy Davis Southeast Missouri State University
  • Christina Rushing State of Illinois’ Early Intervention System
  • Sandra Forman Early Intervention Team, Hertfordshire, UK
  • Misty Chisum Southeast Missouri State University

Keywords:

COVID-19, early intervention, teletherapy

Abstract

As COVID-19 changed daily lives, early intervention therapists in the US and UK continued to provide services to children. This report illustrates the anxiety that therapists and families experienced and the opportunities and challenges of teletherapy. Temporary approval of video intervention sessions provided ways to meet child and family needs while preventing the spread of COVID-19, reaching remote areas, and accommodating those who had been on the waiting list for services. This report provides strategies, recommendations, and reflections advocating the choice of teletherapy services in early intervention.

Author Biographies

Emily Garratt, Early Steps Team, Clermont, Florida

Emily Garratt is a native of the United Kingdom who has been residing for the past two years in the USA. Emily works as an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist in the Orlando, Florida area. She began her career working in early intervention with teenagers and then moved into children with special educational needs and their families. Having over 20 years of experience in early intervention, Emily also delivers training to other professionals. She has obtained her BA Honors in Early Childhood Education and Special Education and has an interest in working with and supporting families in need.

Sara Garner, Southeast Missouri State University

Sara Garner, EdD, is an assistant professor at Southeast Missouri State University. She has received multiple grants for the University lab school expansion classroom as well as the certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. In addition to her 20+ year tenure at Southeast, she has served as a director for both laboratory schools, offers professional development training for childcare workers and provides assessments to children in Missouri qualifying for the state early intervention program. Sara has owned and operated her own childcare business and is a member of NAEYC.

Tammy Davis, Southeast Missouri State University

Tammy Davis serves as an instructor at Southeast Missouri State University. Her career began at the Child Development Laboratories, Southern Illinois University. She also taught as an Infant/Toddler Master Teacher and served as the Site Director for the Center for Child Studies and the University School for Young Children, Southeast Missouri State University. Tammy is a certified consultant and trainer for Nature Explore Outdoor Classrooms, Arbor Day Foundation, and has presented locally, nationally, and internationally. She is currently working on a Ph.D. in Public Health and Education at Southern Illinois University with an interest in gun violence in public education, racism as a public health issue, social justice, and health disparities within the Mississippi Delta area.

Christina Rushing, State of Illinois’ Early Intervention System

Christina Rushing is a developmental therapist working in the state of Illinois’ early intervention system. She also serves as an adjunct instructor at both Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and Southeast Missouri State University. She worked as an Infant/Toddler Master Teacher at the Center for Child Studies at Southeast Missouri State University from 2008-2010. She is currently working on a PhD in Education at Southern Illinois University with an interest in child development and infant mental health, and has presented her work locally and nationally.

Sandra Forman, Early Intervention Team, Hertfordshire, UK

Sandra Forman is a specialist inclusion worker working in early intervention in the United Kingdom. Sandra has worked the last nine years with vulnerable families with children under five years. She began her career teaching early years students in the classroom after obtaining her degree in Early Childhood Studies.

Misty Chisum, Southeast Missouri State University

Misty Chisum, EdD, is an English Instructor at Southeast Missouri State University and works as an Executive Functions Coach. In addition to two decades in higher education, she is certified to teach 5-12 ELA. She has done extensive work in online instruction and dual enrollment. Her research interests include student-instructor engagement in distance education.

Published

2022-05-31

Issue

Section

Reports from the Field