When the family is provided with suitable personalized assistance, a noteworthy outcome for the children is expected. This feature makes IFSP provisions distinct from 504 and IEP accommodations. This plan can be effective for parents who wish to make equal efforts for the betterment of the child alongside educators.
After exploring through the guide of IFSP, adorning your thoughts with some strategies, examples, and probable outcomes can make things much clearer. Hence, in this post, we talk about the same and dig deeper into the whole concept of IFSP, its examples and what strategies can one use to make it effective.
IFSP: Comprehending for clarity!
The Individualized Family Service Plan, abbreviated as “IFSP.” It identifies the early intervention services that will be most effective in achieving outcomes and outlines when, where, and how those services will be provided. The team creates a written plan, known as an IFSP, to record the family’s outcomes for themselves and their child. It serves as a road map for an individual and the specialists that will be assisting them.
Individualized education plans, or IFSPs, are governed by special education law, sometimes known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). They are designed for eligible children who require additional assistance with physical, communicative, self-advocacy, intellectual, or social-emotional abilities.
The child’s strengths and needs are discussed with the IFSP team. Areas considered include: What are the issues? What is the child’s current stage of growth? The parents or caretakers present their ideas to the team. The conference attendees also discuss what the child is capable of which includes strengths or weaknesses.
Outcomes of individualized family service plan
IFSP goals are basically individualized based upon the subjective needs of every child and the priorities of the family. They tend to focus on achievable, measurable, and short-term goals to ensure sustained levels of motivation based on the motivation of the child. The purpose of IFSP outcomes for both children and families would involve:
- If the outcomes are important and meaningful to the family or caregivers.
- If they are based upon the child’s and family’s priorities.
- If they improve parent-child interaction
- If they enhance the capacity of the family to improve their functioning to fulfill the needs of the child.
- If they are responsible for a child’s improved learning by daily functional interaction
- If they are based upon community support and access to community resources.
Having mentioned this, a few features that allow the development of these outcomes to be more efficient and effective are:
- Real-life settings based
- Active, etc.
The development of these outcomes is completely dependent on the information gathered from the family members and observation of the child. While these outcomes can be revised depending upon the needs of the child and the caretakers, here are a few examples to have better insight into how outcomes can be curated:
- Child A will wake up and get freshened up, post which they will go to the breakfast table and inform their parents of the food they want to eat by pointing to the choice of food from the cards shown to them. (Acquisition of knowledge and skills and practicing autonomy under a controlled environment)
- Child B will help their brother fold clothes every evening after having milk. Practicing appropriate behavior to meet their needs)
- Child C will sing the alphabet song to the class every afternoon after school is over. (Acquisition of knowledge and skills)
- Child D will play with his younger brother and engage him in simple, playful activities while his mother cooks their meal and will make sure to communicate with words and gestures if he has to. (Improves their understanding of responsibilities and social relationships)
- Child E will have dinner with his family by sitting in his chair without extra support from any family members. (Improves their muscle tone)
- Parents of child F will use open-ended questions from her to ask for her needs instead of questions that lead to (yes/no) answers. (Acquisition of skills and knowledge to use words and phrases to communicate their needs like food, toys, etc.)
- The caretaker and parents of child G will label the various objects around their environment and wait for her to say the word before helping her with the object. They will also play with her by using different words to help her identify her favorite objects during the meal, bathing, and general playtime. (Acquisition of skills and knowledge to improve the speech of the child so that it becomes understandable).
- Child H will be made to play with a ball in the backyard while they use their walker to reach it, instead of aiding their play. (Improves muscle tone and promotes the acquisition of skills )
- Child I will go for the fishing trip with their family and use their own mini-fishing pole. (Development of their understanding of social relationships, improves grasping capabilities and acquisition of new skills)
- Parents of child J will make sure that their room is soundproof and appropriate for his sleep and work by ruling out medical reasons for less sleep for the child. They will provide the child with an alternative sleep routine so that he gets a sleep of at least 8 hours, at least thrice a week. (Need appropriate behavior development)
Strategies involved In IFSP
Building an appropriate IFSP goal or an outcome might not be as difficult as bringing everybody to a consensus involved in the decision-making process. Thus, using the right skills and strategies to develop these goals and outcomes and strive for consensus is imperative.
These strategies might target different components of the plan, but their convergent focus is to induce improvement and catalyzes the development of the child and the family seeking IFSP.
1. Strategy to develop efficient and effective outcomes:
It is important that the team approaches the goals and objectives in a SMART way after making sure that the present level of functioning and information related to it is shared by the concerned authority.
The SMART Goals will be required to be:
R: Realistic and relevant
2. Assigning roles and responsibilities and tools:
This might be a difficult strategy to implement; however, it makes the process of evaluation of the goals and outcomes significantly easier. It is important for the planner to make sure that the roles and responsibilities being assigned to the family members or caregivers are resource-friendly. That is, if the intervention is home-based or community-based, the procurement of resources should be a liability over the caretaker for the plan to function properly.
One of the most important aspects of this strategy is to make sure that there is frequent interaction between the IFSP team and the child’s family to be able to document the efforts and keep track of the improvements taking place.
It is also important that the tools being used for assessment our friendly to the adaptability of the child and assess holistically, as the child grows to ensure complete growth and development.
3. Selecting accommodations and assistive technologies
While the typical lists of accommodations and technologies provided by agencies can be helpful in determining one’s subjective needs. There are family information guides to help the family gain an insight into their objectives and goals development, guides mentioning assistive technology for infants, toddlers, and younger children with disabilities, and accommodation manuals mentioning the ways to select them, navigate through them, and derive the maximum benefit out of them.
The development of accommodations should be accountable to the resources available in the setting of their implementation. For example – A toddler who wears a diaper, and requires sitting support can be provided by making them sit in a box filled with foams and blankets on the side to avoid any injury or cut.
4. Transition based goals and objectives
Once a child hits the age of 3 years, they are not eligible for early intervention anymore. They will transition into enhanced programs under IFSP and require specific steps to ease the process. Being prepared for the challenges that will come up in the future and devising plans on the caretaker’s end to neutralize them will eventually help in effectively carrying out the goals in the plan.
With these specific strategies in insight, a few more strategies that are usually overlooked but can be instrumental can include:
- Alignment of the goals and objectives with the results of the functional assessment of the child.
- Are developmentally appropriate
- Supports learning in scenarios where activities and objectives expect a higher level of learning and implementation during assessments.
Before we wind up:
You have the right to request services that will assist your child in accomplishing their goals. So to get the most out of early intervention, talk to the service coordinator and other experts who work with your child about what you think is important for your child to do and learn. You might also inquire about alternative sources of knowledge that you believe you require from these pros.
If things aren’t going as planned, contact your service coordinator. Tell them what’s wrong and express your concerns. To make formal additions or changes to the IFSP document, a team meeting can be organized. With the above states’ strategies, outcomes and examples, we hope you got a good idea of IFSP.
Also, Before you meet, consider the following:
Is my youngster making strides?
Will making changes make things better?
What adjustments can I make?