Children and families in the Early Intervention Program come from diverse backgrounds, different cultures and speak different languages. In this blog post, we will discuss some ways you can ensure that you and your child's cultural and linguistic needs are being met while receiving Early Intervention services.

1. Talk to your Service Coordinator

The first step in ensuring that your child's cultural and linguistic needs are being met is to communicate with your Service Coordinator about your family and child's background and needs. It is important to provide information about your culture, the primary language spoken at home and any other specific considerations that should be taken into account when working with your child. It's also important to let the team know if you need interpretersor translated materials.

2. Request Bilingual Evaluator

Another way to ensure that your child's cultural and linguistic needs are being met is to request bilingual evaluators who are able to conduct your child’s evaluation(s) in the family’s preferred language. This will allow for evaluators to get an accurate and thorough description of the child, their current functional status and the goals/milestones that the family would like to work towards. If bilingual evaluators are not available, the family can request an interpreter be present to help allow the family and child to freely communicate in their preferred and dominant language.

If your child is found eligible for Early Intervention services following their evaluations, you can request bilingual service providers who are able to communicate in your family’s dominant language. Please be sure to let your service coordinator that this is your preference so they inform provider agencies when locating providers. As a parent, it is your right to switch or terminate working with any providers who are not a good fit for you or your child.

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