Physicians’ Network Virtual Event

Physicians’ Network Events are held twice a year, in April and October and are organized by the Health and Development Committee, which is facilitated by the Collaboration’s Manager of Health and Development. These events are spaces for health professionals, and the broader early childhood care and education community to learn about, and explore, key issues in children’s healthy development. To see past Physicians’ Network Events, visit our Health Professionals Resources page. 

On Tuesday, April 19; 7:00 AM  we invited you to hear the story of how Early Intervention has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spring 2022 Physicians’ Network Event is titled: “I Feel Like I’m Being Coached”: Family and Provider Perspectives of Early Intervention Services Delivered through Telehealth. You can view a recording of the April event below. You can also follow along using the presentation deck here, and see a collection of resources on their Resource Handout

If you would like to dig deeper into this interesting topic, you can find Little and Stoffel’s article, “Adaptations to Early Intervention Service Delivery During COVID-19” published in the July 2021 issue of The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy here.

Lauren Little (Presenter)

Lauren Little (Presenter)

PhD, OTR/L (Occupational Therapist, Registered, Licensed)

Lauren Little serves as Associate Dean of Research in the College of Health Sciences and Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Rush University. Dr. Little has a clinical background in occupational therapy and a PhD in Occupational Science. Dr. Little’s research expertise is in innovative service models for families of children with neurodevelopmental conditions, and has led a number of projects examining the feasibility, acceptability, and efficacy of occupational therapy delivered through telehealth. She is also a committee member for the IL Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Committee’s Telehealth Workgroup.

Ashley Stoffel (Contributor)

Ashley Stoffel (Contributor)

OTD (Doctor of Occupational Therapy), OTR/L (Occupational Therapist, Registered, Licensed), FAOTA (Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association)

Dr. Stoffel is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the director of the UIC OT Faculty Practice: Children, Youth & Families which provides occupational therapy services to children and families in the Chicago area. Dr. Stoffel serves as the occupational therapy discipline and training coordinator for the Illinois Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Program. Dr. Stoffel’s scholarly interests include promoting family engagement with young children and families in diverse Early Intervention and community settings. She is the co-facilitator of the American Occupational Therapy Association Early Childhood Community of Practice; co-founder and facilitator of the IL Early Intervention and Schools Community of Practice; and is actively engaged at the local, state and national level in early childhood groups, resource development and presentations.

About I feel like I’m being Coached”: Family and Provider Perspectives of Early Intervention Services Delivered through Telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way early intervention (EI) services are provided to children and their families in fundamental ways, as systems made the rapid shift to telehealth service delivery in April 2020. While previous findings point to families’ acceptability and satisfaction with telehealth delivered services in pediatrics (e.g., Wallisch et al., 2019), such data was limited to participants enrolled in these research studies.

Understanding the experiences of families and providers transitioning to telehealth during the pandemic is key to optimizing the potential benefits offered through this service delivery approach. The COVID-19 pandemic created a natural opportunity to measure acceptability, satisfaction, and perceived efficacy of telehealth delivered early intervention services from both EI provider and family perspectives. In this presentation, we will describe survey data from family and provider perspectives on telehealth delivered EI services in Illinois from two points during the COVID-19 pandemic, July 2020 and March 2021. During this session, participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the shared examples, discuss lessons learned, and identify challenges and solutions for using telehealth as a service delivery option in early intervention.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will:

  • Identify opportunities and challenges related to early intervention (EI) services delivered via telehealth in Illinois, with an emphasis on reported caregiver acceptability and satisfaction of EI services.
  • Describe ways the presented data informs education and advocacy efforts to advance telehealth in EI in Illinois.
Get ready to think innovatively, and engage in data to uncover how telehealth services can best be used for Early Intervention.

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