Preparing for Your Child's Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
You know your child best. You also know your family's routines, your family's values and interests and what is important to you. Your IFSP team members know how children develop. The IFSP process brings all of our expertise together to create a plan to support your child to reach his/her developmental potential.
Some members of your team will come to the IFSP meeting with reports and knowledge of the Birth-to-Three system. You can take some steps prior to the IFSP meeting that might help you to be prepared to report on your routines, concerns and priorities.
Things to consider in preparing for your IFSP meeting include the following:Ask your Family Resource Coordinator what the IFSP process will be like.
- Who will be attending the meeting?
- How long the meeting will be?
- Are there any reports that might be available to you prior to the meeting?
- Some routines happen every day, such as getting up in the morning, meal-times, etc.
- Some routines only happen on weekends, after school, or periodically, such as doctor appointments, meeting brothers/sisters at the bus stop, going to the mall.
- Sometimes your family may not follow any routines and just hang out.
- What does each family member do during these activities?
- What does your child do during these times?
- How does he/she participate in these routines?
- What can your child do independently?
- How does your child communicate and get along with others during these times?
- How satisfied are you with how these routines are going?
- Identify what is working and on what areas of concern you would like to have the team concentrate.
- Think about your family's routines to help you and your team decide what to include in your IFSP. When developing the outcomes, think of specific parts of a routine that you feel would be important to concentrate on. Examples are:
- If meal time is difficult for your family because your child chokes on some types of food, think about describing that as a part of a routine that needs to be addressed in your IFSP.
- If your family likes to go to the beach but your child gets upset every time you go, think about what part of this routine is of concern. Does it seem to be the sounds of the beach or the texture of the sand or that your child does not like changes in routines?
Adapted from McWilliam, Robin A. (2003) Routines-based Assessment. Chapel Hill, NC: EI Training Center for Infants and Toddlers with Visual Impairments, FPC Child Development Institute, INC-Chapel Hill.