October's  E-Perspective Newsletter
Finding My Footing Through "Finding Your Footing" 
By Karen O'Toole, Grandparent

I was thrilled when I found out that I would be able to participate in this training. Finding Your Footing is a thoughtful and engaging training series and our group included 15 parents of children who have previously received or are currently receiving Early Intervention services. We were from different backgrounds and locations across the state and all of us had one thing in common; we are all learning how to navigate in the world around us as parents of children with special needs.
The purpose of the training was to prepare us to help others in order to help bring about improvements for families. Over the course of two days, we spent about fifteen hours learning about ourselves, resources available to everyone that we may or may not have known about before, how to tell our stories in an impactful way, effective communication, team building and self-care. It was not all work though it was very productive. It was fun with a purpose. We also had time to socialize. Bonds were created and friendships began. We all left with more knowledge and had gained new skills.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health-Office of Family Initiatives, Early Intervention, the Early Intervention Training Center, Family TIES and the Early Intervention Parent Leadership Project each had a role in developing the series and worked as a team to put it all together. Each had an equally important contribution that could not have happened without collaboration. There were some impressive guest speakers contributing valuable information in addition to the very knowledgeable speakers from the offices above who gave us tools to take home that we will be able to use later.
Time I spend with other parents who may be faced with similar challenges such as raising children that may not always fit in easily, understanding systems, learning about programs or dealing with schools, is time well spent. There is an unspoken understanding and acceptance that we're doing the best we can. I think this training was a wonderful learning and networking opportunity and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about how to make a difference.
Early Intervention Experience! 
By Areeba Ali, Parent

Raising kids is not easy, and nobody warned us of how hard it would get. Our early intervention program was a blessing in our life when it came to coping with all problems related to our kids, big and small. Whether we were dealing with sleeping patterns or feeding issues, they had us covered, with information, resources and their amazing experts. I personally had experience with my kid's speech delay. She was visited by a speech therapist, and weekly visits by an EI member and within a short span of time, I could see a huge difference in  my child. Moreover, the Early Intervention Program provided me, as a mom of a delayed speaker, the chance to attend a Sign Language Class with one of their amazing speech therapists. It was a three-week class, and it covered all the everyday basics of sign language for a toddler. This helped me to deal with my child's frustration. I had a sign or a word for everything she wanted to do or to eat. Every parent should consider the opportunities provided by their Early Intervention Program. They are great for kids as well as their parents, helping to make themselves better at parenting and getting the support one might need when living alone. Parenting is tough but if you have got supportive people and wise advisors at your back, your experience can be far better and happier because as they say, "happy moms are the best moms." We do not need to be the perfect mommy, all we need is to be the happy one, so that our kids can be happy and delightful!
¡Experiencia en Intervención Temprana!
  Por Areeba Ali, 
Criar hijos no es fácil, y nadie nos advirtió lo difícil que podía llegar a ser. El programa de intervención temprana fue una bendición en nuestras vidas cuando debimos enfrentar todos los problemas, grandes y pequeños, relacionados con nuestros hijos. Ya se trate de un ritmo de sueño o problemas de alimentación, el programa nos dio cobertura, información, recursos y sus increíbles expertos. Personalmente, tuve experiencia con el retraso en el habla de mi hija. Ella recibió visitas de un terapista del habla y visitas semanales de un miembro del equipo de Intervención Temprana, y en un corto espacio de tiempo, pude ver una gran diferencia en mi hija. Además, el programa de Intervención Temprana me brindó, como madre de una niña con retraso del habla, la oportunidad de asistir a un curso de lengua de señas con uno de sus increíbles terapistas del habla. Era un curso de tres semanas, y cubría todos los conceptos básicos de la lengua de señas para niños pequeños. Esto me ayudó a lidiar con la frustración de mi hija. Tenía un letrero o una palabra para todo lo que ella quería hacer o comer. Todos los padres deberían considerar las oportunidades proporcionadas por el programa de Intervención Temprana. Son excelentes, tanto para los niños como para sus padres, porque ayudan a ser mejores en la crianza de los hijos y ofrecen el apoyo que uno podría necesitar cuando vive solo/a. La crianza de los hijos es difícil, pero si se cuenta con personas que apoyan y con asesores sabios, la experiencia puede ser mucho mejor y más feliz porque, como dicen, "las mamás felices son las mejores mamás". No necesitamos ser la mamá perfecta, todo lo que necesitamos es ser mamás felices, ¡para que nuestros niños puedan ser felices y encantadores!

NCSEAM Family Survey

October (and March) are NCSEAM Family Survey months!

What does this mean to you and your family? If your child has been enrolled in Early Intervention for more than 6 months, and you did not receive and complete a Survey in March, your service coordinator should be giving you a Family Survey to complete this month. 

Your Survey helps the Department of Public Health by letting them know if your Early Intervention services:
  • help families know their rights
  • help families effectively communicate their children's needs
  • help families help their children develop and learn
If you received a Family Survey, please complete it and return it in the postage-paid envelope!

Sharing your opinions helps make EI services better for all children and families!
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A Sampling of our FaceBook and Twitter posts...                                                                          
Super exciting! Listen in on a brand new initiative in Massachusetts and Virginia...podcasts are being developed for providers...families are welcome to listen as well! In this edition, learn about Functional Assessment...(click below) 

Have you seen the new Family TIES Website? The information about a Disability Indicator form many be helpful.  

How do you keep your baby healthy through weather changes?
 It is that time of year Flu Season! How do you reinforce that hand washing is a MUST to your little one? #CLEANHANDS 

The EI Parent Leadership Project (EIPLP) strives to develop an informed parent constituency, promote leadership and lifelong advocacy skills for parents and family members, facilitate family participation to ensure that Early Intervention Services are family-centered and support EI programs to identify, train and mentor families to take on roles across the EI and Early Childhood system. The Project is a parent driven endeavor, which continually seeks family involvement and input regarding the needs of families enrolled in Early Intervention and is staffed by parents whose own children have received EI services. The Project staff consists of a Project Director , a Family Outreach  Coordinator , a Family Engagement and Collaboration Coordinator, a Monitoring Coordinator and a Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator.

To receive the Parent Perspective Newsletter, a free publication, published three times a year or the Parent E-Perspective published a few times a year, by the Parent Leadership Project, call us toll-free at (877) 353-4757 and ask to be added to the EIPLP mailing list or email eiplp@live.com
NEXT DEADLINE : We welcome your input and suggestions for resources and articles. The next deadline is November 15, 2019 . Please call our toll-free number (877) 353-4757 or email the newsletter editor at kris.levine@state.ma.us .
The Parent Perspective newsletter is published by the Early Intervention Parent Leadership Project, through funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. If you would like to be removed from this mailing list, please contact eiplp@live.com.  
Early Intervention Parent Leadership Project | 877-353-4757 | eiplp@live.com  | www.eiplp.org