03/09/11 - Portuguese early interventionists implement approach developed by Institute researcher
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portuguese early intervention professionals implement
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Routines-based early intervention is another step closer to full adoption in Portugal, making professionals who work with children and families better equipped to provide early intervention successfully.
Routines-based early intervention was developed by Robin McWilliam, Ph.D., director of the Siskin Center for Child and Family Research. It is used in many states and some countries as the comprehensive method for helping infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. Its focus on consultation with the family and other caregivers, on child engagement, and on functional goals sets it apart from common practice. It is the most far-reaching approach to infant-toddler services available.
“My consultation with early interventionists in Portugal began seven years ago,” McWilliam said. “About 3 years ago, the Portuguese national early intervention association asked me to train trainers in the routines-based approach. These trainers were professionals in the field, who, for several years, has been learning about these methods. Since then, I have consulted with these trainers in person and via e-mail and have provided them with materials for translating the information from English to Portuguese.”
According to Leonor Carvalho, the coordinator of national training with the Associação Nacional de Intervenção Precoce (ANIP), the professional organization for Portuguese special early interventionists, the newest RBI implementation developments in Portugal are encouraging. Carvalho reports that the Portuguese job ministry, the country’s quality assessment arm, recently certified ANIP as Portugal’s official early intervention training organization. With this stamp of approval, the first trainings will begin this month with early interventionists in Coimbra, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, and Porto, the country’s second-largest city. Training will take place in the capital city of Lisbon next month and in Braga in October.
Training in McWilliam’s model represents the only continuing-education opportunity for early interventionists in Portugal. “The training is not state funded,” McWilliam said, “so training participants foot the training fee themselves, demonstrating a commitment to their field and the children and families they serve.”
McWilliam will travel to Portugal this spring to provide further consultation.
To learn more about the routines-based early intervention model, visit www.siskin.org/rbei.