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It takes rare gifts, talents and rare personalities to be real pathfinders in this work. There are no royal roads. It is all a problem of being true to ones natures and opportunities. And to teach others to do the same with themselves. -Adolf Meyer, OTR/L     I will walk the road however hard it is, because only on the road can you see that yesterday lies behind you and tomorrow waits on the path ahead. The road measures life in distance. The further you travel, the longer you live. -Ma Jian     It is not the way you fall, it's how you get up. -Michele Kwan     It takes courage to show your dreams to someone else. -Erma Bombeck     Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it turned into a butterfly. -Anonymous     Thank you to all my friends. -Christina Bellini-Zaher

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The Role of the Ongoing Service Coordinator in Early Intervention

by Kim Foschi, MSED, OSC

Your child has started to receive Early Intervention services and you have some concerns and questions — who should you call? That would be your Ongoing Service Coordinator (OSC). An important person in the process of Early Intervention services, who is often not recognized, is the ongoing service coordinator. The following information will let you know how communication with the ongoing service coordinator can be beneficial for you and your child during the Early Intervention process.

Ongoing Service Coordination

Many parents are overwhelmed during the Early Intervention process and that is normal. After they have referred their child to the Early Intervention Official (such as Suffolk County Division of Services for Children with Special Needs), they are contacted by an initial service coordinator, also known as an EIOD. They come to the child’s home (or other designated meeting place) where they make sure the parent has a copy of the Early Intervention Program parent's handbook; provide an overview of the early intervention systems and services; discuss the role of the initial service coordinator; and review the parent's rights, responsibilities, and entitlements under the program. Among other things, the initial service coordinator reviews all options for evaluation and screening with the parent from the list of approved evaluators (including location), types of evaluations performed, and settings for evaluations. After the evaluations have been performed and the child has been deemed eligible for Early Intervention services, the initial service coordinator will discuss the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) process with the parent and shall inform the parent of the different components of the process. One component is the parent's opportunity to select an OSC. The OSC, who may be different from the EIOD, may be selected at the IFSP meeting or at any other time after the formulation of the IFSP.

The OSC is defined in the regulations governing the program as “the service coordinator designated in the individualized family service plan.” The IFSP developed for an eligible child must include the name of the service coordinator selected by the parent who will be responsible for the implementation of the IFSP and coordination of agencies and the persons responsible for the delivery of services contained within the IFSP. We at the Therapy Center for Children have qualified staff members that can provide this service for the family.

Kim Foschi

The ongoing service coordinator is responsible for monitoring the delivery of Early Intervention services in accordance with the IFSP. Ongoing service coordinators provide parents with continuing opportunities to share information, priorities and concerns regarding their IFSP. A variety of methods are available to the ongoing service coordinator for providing such opportunities to families, as well as monitoring and coordinating the provision of services in the IFSP. These include home visits and telephone contacts with the parent, other caregivers, and service providers. The ongoing service coordinator may also set up meetings with the parent and service providers to foster and support collaboration and integration of service strategies.

The ongoing service coordinator is also responsible for facilitating the child’s transition to preschool education services and/or other programs and services needed by the child and family as the child ages out of the Early Intervention Program, including the development of a transition plan. Most importantly the ongoing service coordinator is a welcoming and friendly voice on the other end of the phone, should there be any questions or concerns a family may have.

The Therapy Center for Children has staff members that are qualified to take on the role of ongoing service coordinator. These personnel usually have a caseload of 10-20 clients, so that they have time to give families the support that they need, to answer questions and address their concerns. The ongoing service coordinator is a go-between for the family and the Early Intervention Official Designee (EIOD). For more information about child development, Early Intervention and preschool services, please call us at (631) 207-1053.

* Please note the E.I.O.D. is also knows as the initial ongoing service coordinator.

by Kimberly Foschi, MSED, OSC

 

Meet Our Ongoing Service Coordinators

Emily Pollack

Emily PollackEmily Pollack earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from The College of New Rochelle in 2009. Emily worked at The Glasser Preschool as a classroom teacher from 2009-2012, before joining our staff in August of 2012. She currently provides service coordination to many families throughout Suffolk County.

 

 

 

Meet TCC - Read Staff Bios

About Therapy Center for Children

Founded by Christina Bellini-Zaher, MS, OTR/L, The Therapy Center for Children is a "placement agency" composed of licensed and experienced pediatric physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and special educators.

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Testimonials - What TCC Clients are Saying

Therapy Center Testimonials

By far the most happiest & proudest mother in the world!! From holding his straw cups to rolling about on the floor & now holding up a stand for several seconds! Although there is a long & rough journey ahead to come, I know only the best could come out of him...

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