Routines-Based Early Intervention: Supporting Young Children and Their Families

Author: R. A. McWilliam Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 288 pages, 8.5 x 11.0
ISBN: 9781598570625
Price: $39.95

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A proven model for family-centered intervention in natural environments, routines-based intervention is the approach thousands of professionals trust to improve the lives of young children and families. Now there's a definitive guide to this highly respected, theoretically sound model-straight from the leading authority on routines-based intervention.

Putting the wisdom and strategies from his popular workshops into book form for the first time, Robin McWilliam gives professionals a detailed framework for early intervention that addresses families' individual needs and helps children participate in daily routines. With the step-by-step guidance on each part of the routines-based intervention model, professionals in Part C programs will reach their key goals during visits to homes and child care settings:

  • Fully understand the family environment. Get to know the family by creating a helpful visual depiction of their relationships, supports, and resources.
  • Conduct assessment that's truly family-centered. Uncover the whole family's functional needs through an in-depth yet unintimidating interview about daily routines and activities.
  • Write high-quality IFSPs and IEPs. Develop clear, specific, measurable goals that directly address the family's priorities and help children develop skills relevant to everyday life.
  • Provide coordinated, streamlined services. Implement the primary-service-provider model, so families receive strong, consistent support from one provider.
  • Empower families to continue intervention between visits. Coach families on weaving intervention into daily routines, so children have the best chance to learn and retain new skills.
  • Support early childhood educators through collaborative consultation, so they have all the tools they need to teach children effectively.

To help readers implement the model successfully and ensure fidelity to its principles, this practical how-to guide gives professionals more than 25 photocopiable checklists and other tools. And the review quizzes at the end of each chapter help make this an ideal textbook for preservice professionals as they prepare to work with children and families.

With this proven model—aligned with DEC Recommended Practices—Part C programs will ensure high-quality services that get right to the heart of each family's needs and improve young children's outcomes.

Implement the model with more than 25 checklists and forms:

  • Family Quality of Life scale
  • Therapy Goals Information form
  • RBI Implementation Checklist
  • Infant-Toddler Assessment Checklist
  • Family Preparation form
  • Service Decision Checklist
  • Home Visit Checklist
  • Consultation Checklist
  • and more


Review by: William Brown, University of South Carolina

"As a longstanding contributor to the early intervention literature, R. A. McWilliam continues to provide the field with contemporary and evidence-informed information to enhance services for young children at risk for developmental delays. His most recent book will be an excellent resource for practitioners and researchers alike."

Review by: Debbie Ashley, EI Coordinator, Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, Cincinnati, Ohio

"An excellent way for staff to connect with families and learn what is important to them. Our families feel heard, valued and connected . . . It has been a positive experience and we look forward to expanding the process in our county."

Review by: Mary Beth Bruder, University of Connecticut, A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service

"Will make a significant contribution to the delivery of effective early intervention for infants, toddlers, young children, and their families. A must-have book for all interventionists who want to make a difference in families' and children's lives."

Review by: Goettl Terri, Early Childhood Special Education, Master Teacher, Eau Claire Area School District, Eau Claire, WI

"Robin McWilliam's Routines Based Interview (RBI) was the new set of tools I needed to effectively and efficiently support young children with disabilities so that they could become more independent, better communicators, and reach higher levels of engagement."

Review by: Sue Bainter, Education Specialist, Early Childhood Office Nebraska Department of Education

"Information gained from the RBI leads to more functional goal writing, to a different focus for determining service delivery and toward a changed view of the role of any provider interacting with the child and family."

Review by: Glen Dunlap, University of South Florida

"A very practical, very timely, and very authoritative text with just the right perspectives on families, young children and evidence-based practices. It is a useful guidebook and I recommend it highly."

Table of Contents

About the Author

Section I. Introduction

  1. Advances in Early Intervention
  2. How to Use This Book

Section II. Understanding the Family Ecology

  1. Intake
    • Appendix 3.1: Intake Checklist
  2. Constructing Ecomaps
    • Appendix 4.1: Ecomap Checklist

Section III. Needs Assessment and Intervention Planning

  1. Assessment
    • Appendix 5.1: Infant/Toddler Assessment Checklist
  2. The Routines-Based Interview
    • Appendix 6.1 Family Preparation Form
    • Appendix 6.2: RBI Implementation Checklist
  3. Writing Functional IFSPs and IEPs

Section IV. Model of Service Delivery

  1. Deciding on Services
    • Appendix 8.1: Service Decision Checklist
  2. Organizing Transdisciplinary Services
    • Appendix 9.1: Transdisciplinary Service Delivery Checklist
    • Appendix 9.2: Primary Service Provider Checklist
    • Appendix 9.3: Consulting Team Member Checklist

Section V. Natural Environment Locations

  1. Support-Based Home Visits
    • Appendix 10.1: Vanderbilt Home Visit Script (VHVS)
    • Appendix 10.2: Support-Based Home Visiting Checklist
  2. Collaborative Consultation to Child Care Settings
    • Appendix 11.1: Consultation Checklist

Section VI. Effecting Change

  1. Implementing the Model: Systems, Service Coordination, Personnel Preparation, and Evaluation

Appendix: Blank Forms

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