Early Intervention Community of Practice (CoP)


The Early Intervention CoP is a place where your voice can be heard and where you can gain new insights about working with families of infants and toddlers (birth to age 3) with developmental delays or disabilities. This is the place to pose questions, share ideas, problem solve, and discuss any early intervention topics of interest to you. You can also find resources specific to your interests and enhance your work in early intervention.

To learn more, contact:

Beth Cole - bcole@wested.org

Tammy Wallin -  wallint@ku.edu 

Meetings & Events

Please Note: DEC CoP events do not include certificates of attendance.

Early Intervention Community of Practice Meeting: An In-Depth Discussion About Coaching from Different Perspectives

Registration required

Thursday, June 30th, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Coaching? Join us for an in-depth discussion on coaching. Coaching can have many different meanings and definitions. For this discussion we will be diving into coaching with three different lens. We will be looking at peer coaching through teaming, using coaching with families, and coaching as it relates to supervision. There will be a short presentation from our panel of members and then we will have small breakout groups allowing for a facilitated deep dive discussion based on your choice.

Past Webinars & Events

Early Intervention Community of Practice Meeting   

Thursday, April 21st, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Please join the discussion session and check-in for our DEC Early Intervention CoP. For part of the discussion we will gather feedback on how the CoP is working for you. We will also review feedback received based on the DEC Early Intervention CoP survey. Additionally, we welcome any suggestions that support us in identifying possible next steps for the next year. 

Book Discussion Opportunity

Thursday, September 30, 2021, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Thursday, October 21, 2021, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Thursday, November 18, 2021, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Thursday, January 20, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Thursday, February 17, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Thursday, March 17, 2022, 2:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time

Join us for a book discussion on Pause and Reflect by Dana Childress. This is a book on supporting EI professionals on topics such as reflecting on practices, growing skills, and being confident in translating knowledge into real‐world action.  It incorporates many interactive activities that keeps the reader engaged and has many opportunities for reflecting on the learning.  It is a wonderful addition to the literature on early intervention best practices. More information is also posted in DEC Collaborate.


2020: Turning hindsight into foresight for early intervention

Thursday, August 5, 2021, 2:00 - 4:00 PM Eastern Time

Please join us for a discussion with Juliann Woods and Dathan Rush discussing their experiences through 2020 and thoughts as we continue to plan beyond the pandemic. They will be discussing what have they learned through this pandemic, preparing for beyond the pandemic, and their thoughts on what should be kept regarding practices as we transition out of the pandemic. 

Tele-Intervention: Where are we now?    Download the recording

Thursday, June 10, 2021, 2:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern Time 

Please join us for a cross disciplinary panel of early intervention providers discussing their experiences with tele-intervention. They will be discussing different topics such as what tele-intervention looks like in their state, what they have learned, what is working well, as well as helpful tips and techniques they have found. As professionals continue to work remotely this webinar will provide an opportunity to hear more about tele-intervention from the provider lens. 

Implementation of a Primary Service Provider Teaming Approach: Lessons Learned – Boots on the Ground   

Download the recording and chat resources 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 3:00 - 4:30 PM Eastern Time 

The purpose of this webinar is to generate a thought-provoking discussion focused on the ins-and-outs of implementing a primary service provider teaming approach. Panel members experienced with varying phases and scales of implementation will join Dathan Rush and M’Lisa Shelden for a lively deep-dive into PSP teaming. Our goal is to provide insight, answer questions, and offer information for individuals, teams, programs, and states who have experience with implementing the approach, those newly implementing, as well as programs/states who may be considering implementation.

We are honored to be joined by the following esteemed colleagues:

  • Katherine Brown, Birth to 5 Coordinator, Allegany Public Schools, Cumberland, MD; Christy Chronheim, Policy and Program Manager/Part C Coordinator, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Boise, ID; and Anne Grui, Special Education Supervisor, Robbinsdale Area Schools, New Hope, MN.

Our panel is superbly diverse representing programs of various sizes, locations across the country, spanning Birth to 5, and varying levels of implementation.

If you are interested in teaming, you don’t want to miss this EI Community of Practice LIVE discussion!

Supporting Families in Quotidian Activities    Download the recording

Thursday, January 16th, 2020, 2:00 - 3:30 PM EST

Presenter: Robin McWilliam, PhD

Everyday activities or “routines” are possibly the backbone of ordinary functioning at home, at school, and in the community. This webinar will look at routines as the contexts for functional assessment and for support to families and teachers. We will examine what it is about child functioning in routines that makes sense to families, teachers, and early interventionists. Routines are what allows us to get real in early intervention (birth to 5 years of age). 

  • Dr. McWilliam is a professor of special education at The University of Alabama and the Founder and Director of the Evidence-based International Early Intervention Office (EIEIO). His research interests are in early intervention (birth to age 6), specifically models of service delivery, working with families, and child engagement. He developed the Routines-Based Model of Early Intervention (Birth-6) and is involved in its implementation in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and the U.S. Dr. McWilliam also developed the international community of practice called The RAM Group, to provide research and technical assistance on the Routines-Based Model. He teach doctoral students, lecture, conduct workshops, and write. He serves as the International Editor of the scholarly journal Infants & Young Children and serves on numerous editorial boards. 

Harness Sensory Preferences to Guide Everyday Life: Everybody wins!     Download the recording and handout

Presenter: Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA 

Thursday, September 5, 2019, 12:00 - 1:30 PM EST

Everyone in the family has sensory preferences unique to them. In this session we will explore how to recognize and honor sensory preferences within the family routines. 

At the end of this webinar, participants will:

  1. Identify sensory preferences of every family member 

  2. Provide an example about how each person’s sensory preferences show up
    in everyday routines 

  3. Strategize how to support sensory preferences within selected daily routines

  • Dr. Dunn is Distinguished Professor of OT at the University of Missouri. She is internationally known for her research. She has published more than 125 manuscripts and has spoken around the world. She created the Sensory Profile measures; these assessments have been translated into dozens of languages for practice and research. She has received all the top honors in her field. She wrote Living Sensationally, highlighted in Time, Cosmopolitan, Canadian Public Radio and London Times. In July 2009, Living Sensationally received the Seal of Excellence from the Children of the New Earth magazine. Living Sensationally has been translated into 6 languages.

Helping Families Meet Resource Needs and Achieve Self-Sufficiency     Download the recording and handouts

Tuesday, April 2, 2019, 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST


  • Lisa Cloninger, MSW, LCSW, ITFS, is a team supervisor at the Mecklenburg County Children’s Developmental Services Agency, where she has served in varying roles from Service Coordinator, Developmental Disabilities Specialist, Team Supervisor, and most recently, Team Supervisor of the team piloting a Primary Service Provider Approach to Teaming. Lisa provides local support on Coaching, Natural Learning Environment Practices, and Resource Based Practices, and developed the local coaching program, Coach2Coach, that supports providers in the network with sharpening their best practices. Lisa is also working on her clinical social work licensure and is focused on supporting families of children birth to five.

  • Sarah Sexton, M.Ed., is the Associate Director at the Family, Infant and Preschool Program (FIPP) and has degrees in Early Childhood Education, Special Education, and Educational Leadership. She is currently working on her doctorate at Appalachian State University. She has worked in and provided professional development for the early childhood field for more than 20 years, including, webinars, conferences, and in-service trainings. Capacity-building family support and early intervention practices is near and dear to Sarah's heart and her understanding is shaped not only by her knowledge of research but also by her experiences on both the providing and receiving sides of the practices.

Early Interventionists and other home visitors who work with families with young children often support families with resource needs. We produce lists of resources or information, make referrals for families, and even bring resources or materials to the family. We are trying to help, but these practices do not necessarily assist the family with build the capacity to meet their ongoing resource needs or future needs that arise. Learn the five-step process for providing better family support so that families meet their immediate needs and learn how to “fish” now and in the future. ​

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him
for a lifetime” (translation from Chinese philosopher Lao Tze).   

Web Discussion - What’s On Your Mind: How Do You Partner With Families and Child Care Providers?     

Tuesday, April 17th, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST

Download the recording          Access the handouts

An informal, interactive hour-long web discussion called "What's On Your Mind" focused on information-sharing and brainstorming among interested Early Intervention (EI) Special Interest Group members.  The web discussion focuses  on the partnership between families, child care providers, and early interventionists throughout the EI process, including discussion of successful strategies as well as challenges that exist within the partnership. To inform the conversation, Michelle and Nicole shared key insights from a relevant article, and Lynn Barts shared one state’s experiences with forging partnerships within the child care context. 

Webinar - Brain-Based Visual Impairment– So Many Children! So Many Teachers! Meeting the Training Need in Multiple Formats     Download the recording 

September 12, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT  


  • Mary C. Zatta, Ph.D., Director of Professional Development - Perkins School for the Blind

  • Betsy McGinnity, M.Ed., Executive Director, Training and Educational Resources Program - Perkins School for the Blind

Mary and Betsy have worked at Perkins School for the Blind for 30+ years.  This team brings a wealth of knowledge and experience related to the educational needs of children who are visually impaired with additional disabilities.  Each of the presenters has trained professionals extensively over the years both nationally and internationally and are currently developing the content for the Perkins eLearning website.

Webinar - Early Screening, Detection and Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with or at risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder     Download the recording      Access the handouts

June 28, 2017, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Presenters: Jennifer L. Stapel-Wax, Psy.D. 
Associate Professor, Division of Autism and Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Director of the Infant Toddler Community Research Core, Marcus Autism Center/ Children's Healthcare of Atlanta 

Agenda: In this 1-hour presentation, we hope to increase your understanding of: 

1. Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infants and Toddlers 
2. Early Screening and Detection of ASD in infants and toddlers 
3. Promising early intervention methodologies for children at risk for ASD 
4. Community-based integrated models to empower and bring capacity to providers, caregivers, and families of children with ASD

Webinar - Identifying and Supporting Young Children with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss     

Download the recording    Access the handouts

January 18, 2017, 12:00 - 1:00 PM EST

Presenters: Megan Cote, National Center on Deaf-Blindness, 
Carol Darrah, Georgia Sensory Assistance Project, & Emma Nelson, Vermont Sensory Access Project 

Agenda: In this 1-hour presentation, participants learn: 

  • Who are these kids? 

  • How do you find them and refer them for services? 

  • Implications for Intervention 

  • National and state resources related to Deaf-Blindness

Online Meeting - Global Child Outcomes     

July 6th, 2016 2:00-3:30 EST
*To view the archived version of this web discussion, click here to register. After you register you will be able to open the archived web conversation. 
Download related resources

Webinar & Discussion - New DEC Position Statement: The Role of Special Instruction in Early Intervention

November 19th, 2015 2:00-3:00pm EST 
View archived webinar


Online Meeting - Topic: Implementing the Recommended Practices

February 4th, 2015 2:00-3:30 EST
*To view the archived version of this webinar, click here to register. After you register you will be able to open the archived webinar.
Download resources


Online Meeting - Topic: Service Coordination

May 6th, 2015 2:00-3:30 EST 
*To view the archived version of this webinar, click here to register. After you register you will be able to open the archived webinar.
Download resources 

Online Meeting - Frequency & Intensity of Early Intervention Services

August 5th, 2015 2:00-3:30 EST 
*To view the archived version of this webinar, click here to register. After you register you will be able to open the archived webinar.
Download resources 


Online Meeting - Coaching

January 6th, 2016 2:00-3:15 EST

Download resources

Online Meeting - Assessment

April 6th, 2016 2:00-3:30 EST
*To view the archived version of this web discussion, click here to register. After you register you will be able to open the archived web conversation. 
Download resources