‘Outcomes are the benefits that children and families experience as a result of early intervention/early childhood special education services’ ETCA centre
Setting Goals and Seeing Outcomes
Family Centred Outcomes
We all have dreams and goals. You will have dreams and goals for your whole family and each family member will have their own. Family-centred outcomes are created in partnership with your ECEI provider after a discussion and observation about what activities are meaningful to all family members. These may include outcomes around daily living skills but also include the cultural and social experiences your family love to do.
The word ‘function’ relates to anything relating to the any activities and/or experiences your family identies as a learning or development opportunity. This may be your child holding the spoon during meals or playing with siblings in the back garden.
There has been a huge shift in the way professionals work with children to measure outcomes in early childhood intervention. In the past, measurement tools were often used in test like situations that are not meaningful with for children in their everyday environments.
The shift to functional outcomes means that professionals working in partnership with you should be using measurement tools which focus on your child’s strengths and interests. Most importantly, the outcome should have meaning and be achieved in your child’s everyday environment working towards the skills they need to grow.
Some things to consider:
- Is the service you are working with focusing on the gains your child makes in their everyday environment and talking about these gains as outcomes?
- Is the service using names of tools and providing assessments which you feel do not make sense? If so, we encourage you to have a conversation with them about functional outcomes and the shift to working toward these. Services should be using family-friendly language and tools that are meaningful.
- Is the professional undertaking testing in an environment and in a way which is unusual and not meaningful for your child?