Your attention and action are needed in Early Intervention!

January 4, 2021

Good afternoon EI families and EI providers and may the year ahead bring all of us face to face once again!

Your attention and action are needed in Early Intervention! This letter is to let you know of our concern with the use of the word “transdisciplinary” in the Illinois Early Intervention Principles. This word will impact the way that services are provided to children in Early Intervention. It may limit a family’s access to different services on their team.  

What is the Concern?

Recently the Illinois Interagency Council on Early Intervention (IICEI) began to review language in the EI Principles. While the EI Principles were being reviewed, the term “transdisciplinary.” was discussed. There are different types of team-based services including: multidisciplinary teams, interdisciplinary teams, and transdisciplinary teams. Illinois currently has the flexibility to use any combination of these teams that work best for the family. Including this word in the EI principles while leaving out other types of team-based delivery will limit family choices.     

On Jan. 14th the IICEI, the EI state advisory council, will be deciding if the word “transdisciplinary” should stay in the EI Principles.

How Can the EI Principles Affect Me and My Child or the Families I serve?

The EI Principles are what guides EI services and how families and providers participate in these services in Illinois. If a specific team-based approach is recommended, each family and provider would be expected to follow this approach. This can limit the options a family has for services and not recognize the families own, unique needs

ILOTA, ISHA, IPTA, fully support teaming and collaboration across disciplines and agree that this helps children and families best meet their outcomes. However, we recognize that one type of team may not work best for every family receiving EI services. There is no current evidence to support one type of teaming over another.  Best practice recognizes the importance of teaming and collaboration while understanding the distinct value and role of each discipline on the team and, most importantly, each family's different needs. 

What Can I Do?

It is important to remember that families are a key part of any team. We want to highlight the continued importance of teaming and collaboration for all team members, while still allowing for options and choice in the way services are provided. 

Email or Call a Member of the IICEI Council and/or the Bureau of Early Intervention personally to let them know your story regarding the value of each member of your team in EI services.


  • Sample Letter:
  • Share your experience with EI services for your family.
  • Discuss the value of having a choice of whom is on your IFSP team and who provides direct supports to you and your child.
  • Share the value of having multiple ideas from different providers on your child’s team.


  • Sample Letter:
  • Discuss the collaborative process of EI teaming currently used. 
  • Share your experience on how current teaming and collaboration has supported families. 
  • Encourage continued teaming and collaboration without limiting services to any one specific teaming model (e.g., transdisciplinary) in the EI Principles. 

The IICEI Council is requesting feedback on the use of the word “transdisciplinary” in the EI Principles from families and providers. Please call, write a letter or email by Jan. 11th, 2021 to share your story. 

*This letter is from the Illinois Early Intervention (EI) Coalition. The EI Coalition is a group of early intervention providers and stake holders supported by their state associations including the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association (ILOTA), Illinois Physical Therapy Association (IPTA), and Illinois Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA). The mission of the EI Coalition is to advocate collaboratively for best practice for children and families to strengthen the Illinois EI system. The EI Coalition is committed to family centered practices, transparent and effective communication, and the advancement of solution oriented recommendations. *

Thanks to all for supporting a conversation on EI service delivery and for further information Illinois EI coalition members can be reached at

Illinois EI Coalition representatives and members:

Clare Giuffrida, ILOTA                                                           Carol Michels, ILOTA

Alison Liddle, IPTA                                                                Rachel Mika, IPTA,

Karissa Louthan, ISHA                                                            Robbie O’Shea, IPTA 

Christine M. Fletcher, ISHA                                                    Ashley Stoffel, ILOTA  

Margaret Gruber, ILOTA                                                         Jessica Trenkle, IPTA

Andrew Haverstock, IPTA                                                       Kim Wedoff, ISHA                                                     

Vicky Jordan, ISHA                                                                 Maria Yakos, ISHA

Jessica Kronberg, ILOTA