I. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
A. Program Overview
The CHIME Infant and Toddler Programs in operation since 1991 provide center- and home-based services to families with young children (birth to 3 years of age) who are at risk for or who have existing developmental problems. Our goals are to enhance each child's development in all areas and support the family as they meet the challenges of their special child. Services include:
- innovative, developmentally appropriate intervention activities;
- individualized services responsive to the changing needs of each family and child;
- family support to help the family meet their child's special needs;
- an emphasis on play and positive social interactive experiences for the child and family including opportunities for interaction with children without disabilities;
- transdisciplinary assessment, program planning, and evaluation by a team of qualified professionals.
A team of specialists including a speech and language pathologist, a physical therapist, and an infant development specialist work together with the family to plan the child's program. Although we concentrate on making learning fun, we also carefully monitor each child's progress towards important developmental goals through frequent observations and evaluations, and weekly team meetings. The staff includes Spanish speaking professionals.
B. Infant and Toddler Program Components
There are three program choices. Families may choose the option that best suits the needs of their child and transfer to another as these needs change (based on space available). Each option is unique:
Center-Based Program for children between 12 and 36 months chronological age. Typically two times a week, the parent or primary caregiver participates in activities with their child in the classroom. In a transdisciplinary manner, the early intervention specialist, physical therapist, and speech and language therapist are in the classroom facilitating children and their families to work on gross and fine motor skills, motor planning activities, communication skills as well as cognitive skills, self help skills, emotional development, and social interactions. Children may also receive up to one home visit per month.
Home Visit Only Program for infants and toddlers (birth to age 36 months). An early intervention specialist visits the child and his/her family or caregiver in the home about once a week or a frequency based on the child's needs. The parents and/or caregivers and the early intervention specialist exchange information about the child and how he/she interacts with his/her environment. On the basis of these exchanges and observations, suggestions are made by the early intervention specialist and when appropriate, by a physical therapist and a speech and language therapist, for activities that will help the child reach his/her developmental objectives. Special emphasis is placed in the visits on assisting interested family members in incorporating intervention into the family's daily routine.
Childcare Intervention Program for infants and toddlers (birth to age 36 months) with working parents and who attend a childcare program in the community. Services are brought to the childcare setting the child attends in the form of an early intervention specialist who can implement interventions, demonstrate techniques to caregivers in these settings, and monitor the child's developmental progress. Additional consultation with the physical therapist and/or speech and language therapist is available as needed.
Jodie Agnew-Navarro, M.A., Early Intervention Specialist: (818) 677-3866
Jodie is the lead early intervention specialist at our Chatsworth center-based early intervention program. Her educational background includes a BA in Psychology, MA in Early Childhood Special Education, and the Early Childhood Special Education Teaching Credential. She has been working with children with and without disabilities for over 13 years. Teaching experiences include providing early intervention services for infants and toddlers at risk for, or those with disabilities and their families in center-based and home-based settings and acting as an inclusion facilitator for preschool age children with disabilities. She has also worked as a graduate research assistant for a grant project and has taught a graduate level course in early childhood special education at CSUN. Jodie is involved in the training, mentoring, and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees and teaching credentials from CSUN.
Olga A. Quirarte, M.A., Early Intervention Specialist: (818) 774-4772
Olga provides home-based early intervention services for the children and their families in our infant and toddler program as well as in the center-based program. Her educational background includes a BA in Child Development with an option in Child Mental Health, MA in Early Childhood Special Education, and the Early Childhood Special Education Teaching Credential. Olga is fluent in Spanish. She has worked with young children with and without disabilities ages birth to five years for over 14 years primarily in center-based settings. She also worked as a consumer service coordinator at Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center handling a caseload of Spanish speaking families. Olga is currently teaching a graduate level class in early childhood special education and has been involved in the training, mentoring, and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees and teaching credentials from CSUN.
Frances (Fran) Smith, M.A., C.C.C., Speech Pathologist: (818) 677-2922
Fran is the speech therapist for our early intervention and preschool programs. Her educational background includes a BA in Communicative Disorders, MA in Communicative Disorders, a restricted teaching credential in speech and language, and the Certificate of Clinical Competence. She holds a California State License in Speech and Language. Fran has been a speech pathologist for over 27 years. She has worked in a variety of environments including school-based, clinic-based, and center-based settings. Fran has specialized in deaf and hard of hearing and early childhood (ages birth to five) caseloads. She is fluent in sign language. She also has taught a graduate level course in special education at CSUN.