Title: 'An itinerant teacher/home visitor’s dilemma…how do I avoid common pitfalls when delivering services?'
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): itinerant teachers, service providers, home visitors,
Learning Objectives:
  1. Participants will identify common pitfalls for itinerant teachers/home visitors.
  2. Participants will become aware of current itinerant teachers/home visitors perceptions regarding common pitfalls.
  3. Participants will understand the importance of reflective practice to help maintain objectivity in providing support services to families.


Often the itinerant teacher/home visitor has the most frequent and intimate contact with families of young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Since services to young children are provided in natural environments, the itinerant teacher/home visitor is most likely to be aware of the family’s emotional needs and support systems. As trust and rapport are established between the family and itinerant teacher/home visitor, caregivers will become more comfortable in revealing their dreams, feelings, and expectations. Home visitors need to remain objective in delivering services through continual reflection and analysis of their role. Building on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families Head Start Bureau’s notion of pitfalls for home visitors (1993), the presenter will examine the role of the itinerant teacher/home visitor, how support is offered to families, and the ways in which pitfalls can interfere with providing the level of support required. The purpose of this presentation is twofold: 1) Explore some of the common pitfalls experienced by itinerant teachers/home visitors who work with families with young children who are deaf/hard of hearing, and 2) Enhance understanding of how to become more reflective. Reflective practice encourages relationships that are collaborative in response to avoiding several of the identified pitfalls. Some identified pitfalls include the following: 1) Is over-involved with family/child care provider; 2) Is problem solver to family/child care provider rather than facilitator; 3) Is child focused rather than family/child care provider focused; 4) Is judgmental; 5) Does not understand role; and 6)Does not take care of own needs. This information is extremely critical to the field of early intervention. Using continual reflection and analysis of one’s role, itinerant teachers/home visitors can develop more objectivity when working with families.
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Debra Lively - POC,Primary Presenter,Author
Saginaw Valley State University
     Credentials: Ph.D Special Education MA BS Certifications: Deaf Education K-12; Visually Impaired K-12; K-8 Eduction; Early Childhood
     Other Affiliations: NAEYC; NAECTE; DEC; AERA
      Undergraduate training in Deaf-Blind Education; Ph.D. in Special Education with a cognate in Educational Administration; 29 years in public education; developed and coordinated a Birth- Three general education program, provided direct services to families who had an infant/toddler with hearing loss; provided consultation services for students who had a hearing loss in K-12 mainstreamed placements; classroom teacher for students who were deaf and/or hard of hearing; founding member for the American Association of Home-based Early Interventionists; Past President and Board member for Michigan’s Division of Early Childhood; National chair for Infants/toddlers and Preschoolers in the Division of Communicative Disabilities and Deafness (CEC); SKI-HI National Trainer; state facilitator for Teaching Strategies, Project AHEAD, INSITE, Touchpoints, Healthy Families America Pre-natal Training; co-author and recipient of a 13 million dollar grant through the State of Michigan for Birth to Five initiatives; host for the Ready Set Grow TV show.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.