Spirit Early Intervention Program (Spirit EIP) is designed to meet the needs of children/consumers age 6 weeks to 3 years, who have been assessed by a physician or other clinical specialists; and who have been diagnosed as having a special need. In this program, instruction is provided in small groups (3:1 or 2:1); or individually (1:1). Our program provides a unique setting for consumers, in that our services are provided in an integrated design, regularly interacting with typically developing children; within the context of a fully natural environment. Research suggests that early childhood education is pivotal for all children for their social, behavioral and academic success. We are structured to minimize and mitigate ability differences in an effort to encourage full inclusion as much as possible. The consumers participate in structured activities and learning opportunities that are developmentally appropriate to meet their specific needs. Clinical services (Occupational Therapy and/or Speech & Language Therapy) are provided for the consumers demonstrating need in these areas. The consumers are exclusively referred to Spirit EIP by a local regional center. In addition to the structured learning strategies that are provided to support goal attainment for each consumer, the center, as a whole, provides weekly activities for both our special needs and typically developed children, including: Music and Movement, My Gym, Greenspace Playtime at our local middle school (when appropriate); and Spanish Classes. This approach to our comprehensive program seeks to maximize opportunities for socialization in a fun and accessible manner. We believe that children who are challenged with developmental delays or disabilities benefit in significant ways by interacting with typically developing children in the broader preschool environment – the concept of a center within a center. We also believe that each child is unique, and should be presented with opportunities that promote positive cognitive, social, and physical development. Our program is laser focused on the establishment of attainable goals for each individual consumer, while also embracing and respecting each child’s individuality. Spirit EIP is based on the premise that when children are presented with goals that are challenging, yet achievable; they are empowered by them, ultimately building young children who are independent, curious, and self confident.
We are committed to the provision of the optimal environment to promote a positive learning environment for the children. This includes maintaining the cleanliness of the physical space, providing an environment that is rich with print and materials that encourages each child’s imagination and cognition, and a number of opportunities for enrichment, including on and off site field trips, gymnastics, weekly music and Spanish programs.
Each child/consumer enrolled in Spirit EIP is viewed as an individual with a unique physical and mental growth pattern. Our staff members are required to familiarize themselves with each child placed in their group. Goals and objectives are determined for each child upon their enrollment in the program. The instruction that is provided by our Early Interventionists is designed to assist the consumer in reaching his or her developmental goals. Quarterly reporting to the referring regional center is required for each consumer to determine overall progress, and to set new goals when previous goals have been met. This intense understanding of a consumer’s capabilities enables the staff to take them from one skill level to the next in a way that is accessible, interactive, and fun. The curriculum includes child and teacher directed activities with the ultimate goal of developing children who are academically, socially, intellectually, and physically prepared for the next educational phase of their lives. The program also offers opportunities for fostering independence, creativity, and self-esteem. These areas are developed by improving self-help skills and strengthening decision-making skills. The instructional intention is to foster successful interaction with educational materials, their teachers and their peers. Each area is also designed to stimulate interest and provide a wide variety of opportunities for growth and enrichment. Lesson plans are developed by the Early Interventionists with a focus on individual and/or small group needs. They are maintained in binders in the classrooms.
Staff Each member of the Spirit EIP Early Interventionist staff is trained and qualified in Early Childhood Education with the necessary academic background, as well as at least one year prior employment for the teachers. Staff is also required to continue their education by attending college courses, seminars, workshops, and/or other forms of training in the field of education. All staff members are also CPR and First Aid certified. The staff members at Spirit EIP are energetic, supportive, and above all loving and caring professionals. We encourage you to tour our facilities to meet our wonderful staff.
For Further Information:
California Department of Developmental Services
South Central Los Angeles Regional Center