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Building Trust with Families Who Need Early Intervention Services

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By Jenna Guzman, BCBA, New Story In District Services, Operated by Your Life ABA

The importance of early intervention services is not only well documented in literature, but also a service near and dear to the hearts of many families and service providers. The goal of early intervention is to help individuals impacted by a diagnosis such as autism spectrum disorder (autism) or developmental delay learn skills that help them to gain independence and improve their quality of life. Before we get the privilege of working on things like communication skills, behavior reduction, and coping strategies, we must earn the trust of families to allow us to work with their children and loved ones. Only then can we begin to show families the amazing things that early intervention services are known for.


  1. Put yourself in the shoes of a family who got a recent diagnosis. They have likely been inundated with information and resources, it can be overwhelming. There are so many acronyms and services that starting early intervention services can often be an overwhelming process for families. 
  2. Take the time to explain what early intervention services are and how they can help their loved ones communicate, make friends, and develop play skills among many other things. In order to help families and clients allow us to become a service provider, it is important that we help them know we are someone they can trust. 
  3. Address questions and concerns. Families who are starting services for the first time are likely to have lots of questions and concerns. Taking time to address them genuinely helps families grow more comfortable with entrusting a professional with the care of their children and loved ones. Let families know it's okay to disagree or decline services as well. Help families decide what will work best for them and offer to support by providing resources and your professional recommendations. Give yourself more time for introduction and intake than you might plan for, to allow for these conversations with families. Questions and concerns often take longer than anticipated.

Effective early intervention services can make a world of difference for families, but only if they trust their providers enough to buy into the hard work that comes with early intervention services.  

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