NEEC provides physical and occupational therapies, speech and language pathology and special instruction through its essential Early Intervention Services (EIS) program for children with special needs age’s birth to five. Through the EIS program, NEEC provides direct intervention services and education for children who have special needs regardless of their socioeconomic status. NEEC’s four highly qualified therapists provide these vital therapy services on-site for children enrolled in the program or in–home for children in the Northland whose families choose to educate them at home. If another site for therapy services is desired, this must be agreed upon by the family, therapist and Northland Early Education Center’s administration.
The therapy services provided are essential in ensuring that all children with special needs are reaching their Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. It is NEEC’s primary objective to ensure that all children, whether typically developing or with special needs, reach their full potential and transition to kindergarten in their least restrictive environment.
Services are predominately provided through the Missouri First Steps program. Services may be provided through Medicaid, or private pay in special circumstances. A parent or caregiver must always be present during home therapy visits to ensure the therapy techniques are integrated into the family’s natural routines. To provide physical therapy services, a doctor must submit a prescription. Without a current prescription, therapy cannot begin or continue until this document is received by NEEC administration. This will need to be updated yearly for therapy services to continue.
Only those therapy services with a confirmed source of payment are provided. Cancellations or reschedule requests need to be made to the therapist as soon as possible. If the therapist arrives at the visit site and the child is not present a “no-show” will be given. If two “no-shows” are accumulated, NEEC staff will notify the family by letter. If a third “no-show” occurs, a copy of that letter will be sent to the child’s service coordinator. If you would like to stop First Steps services contact your service coordinator. If a family cancels within one hour of the scheduled therapy time, that visit will be billed according to the First Steps Policy.
A child may be brought to the NEEC’s therapy area for therapy services only. Visits will be scheduled at the mutual agreement of the therapist and the family. Family members should not arrive early for their appointment time. If it is necessary to arrive early, family members should wait outside of the therapy room until their scheduled time. If the family arrives late for an appointment, the therapy session will still end at the scheduled time.
As NEEC provides special instruction, speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy, no other therapy providers may treat children at NEEC; however, if a child needs a service NEEC does not provide, we welcome community partners to work with us in meeting each child’s need and invite them into the building as scheduled with the family and teaching staff. The family must receive prior approval from NEEC’s Program Director for another agency to treat a child on-site.
- Physical Therapy – Abby Williams
- Abby Williams is NEEC’s Physical Therapist. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Health Sciences from Wheaton College and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Wichita State University. Abby began working at NEEC in June of 2011 and loves working with families to help their children flourish. She and her husband have one outgoing and adventurous son, Bridger, who was born in July 2012 and currently they are foster parents to two sweet girls who keep them busy. She and her family live in downtown Kansas City and enjoy exploring the city by bike, remodeling their 130 year old home, and investing in their neighborhood.
- Occupational Therapy – Karen Weseloh
- Karen Weseloh is NEEC’s Occupational Therapist. She received her degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Kansas. Karen has been working with children at NEEC for over 25 years. She keeps active with her husband, three adult sons and her two grandchildren.
- Speech and Language Pathology – Tina Kemp
- Tina Kemp is NEEC’s Speech and Language Pathologist. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and her Master’s Degree from Oklahoma State University. Tina has been providing speech and language pathology services for NEEC kids since April 2008. She lives in Parkville with her husband, two sons and daughter. Tina loves working with the kids and their families here at the center!
- Special Instruction – Shannon Crim
- Shannon Crim is Northland Early Education Center’s Special Instructor. Shannon received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education with a certificate in Special Education from Park College. Shannon has been with NEEC since 1998, first as the Program Director and now as the Special Instructor on the therapy team. NEEC provides Special Instruction services to children age’s birth to three who qualify for services through Missouri First Steps program. The role of the Special Instructor is to evaluate and treat children who may benefit from focus on cognition, social/emotional development and self-help skills. Special Instruction provides integration of skills from all areas of development into the child’s natural environment and daily routine.
Individual Service Planning
Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP) is developed by the external Service Coordinator, and NEEC staff participating, along with family and therapists. The family provides medical and other relevant information about the child’s needs, the therapist who did the external assessment provides information and the child’s functioning and therapy needs, and NEEC staff participates to share information on the child’s progress in the program. The plan covers the child’s abilities and strengths; family concerns, priorities and resources; family and child-centered outcomes; and all the goals, resources, supports and services that are needed to help the child achieve his/her full potential. If the child needs services not provided at NEEC, this plan covers those needs and where they can be met. And if there are any risks to a child from participation in the preschool program, they will be discussed with the family during this planning process.
These plans are reviewed and revised annually, unless the family requests more frequent review.Twice a year, NEEC Lead Teachers conduct conferences with parents in which development is discussed and individual goals are set. These goals are recorded on the conference summary. The classroom teachers use anecdotal records, observations, and photographs to assess each child’s developmental level in the areas of cognition, language, and fine motor, gross motor, self-help and social/emotional skills.
Early Intervention Services, ages Birth-3:
Infants and children from birth to age 3, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities, are referred through Missouri First Steps, a state program that funds provision of early intervention services. The authorization for services and funding are administered through First Steps’ Northwest Region SPOE.
Parents first contact the NW SPOE (Daulton Group), which arranges an evaluation of the child’s needs. The SPOE arranges the assessment by a peer review team. Following the initial assessment, the family and infant/child are referred to a Service Coordinator (SC) for the duration of the child’s participation in the First Steps program. At that time, the family can choose who and where the qualifying services will be delivered. If NEEC therapists are the chosen provider, the SC invites participation by NEEC staff as well as family members in creating goals/objectives for each service and develops an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). After the planning meeting, the SC writes up the plan and sends copies to the service provider (NEEC) and the family.
Early Education Services, 3+:
Children over the age of three that have special needs are referred by parents or local school districts for the early education program. At this time, children are eligible to receive their preschool and therapy through the school district if they qualify, but parents may request that the child receive services at NEEC in certain instances. In that case, the school district contracts with NEEC and funds the services. More commonly, the children receive a half-day of services through the school district, and then come to NEEC for early education for the rest of the day.