Early Intervention Specialist/Early Childhood Special Educator
- Work as a team member in providing for the needs of infants, toddlers, and young children, who have sensory and physical impairments, are cognitively and/or emotionally challenged, and/or have experienced environmental or
- Interface with families and other service providers, such as occupational/physical therapists, social service-providers, and medical personnel, in planning, delivering, and evaluating interventions that positively impact the developmental needs of the child.
- Provide direct services in a variety of settings - classroom, home, or center-based programs- that may include technical/medical interventions, as well as developmentally appropriate learning activities.
- At least a Bachelors Degree with an endorsement for working as an Early Interventionist or teaching Early Childhood Special Education. Coursework would include developmental milestones, assessment of infants and very young children, and a wide array of disabling conditions in children birth to 5 years of age.
- A Masters Degree in Early Childhood Special Education is offered at several of the large state universities.
- Good organization and collaboration skills.
- High energy level and ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
- Interest in medical terminology and unusual medical conditions.
- Ability to perform strenuous physical tasks, such as lifting and carrying young children.
- Current level of need for personnel in this career field is very high. Recent legislation has provided for more jobs, with many grants being awarded to non-profit agencies targeted at "seeking out" this population of children and serving them more effectively.
- Advancement may come through promotion to supervisor status in agencies, which contract with school districts, or the district, itself.
- Positions in Higher education- colleges and universities, as well as teachers in community colleges- are available for experienced early childhood special educators, and will become more in demand as the trend toward increased interventions/education for younger children continues.
- Work in an early childhood or day care center that welcomes children with disabilities.
- Visit a local early childhood center for children with disabilities, such as the Easter Seal Clinic or a public school setting that houses an Early Childhood classroom.
- Talk to professionals in the field to get a good idea of the level of commitment and activity needed to perform this job well.
- Inquire from your local community college and/or college/university about the availability of coursework that leads to this degree and certification.
1444 Wazee Street, Suite 230
Denver, CO 80202
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC)
Campus Box 8040, UNC-CH
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040
Zero To Three/National Center for Infant, Toddlers and Families
734 15th Street, NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-2101
Fax: (202) 638-0851