Regional Coordinator Promotes Family-Centered Approach to Early Intervention
Spotlight on Michele Presley
Campaign Champion, Oklahoma
Michele Presley sees time and again the benefits of early intervention—especially in the support offered to families of young children with developmental delays. “We know that the sooner we can start working with a child—and the family as a whole—the better the results,” she says.
As regional coordinator for the SoonerStart Early Intervention Program, the state of Oklahoma’s nationally recognized early intervention program, Michele oversees four teams of service coordinators. Her teams provide evaluations; case management; family training and home visits; nursing services; and occupational, physical, and speech–language therapy. “We help families find doctors and obtain services; we’re also in their homes, listening to moms, dads, and the rest of the family,” she adds. “We are dedicated to the whole family.”
Supporting the entire family is key to the child’s success. “We help parents deal with the range of emotions they may feel upon finding out that their child has a developmental delay,” says Michele. “We must help parents first before they can help their child.”
Michele has found the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign materials to be a great resource to share with families when she and her staff first go out to meet with concerned parents. She praises the campaign for focusing on overall child development and not focusing specifically on any one particular condition, as well as for providing resources and support for all families who might be concerned about developmental delays.
She maintains a statewide database of stakeholders she has informed about the campaign; these stakeholders include early educators, physicians, parents, and health departments. Her next goal is to analyze how materials are being used and learn what else her stakeholders need to help families.
In addition to her daily work with SoonerStart, Michele attends Head Start, special education, and child care conferences, where she distributes “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign materials to physicians, early educators, and parents. She also is modifying the campaign PSA for use in Oklahoma.
“I want everyone to know what great, free resources are available to them through the campaign,” says Michele. “The materials are organized, professionally done, and easy to read and print. We know from the positive feedback we receive that people like and are using the materials.”
Services, support, and information provided through programs such as SoonerStart and the ‘”Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign benefit the entire family!
For more information on how you can reach out to health professionals in your area, visit the How to Get Involved page of the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” website.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
TTY: (888) 232-6348
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