Fisher is proud to provide an early childhood program where children with special needs can learn and grow alongside their typically developing peers. The inclusive practices of our program contribute to the high-quality work that we do. The efforts of the administration, teachers and Fisher Inclusion Team (FIT) result in an environment in which children with identified special needs, as well as children at risk for delay and/or with challenging behaviors receive support to help them reach their full potential. All children benefit from the opportunity to participate in an inclusive educational program. We welcome families to address our program staff with any questions regarding our inclusive practices.
EARLY INTERVENTION PHILOSOPHY
The Fisher Inclusion Team (FIT) ensures that children of all abilities are able to play, learn, and engage in the experiences available to them at the Fisher Early Learning Center. Utilizing a consultative model, FIT specialists work with teaching teams to assess needs, model strategies, and provide classroom mentorship. These methods allow all children to access learning opportunities, develop relationships, and learn independence within the classroom routines. Through the consultative model, early intervention strategies are embedded throughout the child’s school day. Children are provided services that best support their individual development based on Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals, as well as goals set in conjunction with the family and private therapists.
FISHER INCLUSION TEAM (FIT)
The Fisher Inclusion Team is committed to a collaborative, trans-disciplinary team approach. This means each professional contributes to the team based on their area of expertise, but is knowledgeable about the other disciplines and can apply strategies based on this knowledge. The team is comprised of an Early Interventionist, a Speech/Language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist, a Physical Therapist, a Licensed Social Worker, University of Denver graduate students, and a coordinator. While this is the “Fisher Inclusion Team” we consider each child’s parents, teachers, and private service providers to be vital members of the team. On-going research regarding best inclusive practices is an important component of our program; as a result, University of Denver Faculty and students serve as valuable resources to support our program. Fisher staff and FIT team members continually work to promote awareness about inclusive practices.
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Since the inception of the Fisher Inclusion Team in 2005, over two hundred fifty children have benefited from FIT services. From the implementation of early intervention strategies in the classroom to evaluation, referral, consultation, family meetings, IFSP/IEP meetings, and therapy coordination, children are encouraged to reach their full potential. Families actively participate in their child’s journey at Fisher and are an integral part of the intervention team. Communication is facilitated through a daily communication notebook that is completed by families and teachers each day. Therapists also use this tool to communicate with families when they visit the classroom. New families served by the Fisher Inclusion Team participate in an initial meeting to ensure a smooth transition for the child and the continuity of services. Family meetings are held twice yearly in addition to the annual portfolio conference.
FIT PARENT GROUP
Fisher families are invited to be involved in working with the Fisher Inclusion Team to create the highest quality inclusive program possible. This volunteer group is open to all families and meets monthly. Parents aid one another in connecting to resources, providing support for each other, and offering valuable feedback to therapists and teachers regarding strategies and service delivery. This group also identifies fundraising opportunities to supplement current Fisher Inclusion Team funding.
For more information about FIT, please contact:
Associate Director/Inclusion Team Coordinator