Overview

A partner to families, for 40 years and counting

Our work takes place on Perkins’ campus, at home, in the community and remotely. With every child, we assess their needs and create the best plans to address their challenges and encourage their strengths. We also provide guidance, education and emotional support to every parent and caregiver. In that way, we’re so much more than a service provider.

Our approach, in our words

Teri Turgeon Director of Community Programs

“The relationships we build with families don’t end with the services we provide. We are a lifelong support system, always ready to answer the biggest questions or give the simplest of directions. If a family needs us at any point, we’re here for them.”

We provide the support kids and families need the most.

Once a family is referred to our Infant Toddler services, our work begins. First, a teacher is assigned to a family and an assessment is completed. In collaboration with the family, we develop an Individualized Family Service Plan, help set goals and implement the plan. As children near their third birthday and get ready to age out of our program, we help families through that process as well. We collaborate with local and state education authorities to ensure a smooth transition to preschool. We also make sure that as families move on to the next step, they receive all the continued support they need.

We focus on five main objectives:

  • Empowering families of infants and toddlers 
  • Assessing functional vision and developmental skills
  • Preparing children to enter preschool 
  • Training professionals who work with children with visual impairments and deafblindness
  • Providing parent training and support

What you can expect from us

In partnership with families and early intervention teams, our teachers develop activities and lessons that promote development. We reach children and families where they are and create lifelong connections with the families we serve.

Developmental skills

  • Gross motor and fine motor skills
  • Orientation and mobility 
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Cognitive development
  • Communication and early literacy 
  • Social and emotional development
  • Compensatory skills (touch, hearing, visual efficiency, etc.)

Home services 

  • Regularly scheduled visits
  • Complete family involvement
  • Assessment of special needs and abilities
  • Customized learning and play programs
  • Orientation and mobility support
  • Train and collaborate with daycares
  • Parent and family resource

On-campus support

  • Weekly program for children and parents
  • Children participate in sensory, language, play and movement activities with teachers
  • Parents’ discussion and support group led by a social worker 
  • Sibling participation encouraged

Telehealth services

  • Available via phone or video
  • Valuable early intervention services
  • Daily routine support
  • Family coaching model

Our skilled staff

Whether working on campus, in the home or via telehealth, our staff are certified to assess, educate and support kids with visual impairments and deafblindness as well as their families. We are:

  • Teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs)
  • Teachers of the deafblind
  • Orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists
  • Social workers

Early learning stories and resources

FAQ’s

Need more information? Check out our frequently asked questions

If you haven’t already, you will hear from your child’s teacher and/or social worker with information about telehealth services and how to coordinate these services. Your child’s teacher from Perkins will work with you to determine which mode of communication will work best for you.

The first step in gaining access to Perkins’ Infant-Toddler services is to enroll your child in Early Intervention through Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health. Complete this referral form and email it to Emily Lowenstein (emily.lowenstein@perkins.org) or Katie Tefft (katie.tefft@perkins.org)They will be in touch once they receive the new referral. We continue to accept new referrals into our Infant-Toddler program.

Research supports the benefits of telehealth. Through it, your child and family can continue valuable early intervention services without fear of exposure to illness. Telehealth aligns with the Early Interventions approach, the Parents Interacting with Infants Model (PIWI), as it supports a family coaching model. These strategies have been shown to increase family engagement and empowerment as families apply what they have learned to their daily routines.

Contact us anytime

We’re here to help.

If you’re ready to get started, we’re eager to hear from you.

A young girl and her mother embracing with joy in front of a fountain.

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