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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Occupational Therapy Program

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Specialization in Early Intervention Program (SEI)

The Specialization in Early Intervention (SEI) Program will provide current SUNY Downstate Occupational Therapy Students with the opportunity to:

  • Understand this unique practice area of Early Intervention and Family Centered Best Practices
  • Expand your OT skills with in-depth focus on working with young children and their families
  • Collaborate as an academic partner with the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene-Bureau of Early Intervention
  • Coordinate with current practice with New York State Department of Health – Early Intervention
  • Participate in courses online, and in seminar format incorporated into the OT Curriculum beginning in Spring of their 2nd year throughout their Fieldwork Experiences.
  • Engage in a Family Partnership Experience, working closely with a family who participates in Early Intervention
  • Participate in Early Intervention and early childhood Level I/II Fieldwork Experiences
  • Be part of a select cohort of 10 current SUNY Downstate Occupational Therapy Students who will be selected from applicant pool.
  • After graduation, students will receive New York State Department of Health contingency approval to work as an Early Intervention Service Provider
  • SUNY Downstate's OT Program has a proven track record in personnel preparation a with 2 US. Department of Education , OSEP funded grants for the Early Intervention Certificate Program for Occupational Therapists (EICP-OT), #H325A030062 (2003-2009) and the Early Intervention Specialization Program (EISP), #HR325K080338 (2008-2013).

Summary of SEI Elective Courses

OTMS 5215 Introduction to Early Intervention: Students will learn the basics of the EI process from its historical underpinnings to practical guidelines to practice in a variety of EI settings. This course will be provided online with practical assignments and papers, field trips, bulletin board discussion groups, and e-mail communication. During this course the student will participate in approximately six hours of a family partnership experience which will begin in conjunction with this course, and continue throughout the SEI.

OTMS 5315 Topics in Early Intervention: Students will explore current issues in EI. Topics will include family-centered best practices including embedded coaching and working with families, special patient populations, assessment and outcome development for IFSP's and Assistive Technology. This course will begin with an online course experience with practical assignments and papers, bulletin board discussion groups, and e-mail communication. Students will continue with the family partnership experience throughout the SEI.

OTMS 5107 Elective in Early Intervention: This is an elective course that will continue to incorporate embedded coaching model and specific interventions in the practice area of EI, working with children under three years and their families as part of the SEI. This on site seminar course will require that the student discuss assigned course materials for each seminar meeting, participate in on-line discussions, apply concepts taught in two online courses they have completed and analyze and incorporate common issues in working with young children and families. Students will continue with the family partnership experience throughout the SEI.

OTMS 6115 Early Intervention Reflective Seminar: This is an elective course that will be held in conjunction with their Level 2 Fieldwork over the Summer and Fall semesters. Opportunities to discuss their fieldwork experiences in EI and engage in Communities of Practice (CoP) which address dilemmas and solutions in a group effort. Students will also share and discuss Natural Environment Rating Scales (NERS) experience and engage in reflective supervision as part of the SEI. This on site seminar course will require that the student discuss fieldwork experiences, participate in on-line discussions, apply concepts taught in all online courses they have completed and analyze and incorporate practice issues in working with young children and families.


Please contact Dr. Beth Elenko at beth.elenko@downstate.edu for more information

Please continue to check this website for further details about this program, and any changes to the courses and schedules.

Call to Action

We are also looking for OT's working in EI to be Fieldwork Supervisors. If you are interested, please contact Jasmin Thomas, our Academic Fieldwork Supervisor.

Please join us by signing up for SEI Online Peer Network on AOTA's OTConnections to network and share with other OT's and students who are interested in providing quality family-centered services to infants and young children.

After you sign up for OT Connections, search for SEI Online Peer Network and begin networking with us!