WHITTIER AREA INFANT-FAMILY PROGRAM

 at LEFFINGWELL SCHOOL

562-907-6357




The Whittier Area Infant-Family Program is a school district program that provides (free) Early Start services to families. 

10625 Santa Gertrudes Ave., Whittier, California 90603 Phone: 562-907-6357   

MISSION

Partnering with families on their journey of raising an Infant or Toddler with special needs, so they can reach their full potential.  We implement a family-centered practice to maximize their daily routines to meet the needs of their children and strengthen their relationships.  We believe that this happens through collaborative relationships with families, professionals and the community. 

Christy Gonzales-Aden, MAProgram Specialist562-907-6357
Beth Miller, MA, CCC-SLPSpeech and Language Pathologist562-907-6356
Erika Lopez MA, LSLS Cert. AVTDeaf and Hard of Hearing Educational Specialist562-907-6359
Kat Kirk, MA, LSLS Cert. AVTDeaf and Hard of Hearing Educational Specialist562-907-6369
Betty Genao, MSEarly Start Educational Specialist562-907-6360
Teresa Salazar,Early Start Educational Specialist562-907-6364
Robin Gonzalez, MAEarly Start Educational Specialist562-907-6361

Our staff consists of credentialed teachers, and who have many years of experience in this field. We are passionate about working with children and families.  

Whittier Area Infant-Family Program at Leffingwell Elementary

WHO ARE WE?

Early Start is California’s name for programs that provide services to infants and toddlers (birth to three) with disabilities, and their families. The Whittier Area Infant-Family Program is a school district program that provides (free) Early Start services to families.  We work with the 7 surrounding districts:

The 7 districts makes-up the Whittier Area Cooperative Special Education Programs (WACSEP).  The Infant-Family Program is a department of WACSEP, and we are located at Leffingwell Elementary School, in the city of Whittier.  We are a state and federally funded program for children diagnosed with a solely low incidence disability (Hard of Hearing, Deaf, Visually Impaired, Orthopedically Impaired, and Deaf-Blind), and/or are eligible for regional center services that live within our catchment area.   


Get a referral here.


DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING SERVICES

Our Early Start Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) educational program provides home and center-based services to children with a diagnosed hearing loss whose families choose a listening and speaking approach or a signing approach.  Our Specialists also provide support to families and staff with students who have additional needs aside from hearing loss, and families who are transitioning between these communication modalities. It can be very overwhelming deciding on a communication modality soon after a diagnosis.  For those families we support them by providing choices and resources with an unbiased opinion.


We also offer a DHH Parent Group that meets every 4th Friday of the month.  Link here to view the flyer.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Erika Lopez at 562-907-6359 or erikalopez@ewcsd.org.


Submit a referral.

VISION SERVICES and ORTHOPEDIC NEEDS

Educational Specialists are available to assist families and program staff in addressing needs in the areas of vision, orientation and mobility, and orthopedic impairment. The family and educational team collaborate to ensure the infant/toddler is able to access all developmentally appropriate activities.

Submit a referral.

SPEECH THERAPY

We provide an integrated model of speech therapy.  The speech service is provided inside the classroom where play routines and peers can be utilized to increase the child’s motivation.  We see this as best practice and the most effective way for toddlers to learn language. The classroom schedule is highly language based and the child’s speech/language skills are supported throughout the time they are at school. The Speech Pathologist also runs a speech only center based class for children who are only demonstrating delays in this area. 

COMMUNITY INTEGRATION SUPPORT

Our teachers can help families access community early childhood settings (such as library story time, parent education Mommy and Me classes, and Early Head Start) and can provide support to the family to maximize the child’s experience.



HOME AND CENTER-BASED PROGRAMS


JUMPSTART

Home Program: (typically for children 0-12 months, but can be accessed by families of older students) with an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher (ECSE).  The teacher works with the parents, once a week for 60 minutes, within their naturally occurring routines in the home, to address the needs of the child. Family coaching is the focus of these sessions. Speech therapy consultation is also available once per IFSP, but we are not able to provide direct speech therapy to these students. 


Center-Based: Families are offered a twice a month class in the center with other families, for one hour each session, as an opportunity to interact with other parents and children in a play-based approach.  Speech therapy consultation is also available once per IFSP, but we are not able to provide direct speech therapy to these students. 


CATERPILLAR PROGRAM

Center-Based Services: an opportunity for children 12-24 months as a parent participation Toddler and Me class.  We offer one hour weekly sessions with ECSE Specialists and 5-10 other families. Our speech pathologist joins these classes providing small group speech therapy, 2 times per month for 45 minutes per session.


Home Program: visits continue 1-2 times per month, an individual parent coaching. 


BUTTERFLY PROGRAM

Center Based Services: available for children 24-36 months. Classes are offered two times per week, 2 hours per session with an ECSE Specialist. Parents can choose to stay or leave their children.  If the parent is continuing to attend with the child at 2 ½ years of age, they are encouraged to begin the separation process as a transition step to prepare for a preschool setting. There are 3 students in these classes, with a teacher and 1 assistant.  Our speech pathologist joins these classes providing small group speech therapy, 1 time per week for 45 minutes per session.


Home Program: Butterfly families continue to receive a once a month individual family contact that focuses on parent coaching. 

Jumpstart Class participants

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