AHEAD is a comprehensive program that provides services to families and child care providers of young children, ages birth to 3 years, with non-categorical disabilities (that is, any child who has a diagnosed disability or meets the state's eligibility criteria for early intervention services). Services are delivered in the child's natural environment including the home and child care setting.
It focuses on the delivery of services in the natural environment. It promotes partnerships through family-centered services. It enables families to be effective advocates for their child. It bridges intervention between the home and the child care setting. The AHEAD Resource Manual (1997) is written in a user-friendly format for early intervention personnel to use with families and child care providers. It contains background information in working effectively with families and child care providers. It also contains topics which include sample discussions, activities, visuals, activity sheets, and handouts in the following areas: communication, language, motor, play/social, feeding, toilet training, dressing, and grooming. The AHEAD Resource Manual is available in Spanish through HOPE, Inc.
The AHEAD project is offered through AHEAD Trainers' Training Institutes.
Five days of interactive, informative training prepares trainers to train early interventionists in their own state/early intervention agencies in the following areas:
Participants learn how to use a 3-volume AHEAD Trainer's Manual (2001) which includes training packages that are designed in a step-by-step format that trainers can easily follow in training early interventionists. Master transparencies, handouts, and activity sheets are included. Participants receive certification as AHEAD trainers and receive two semester hours from Utah State University.
AHEAD staff works with state Part C and CSPD (Comprehensive System of Personnel Development) coordinators and early intervention agencies to identify participants.
Training is conducted at the SKI-HI Institute located on the beautiful campus of Utah State University, or if it is more economical for a state to have the training conducted onsite, arrangements are made accordingly.