Tuesday, January 31, 2012

By: Rachel, Early Intervention Specialist

What is Early Intervention?

Your Little One is Special and may have special needs. Early Intervention is a program created by the government to help infants and toddlers with developmental delays. Early Intervention Services help children reach their goals in Cognitive, Social/Emotional, Adaptive, and Physical Development. Your Early Interventionist can help set up Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, and other developmental specialist. The earlier you begin services the more time your EI (Early Interventionist) and Therapist have to help your child catch up to his/her peers. Early Intervention helps minimize the need for Special Education services for many infants and toddlers as they reach school age.

Do you suspect a delay?

If you suspect your child may have a developmental delay you should contact your pediatrician as soon as possible. Your pediatrician, day care provider, or you can contact your State’s Early Intervention Program. Once a referral has been made to your State’s Early Intervention Program you will be contacted either by a State Provider or EI Agency. The provider will perform a Curriculum Based Assessment to determine if your child needs EI Services. Each state varies, but many states have a Gestational Age and/or Birth Weight automatic qualification.

The Curriculum Based Assessment

There are many different Curriculum Based Assessments that your provider may use. Some common assessments include the HELP, AEPS, Denver, and Battelle. Some providers may Direct Test your child, where they will see if your child can do the various tasks. Other providers will simply ask you if your child does the tasks.

Sample Tasks/Milestones:

Begins to Play with Rattles
Bangs Objects on Table
Responds to Sounds
Finds Hidden Sounds
Inspects own Hands
Looks for Family Members or Pets when Named
Babbles consonant chains “baba-baba”
Holds Head Steady in Supported Sitting Position
Rolls From Tummy to Back
Grasps Toy Actively
Discriminates Strangers
Bites and Chews Toys

Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP)

Your Early Intervention Specialist will meet with you to create your Individualized Family Plan. YOU are extremely important to this plan. Your EI needs to know what your wants and needs are for your child. Your EI will help you come up with goals for your child based off of the results from your Curriculum Based Assessment. These goals will be set up so that you can see measurable results. If you would like for your child to be evaluated by an Occupational, Speech, or Physical Therapist please let your EI know so they can set those evaluations up for you. The plan will list all necessary services, how frequently the services will take place and for how long. This plan can be updated and changed as frequently as necessary. As your child meets their goals, new goals can be created.

What Should I do during EI Visits?

Many parents aren’t sure what to do during their Early Intervention sessions. Your participation is the BEST thing for your child. Ask lots of questions! Your EI is there to teach you different techniques and activities that you can work on with your child all week long to help them improve in the areas that they are showing a delay. If your child is showing an improvement in a certain area let your EI know, they are just as eager and excited about your child’s progress!!


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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