If you are interested in learning more about early intervention, either on a local or federal level, you have come to the right place. Early intervention is a vitally important service that is offered everywhere in the United States and it is crucial to know if you have a child with developmental disabilities or delays.
Let’s start with what early intervention is, and why it is so important.
What is Early Intervention?
First things first, what is early intervention?
Early intervention assists young children who have either developmental disabilities or delays from their birth to third birthday.
There are many services offered by early intervention, including:
- Occupational therapy (OT), which assists with self-help, eating, getting dressed, feeling secure/happy, playing, etc. This type of therapy helps your child with fine motor skills and social/emotional skills.
- Physical therapy (PT), which assists with crawling, walking, reaching, rolling, etc. This type of therapy helps your child with gross motor skills.
- Speech therapy (ST), which assists with understanding, listening, talking, etc. This type of therapy covers your child’s communication skills.
With early intervention, young children and babies can either get services at home or in their community. There are different types of specialists that can work with your child depending on the delayed skills in question. Having these services available early can have a big impact on your child’s social life and schooling.
Early intervention is available to every single US state and territory, and it is regulated by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (also known as IDEA).
How to Find Out if Your Child is Eligible for Early Intervention
So, how can you find out if your child is eligible for early intervention?
Eligibility is completely based on an evaluation done to access your child’s abilities and skills. If you, someone you know, or your child’s pediatrician are concerned about their development, connect with your state (or territory’s) early intervention program to find out if they can take advantage of their services.
For children under the age of three, call your local early intervention program and tell them that you have certain concerns about your child’s development and would like to have them evaluated to find out if they are eligible for early intervention services.
If your child is 3 or older, call a local public elementary school (even if they do not attend that particular school), and let them know you have concerns about their development and would like to have them evaluated through the school system for potential preschool special education services. If you reach someone who isn’t familiar with this process, you can request to speak to either the school or district’s special education director.
Wondering how to get started? Let’s take a look at some resources that can help you.
Early Intervention Resources
For those of you residing in Virginia, here are some helpful resources:
- Parent-To-Parent of Virginia
- Virginia Department of Health: Care Connection for Children
- Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
- Virginia Infant & Toddler Specialist Network
For federal resources, consider checking out the US Department of Education IDEA state contacts page for specific contact information in your state. Also consider looking at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and the Center for Parent Information and Resources.
How Moms in Motion Can Help with Early Intervention
How can Moms in Motion help you with information regarding early intervention?
We have a multitude of resources and a searchable resource list to help you find additional information regarding Virginia’s Medicaid waivers. You can also contact us with further questions! Reach out to us today!