|City and State Programs|
|City and State programs provide free services to families based on a child’s age and needs. Services accessed for children ages birth to 3 years are typically provided by city programs regulated and funded through the State’s Department of Health. These programs are called Early Intervention Programs. Services accessed for children ages 3 years and up are usually regulated through the State’s Board of Education Program. These programs are called,”Committee on PreSchool Special Education Programs (CPSE). All programs though regulated from separate sources, are aimed at assisting children in achieving their developmental goals in becoming school ready. Services may be obtained for free based on separate eligibility requirements for each of the 2 program types, and have the following purposes:
– to assist children with developmental delays in becoming school ready so they do not fall behind in the school system
– to identify early, any conditions or disorders associated with learning
|As mentioned above, Early Intervention Programs are city and state programs regulated and funded by each state’s Department of Health. Every state has an Early Intervention Program available to provide eligible children with services to help children ‘catch up’ in their development. Early Intervention Programs are not typically advertised and are usually referral based with most referrals coming from Pediatricians and other parents. Early Intervention Programs within each State do not necessarily provide the actual services, they only fund and approve them. Early Intervention “Providers” are private or non-profit businesses that actually provide the services and then bill the State or City’s Early Intervention Program. To obtain services for your child you must first contact your State’s Early Intervention Office, to find out which providers are nearest you, and then choose an Early Intervention Provider that best suites your child’s needs. Many EI Providers have their own specialties, for example ‘United Cerebral Palsy, (UCP)”, provides EI services to all children eligible and of course may have many more resources to services for children with Cerebral Palsy. You may call EI Providers and arrange to have a tour of their facilities to check them out before hand before choosing one. If you do so however, you must try not to waste too much time; the enrollment process can take long enough. It is not impossible for a child to go through a long evaluation process just in time to transfer out of the Early Intervention Program. I heard from a parent once that while choosing an Early Intervention Provider and touring their facilities, what helped her make her decision was the greetings she received from the staff. On one of her tours she was greeted by everyone passing by while in the waiting area, even the janitor had stopped to say hello to both her and her two sons. She claimed that this impressed her and that to see a facility where all the staff are both happy to work there and friendly, she knew she had made the right choice.
What types of services can I receive for my child through an Early Intervention Program?
The answer is: as many services that your child is eligible for that are out there. Typically you must have your child tested for eligibility first. Testing would determine your child’s estimated, developmental age for each of the 6 areas of development. From there your child could be eligible to receive services at home, in a classroom or even both, depending on your child’s age and needs. If your child tested as delayed in speech, then your child would be eligible to receive Speech Therapy either at home, one on one with a Speech Therapist, or at a center. A child could be eligible to receive services such as: Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Special Instruction, Vision Therapy, Respite (home care), Daycare, medical, Parent Training, Family counseling, Psychological Play Therapy, and many more of course depending on your child’s and family’s needs.
|THE EI Process:|