Early intervention services support parents and caregivers in their efforts to enhance the development of their infant or toddler who has developmental delays or disabilities. The first three years of life are an important time for the health and development of all children and starting intervention services early improves the child's ability to develop and learn. It may also prevent or reduce the need for special help later.
The early intervention system will be your partner and will help you achieve the outcomes that you and your EI team have set for your child and family. This video will explain what your early intervention services will look like, why they work, and what you can expect. Children learn best through every day experiences and interactions with familiar people in familiar environments. You are your child's best teacher. And with the support from early intervention, you and your family members can enhance your child's learning and development.
The first person that will visit you is your early intervention service coordinator who will explain the program, get your consent, and work with you to identify your family's priorities, strengths, and needs. Your child will then be evaluated in order to determine eligibility and identify any areas where you and your child may need support. Once it's determined that your child is eligible and in need of services, you will have access to an early intervention team dedicated to your child and family.
Your team will consist of you, a service coordinator, and service providers. Your team will work with you to determine which person will serve as your primary service provider, or PSP. This person can best address the outcomes you have for your child and family. The primary service provider will visit you on a regular basis to achieve those outcomes with other team members working behind the scenes. Other team members may visit you and your child along with the primary service provider if additional support is needed.
Your service coordinator will be in frequent contact with you and your primary service provider. Your service coordinator will help you share information with the rest of the team, lead the process to develop your individualized family service plan, connect you to needed services, and be there for you every step of the way. Your primary service provider will demonstrate techniques to help your child grow as sometimes the smallest daily tasks, like meal time or getting dressed, present the biggest challenges. You and your primary service provider will come up with ideas that you can use in every day activities and between visits.
Early intervention services will be provided within your child's natural environment, where he or she lives, learns, and plays. Visits are customized to fit your schedule and can take place wherever you believe is most important for you and your child to learn. Visits will be primarily between you, your family, your primary service provider, and your service coordinator.
Your team meets frequently to discuss the progress of your child and uses the expertise of other team members as needed, which means you may or may not see the other team members depending on your family's needs. You're welcome to participate in these team meetings at any time. Your participation is the key to this process. You are the expert when it comes to your child and together we make a great team.