What is Early Intervention PART C?
- Children birth to age 3 are served under Part C.
- Focus is on supporting the family, as well as the child.
- Early intervention (EI) refers to services available to assist infants and toddlers who have Developmental Delay. Delayed development can be in the domains of social/emotional, cognitive, adaptive, motor, or language. Services include: Complete Screenings, Evaluations, Development of Individualized Plan, Special Instruction, Identifications/eligibility, IFSP, behavior consultation, social/emotional intervention and services, health services, physical/speech/occupational therapies, and assistance to parents to gain access to other supports.
- Early intervention services supports the child and the child’s family within the natural environment to support the child’s participation in everyday routines and activities. Part C of the Individual’s with Disabilities Act says that to the maximum extent appropriate, early intervention services must be provided in the natural environments, including home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate.
- Some Early Intervention Services are made at no cost, while other services may be on a sliding scale.
Eligibility for Part C?
- To be eligible for services, a child from birth to 3 needs to show Developmental Delay (DD) or be diagnosed with a condition that has a high probability of resulting in a DD (such as low birth weight, deafness, blindness, mental retardation, etc.).
- Children under age 3 are not required to be classified by their disability to be eligible for services.
- All children determined eligible for EI by the IFSP team receive services regardless of their family’s income or insurance.
What is the referral and evaluation process like for Part C?
- A referral is a request that a child may be evaluated to see if services might be appropriate.
- Referrals are based on a physical or developmental concern about the child.
- Referrals can be made by parents, doctors, preschool, public health, and any other human service agencies.
When CDS receives a referral they have 45 days to complete the evaluations to determine whether a child is eligible, and develop the Individual Family Service Plan.
The evaluation of a child aged birth- 2 must include a review of the child’s current health status and child’s present level of functioning in their cognitive, motor, physical/social, language and adaptive skills abilities. In addition with the parent/guardian consent a family assessment will be performed.
Once a determination of eligibility for services is made, a plan is developed by the team. Plans differ, depending on age of the child.
Type of Service plan?
An Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed identifying the strengths and needs of the child and the family. An IFSP includes parent/guardian input on the child’s strengths and needs; documented present level of performance; projected beginning, length, duration and frequency of identified services and their measurable goals/objectives; services required to meet established goals; and the opportunities for services and education to be provided in a child’s natural environment.
Early Intervention Services (EIS) can begin once the IFSP is written and approved by the parent/guardian.
CDS encourages a coaching model that allows professionals to assist families and other caregivers to facilitate the child’s development in their daily activities and routines.
CDS provides ongoing case management and monitors the IFSP, which must be reviewed every 6 months.
Our next post in this series on CDS will cover Part B (3 – 5).