What is Early Intervention
Early Intervention assists and strengthens the capacity of families to meet the developmental needs of children from birth through three years of age who have delays or disabilities. A coaching style of interaction is used with caregivers as a means of building their confidence and competence as they provide opportunities within their everyday activities for their children to learn and develop. Every family has a full team available to them in addition to the support of one Early Intervention professional assigned to be their primary service provider (PSP).
Seven key principles of Early Intervention
Early Intervention is built upon and adheres to the following seven key principles:
- Infants and toddlers learn best through everyday experiences and interactions with familiar people in familiar settings.
- All families, with the necessary supports and resources, can enhance their child’s learning and development.
- The primary role of a service provider in Early Intervention is to work with and support the family members and caregivers in a child’s life.
- The Early Intervention process, from initial contact through transition, must be dynamic and individualized to reflect the preferences, learning styles, and cultural beliefs of the child and their family members.
- Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) outcomes must be functional and based on the needs of the child and the priorities identified by their family.
- The priorities, needs and interests of the child’s family are addressed most appropriately by a primary Early Intervention provider who represents the family and receives team and community support in their behalf.
- Interventions with a young child and their family members must be based on a clear understanding of these principles, facilitated by the use of validated practices, and supported by the best available research while remaining adherent to all relevant laws and regulations. (Work group on Principles and Practices in Natural Environments, OSEP TA Community of Practice: Part C Settings. [2008, March]. Agreed upon mission and key principles for providing Early Intervention services in natural environments).
Help Me Grow Central Intake refers babies and toddlers to the local Early Intervention program if there is a concern about the child’s development. Contact Help Me Grow at 800-755-4769 or online at https://odhgateway.odh.ohio.gov/ochids/public/refer to make a referral. You can also contact your local Early Intervention Program directly at (740) 477-3353 ext. 31.
Parents must give permission to have their child evaluated. Services begin with an evaluation in order to determine eligibility. An Early Intervention Service Coordinator will then assist the family in determining the needs of the child, utilizing all available resources to help the family meet the needs of their child in the most natural environment (home, child care center, and recreational settings like playgrounds, libraries, and play groups.)