The first three years of life are the most crucial period for a child’s growth and development. Congenital, genetic, medical or environmental conditions may prevent young children from learning to move, explore, communicate and develop a sense of their own identity. The primary focus of early intervention is family education, training and support. The early intervention program is designed to enable parents and other caregivers to realistically assess the child’s developmental needs, incorporate educational and therapeutic strategies into daily routines and utilize available community resources. The early intervention program will provide intervention strategies tailored to the life style and values of the family. It will serve as a guide to reinforce effective parenting skills in order to foster the growth and development of the child at risk. By working collaboratively with those who have the greatest influence, the early intervention program strives to insure that each child, regardless of severity of need, will reach his or her maximum developmental potential.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES?
Eligible children include those between birth and three years of age who were born with a disability or health condition that affects their development. Children who were born prematurely; have feeding, vision or hearing issues; are slow to crawl, sit, walk, talk or do things for themselves; have behavior or attention difficulties or have been identified as having environmental risk factors may also be eligible. Parents are encouraged to call the early intervention program if they have any concerns related to their child’s development
EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM COMPONENTS
The early intervention program (EIP) provides services in the home, at the early intervention center and at other locations in the community.
The EIP offers:
- Community Enrichment Groups
- Resource and Referral Information
- Consultation to Community Early Childhood Programs
- Professional Development Opportunities