Thank you for your interest in the Early Learning Program. Anyone can make a referral for services. If there is a child in your life who you think could benefit from early intervention services, contact Early Learning to schedule an appointment. Referral forms are available in the office or you may download one below.
There are a few steps to getting services started and it all begins with helping us get to know your child and family. Once a referral is made the intake process can begin. Our intake process consists of an overview of the services we provide as well as a of the child and family rights within the program. We also are able to begin the assessment process to help us learn more about your child’s strengths and challenges, likes and dislikes and other important factors that will help guide services.
There are two reasons for providing assessments. The first is to determine whether or not a child is eligible for services from our program. The second is to get information about a child’s strengths, needs and developmental level in order to plan for services. The evaluation team consists of you and anyone important to your family you wish to include, and qualified professionals. Developmental evaluations are typically performed on an annual basis, unless requested more often by parents or providers.
Early Childhood Development is a complex process, and while formal assessments break development into separate areas, in reality all areas of development impact each other. Our goal is to look at the whole child. Information is gathered through observation, play activities and parent report. The areas of development evaluated include: physical abilities, thinking and reasoning, self-help, social/emotional, and communication. The evaluation and other information gathered will result in a report of your child’s skills as they relate to three functional areas:
- Positive social emotional skills
- Acquiring and using knowledge and skills
- Taking appropriate actions to meet needs
Eligibility is determined by the presence of developmental delays or specific risk factors that a child may be experiencing. An example of a developmental delay might be a child who is 24 months old with language skills at a 12 month level. That child is considered to have a 50% delay in language. A delay of 15% or more can make a child eligible for services. An example of risk factors that may qualify a child for services include prematurity, exposure to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, or witnessing violence or other abuse.
Development of an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP):
Once eligibility is determined, a developmental specialist and the family will develop an IFSP. The IFSP is a document that identifies your family’s strengths and resources. The IFSP also clearly states the goals and priorities for your child and family — toward which you and the early learning team will be working.
Once enrolled, your family will be eligible for the following services:
Home & Community Visits: Based on priorities families identify we can help find ways (activities or strategies) to work with their child at home and in community settings where children this age typically spend time.
Service Coordination: This involves making sure services offered within our program happen smoothly, as well as coordination and collaboration among different service providers working with your child and family. The goal of service coordination is to help you access the services you need.
Resources for Parents: Our knowledge and resources are available to you. We have a library of books, DVD’s and general information on a variety of parenting, child development and other topics relating to young children.
Special Instruction: Early Learning Program staff has a wealth of information and ideas for supporting the development of young children. They will work with you to help you develop and implement individualized strategies that will support your child’s development.
Developmental Therapy: Educational, Occupational, Physical, and Speech services based on needs identified by you (the child’s parent/caregiver) and your service coordinator.