Early Intervention for Infants & Toddlers
EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR INFANTS AND TODDLERS
Early Intervention(EI) in Pennsylvania consists of services and supports designed to help families with children that have developmental delays or disabilities. Early Intervention builds upon the natural learning occurring in those first few years. It is a process that promotes collaboration among parents, service providers, and others that are significantly involved with the child. Early Intervention: helps children with developmental delays or disabilities develop and learn to their fullest potential; enhances family’s capacity to meet the developmental needs of their child in settings where children without developmental delays or disabilities would be; respects the family’s strengths, values, diversity and competencies; and helps prevent the need for more and costly intervention in the future.
The Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Mental Health and Developmental Services shall ensure that a Service Coordinator is assigned to a family as soon as possible after the referral of a child to determine eligibility for EI services. Each child and family shall be provided with one Service Coordinator who is responsible for serving as the single point of contact in helping the parent to locate, coordinator and monitor services and assist individuals in gaining access to educational, social and community resources. Some of the Service Coordinator’s job duties include, but are not limited to: arranging for a Screening or a Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation to determine eligibility; facilitating and participating in the development and implementation of an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP); assisting the family in identifying available service providers and facilitating communication with and between the family and the service provider; and monitoring progress of the child’s IFSP goals . To connect with an EI Service Coordinator or for more information about Early Intervention contact Service Access & Management (SAM), Inc, phone 570-621-2700 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
•MULTI-DISCIPLINARY EVALUATION(MDE) TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY
Each child referred for an evaluation shall receive a timely, comprehensive MDE and a family-directed assessment of the needs of the child and family to assist with the child’s development. The MDE is conducted by personnel independent of service provision. A child is determined eligible for EI if they score a 25% delay or a 1.5 standard deviation below the mean on the evaluation in at least one area of development; a diagnosis that puts them at high risk for future delay; or a specialist’s determination that there is a delay even if it does not show up on the evaluation (called informed clinical opinion). For as long as a child is determined eligible, the MDE is conducted at least annually. A written MDE report is provided to the family within 30 days of the MDE.
•INDIVIDUAL FAMILY SERVICE PLAN (IFSP)
If your child is determined eligible, the EI Service Coordinator will facilitate the development of an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). You are the expert about your child so you are an equal partner in the process. The team will discuss the information gathered from the MDE about your child’s strengths and needs and will also give you an opportunity to share information about your daily routines, preferred activities and activities that are challenging for your family because of your child’s delays. This information will assist the team to identify measureable outcomes that are meaningful to you, strategies that are needed to accomplish the outcomes and services that will assist you in achieving the outcome.
•EARLY INTERVENTION SUPPORTS AND SERVICES?
Early Intervention services and supports are provided with no insurance involvement and at no cost to the family. Early Intervention services can included: information about how children develop; parent or caregiver education; family supports; and developmental and instructional therapies. Early Intervention is individualized and provides supports to the child and family in the home or in the community. Early Intervention can also assist families to link to a variety of community resources and supports.
Instructional therapies include, but are not limited to:
Special Instruction –Hearing
Special Instruction – Vision
•LOCAL INTERAGENCY COORDINATING COUNCIL (LICC)
Families, community persons, and service providers are invited to join the Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC) which addresses Early Intervention Services and supports in Luzerne and Wyoming Counties in Pennsylvania. For more information, phone Ashley Williams, Early Intervention Program Specialist at 570-831-7281.
About Babies and Children (ABC) Local Interagency Coordinating Council (LICC)
Pennsylvania Act 212, the Early Intervention Services System Act, was enacted in 1990 and provided for Early Intervention services for infants, toddlers and preschool children. Moreover, it stipulated the establishment and maintenance of Local Interagency Coordinating Councils to serve as community-based advisory and planning groups addressing Early Intervention issues. The LICC is to include parents and other family members, EI professionals and other community members who create active partnerships for the purpose of necessary problem solving, coordination of services and resources, and the development of policies and procedures to ensure that all eligible young children and their families receive needed Early intervention services. ( See Brochure)
For more information, please contact:
Ashley Williams, Early Intervention Program Specialist