Q & A Corner - Issue #32

NASET Q & A Corner

Questions and Answers on Early Intervention for Parents

Introduction

Broadly speaking, early intervention services are specialized health, educational, and therapeutic services designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers, from birth through age two, who have a developmental delay or disability, and their families. At the discretion of each State, services can also be provided to children who are considered to be at-risk of developing substantial delays if services are not provided. Sometimes it is known from the moment a child is born that early intervention services will be essential in helping the child grow and develop. Often this is so for children who are diagnosed at birth with a specific condition or who experience significant prematurity, very low birth weight, illness, or surgery soon after being born. Even before heading home from the hospital, this child’s parents may be given a referral to their local early intervention office. Some children have a relatively routine entry into the world, but may develop more slowly than others, experience set backs, or develop in ways that seem very different from other children. For these children, a visit with a developmental pediatrician and a thorough evaluation may lead to an early intervention referral, as well. However a child comes to be referred, assessed, and determined eligible—early intervention services provide vital support so that children with developmental needs can thrive and grow. The focus of this issue of NASET’s Q & A Corner is to provide educators with a handout for parents on early intervention

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