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What are Early Intervention Services?

Early intervention services meet developmental needs of the child and the needs of the family to support the child's development. Research shows that infants and toddlers learn best through natural routines and everyday learning opportunities that occur in the child's home, community, and childcare settings. Based on the unique needs of the child, the Infant Toddler Program (ITP) links skilled professionals with the family. They work as a team to support the child's learning and development.

A variety of early intervention services and therapies are available through the ITP.  The most commonly used services include speech/language, occupational, physical and developmental therapy, and service coordination.

If my child needs early intervention, how are services provided?

The ITP is made up of teams of specialists who are experts in helping children learn to talk, move, think, eat, and take part in their family's daily activities.

If your child is qualified to receive services, you and your team will develop a plan outlining learning goals and the supports needed to reach them. This plan is called the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

Children learn best when doing things they enjoy. We use that principle to help your family support your child's learning during all the things you do together. One lead service provider will work side-by-side with you. Together you will find ways to help your child practice skills every day in your home, child care center, or in other community places.

What services are available?

If your child is eligible, one or more of these services may be provided through your team:

  • Assistive technology (tools/equipment to promote learning)
  • Audiological and hearing services
  • Family education 
  • Family counseling and home visits
  • Health services
  • Medical services (for diagnosis only)
  • Nutrition services
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Respite care (temporary, short-term care to relieve the family)
  • Service coordination
  • Social work services
  • Speech/language therapy
  • Transportation
  • Vision services

Baby Steps: Learn the Signs. Act Early.

Source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
Running Time: (4:32) Release Date: 9/22/2008

Watch the video: Baby Steps

Early recognition of developmental disabilities such as autism is key for parents and providers. CDC realized the impact on families and invested in a campaign to help parents measure their children's progress by monitoring how they play, learn, speak and act.

Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Who pays for early intervention services?

In Idaho, services are provided at low or no cost to families, depending on family income. In addition to family contributions, the program is supported through state and federal funds, Medicaid, and private insurance.

If your child is eligible for early intervention, one or more of these resources will be used to pay for your child's services. No family will be refused services because of an inability to pay.