What is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention is a family-focused, in-home service for children from birth to age 6 years of age. An Early Interventionist helps families understand their child’s development and gives specific training to assist the family in addressing these areas of delay. Family Training and Service Coordination are provided in accordance with an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for children birth to 3 or a Family Service Plan (FSP) for children 3 to 6 years of age. Click here for Developmental Screening Information.
How do you refer a child for services?
If you think your infant/child birth to 3 years of age is developing or learning slowly, call BabyNet at 1-877-621-0865. BabyNet is an educational program administered by FirstSteps, that helps an infant or toddler with special needs move toward his/her full potential. Children who meet eligibility criteria are served regardless of family income. Once eligible, and depending upon the needs of the child, he/she may be transferred to a DDSN provider for the delivery of Family Training and Service Coordination.
If you child is over the age of 3 years, please call DDSN Eligibility at 1-800-289-7012.
Who is eligible for services?
Children under 36 months of age whose genetic, medical or environmental history indicates that they are at a substantially greater risk than the general population for a developmental disability are eligible for services from DDSN. Eligibility may be limited to a specific period of time until a comprehensive assessment can be made regarding the presence or absence of a qualifying disability.
At the conclusion of the specified time period, DDSN will re-evaluate the child’s eligibility status. If the diagnosis remains unclear beyond 36 months of age and the child has developmental delays greater than 20% in three or more areas of development, the child will be considered “at-risk” and will be eligible only for service coordination and family training (Early Intervention Services).
For children who have been screened for autism using the MCHAT and have failed, the child’s Early Interventionist will refer the child to a qualified clinician to administer another assessment called the Screening Tool for Autism Toddlers (STAT). Click here for a list of known qualified STAT clinicians.
For BabyNet’s eligibility criteria, please see the BabyNet website at:
What other services are available while my child is in Early Intervention?
Early Intervention services may also include physical or occupational therapy, speech therapy or assistive technology. Your child’s Early Interventionist is responsible for linking you and your family to these resources and making referrals where appropriate.