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Early Intervention 101

Feb 26, 2016




Early Intervention 101. WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE FROM THIS Presentation?. Training Overview. Theory of early intervention Effects of prenatal drug exposure How to identify developmental delays Who has authority to refer and consent for regional center services - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

Early Intervention 101


Training Overview

Theory of early intervention

Effects of prenatal drug exposure

How to identify developmental delays

Who has authority to refer and consent for regional center services

Referring children for early intervention services

Evaluations and assessments

Important timelines


The importance of preschool

Transition from regional center to school district services

All children develop and learn in different ways.

Being eligible for early intervention services does not mean that the child is dumb or cannot learn.

Just means they need specialized services to assist with their learning and development.

Alliance for Childrens Rights Education Manual Page 2, Handout #1

The Truth About Children Who NeedEarly Intervention Services

Important facts about children in foster care

Incidence of disability in general population is 15%, in foster care it is 50%.

Kids in foster care are more likely to have delays/disabilities because of:

Prenatal drug exposure

Poor nutrition

Effects of abuse and neglect

Kids with delays/disabilities are more likely to end up in foster care because they are difficult to care for.

Only 40% of foster youth graduate from high school.

Only 3% of foster youth earn a college degree.

Early Intervention can change the direction of a childs life!


Theory Of Early Intervention

What Are We Trying to Accomplish?

Purpose of Early Intervention

Theory: serving kids earlier reduces delays, prepares children for school either without the need for special education or less special education services

Congress enacted part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act to:

Enhance the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities

Invest resources in our youngest children now to reduce the costs of special education later

Maximize these childrens potential for independent living in the future

Support families caring for children with disabilities


Effects of Prenatal Drug Exposure

Overview of Substances that Adversely Affect Infants

Nicotine: causes a host of problems including low birth weight - a significant risk factor for developmental delay. It can also affect cognition and is associated with behavioral problems

Cocaine, Marijuana, and Other Illicit drugs:

Cocaine and Marijuana: impaired attention, language, learning skills, and behavioral problems.

Methamphetamine: low birth weight, decreased arousal, and poor quality of movement in infants

Heroin: low birth weight

Alcohol: most widely used substance during pregnancy

Information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse


Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder FASD

FASD is a catchall term to describe various effects of prenatal alcohol exposure.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)

Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)

Babies and children with fetal alcohol syndrome may have:

Low birth weight

Problems eating and sleeping

Impaired hearing and vision

Difficulty following directions and learning how to do simple things

Trouble paying attention and learning in school

Difficulty getting along with others and controlling their behavior

Need for medical care all their lives

See Handout #2 FASD: One Womans Story

Information obtained from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism &

In order for an actual diagnosis of FAS, the childs doctor must find:

(1) Characteristic pattern of facial abnormalities: small eyes, skin above the lip is flat, small upper lip

(2) Lower than average height, weight, or both

(3) Central nervous system dysfunction: small head size, problems with attention and hyperactivity, poor coordination, problems with speech

Partial FAS is when 1 or 2 out of the three characteristics of FAS are present

ARND: Infants/Children with ARND might have intellectual disabilities and problems with behavior and learning. They might do poorly in school and have difficulties with math, memory, attention, judgment, and poor impulse control

ARBD: infants/Children with ARBD might have problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones or with hearing. They might have a mix of these.


How to identify developmental delays: Developmental Screenings



It is a broad term used to describe something that done to tell if the child is learning basic skills typical for that childs age

It can be any tool used to spot delays in a childs development:

A short test

A series of questions

A checklist

A formal screening administered by a professional such as a pediatrician


Developmental Screenings

Great resource for high quality milestones:

See Handout #3

Common Developmental Screening Tools

Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ)

A series of developmental screening tools designed to identify children with delays from one month to 5 years old exhibiting delays

Questions are answered by parent or caregiver

Takes 10-15 minutes to complete

Can be completed by anyone who has been trained-does not have to be completed by a professional (i.e., speech and language pathologist)

A score below the tests threshold indicates the child should be referred to a professional for further assessment

Parents Evaluation of Developmetal Status (PEDS)

A developmental-behavioral screening tool used to identify children from birth to 8 years exhibiting delays, in need of referral for more intensive diagnosis or evaluation

Can be done through 211; can be completed by anyone who has been trained; does not have to be completed by a professional

PEDS: a developmental-behavioral screening tool used to identify children exhibiting delays in need of referral for more intensive diagnosis or evaluation.

BAYLEY: measures the mental, motor, and behavioral progress of infants from one to forty-two months of age


Education rights

Who has the legal right to make decisions for early intervention services?

The Education Rights Holder (ERH) has the legal right to make education-related decisions for a child, including: requesting records, early intervention evaluations and assessments, and consenting to early intervention services and placements in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).

The IFSP is the contract between the ERH and the regional center for early intervention services.

Alliance for Childrens Rights Education Manual Page 4


What you should know about ERH

Who is the Education Rights Holder (ERH)?

Biological Parents

Adoptive Parent

Legal Guardian

Judges Order Judges can limit education rights of biological parents and appoint a new ERH via a JV-535 or minute order

*Foster Parent*Person acting as parent*CASA

*Prospective Adoptive Parent*Court trained volunteer

How and why the ERH may change?

Biological parents who previously held education rights had their rights limited or terminated by the court

Child is reunified with biological parents after living with someone else

Child is removed from caregiver who previously served as ERH

ERH is not cooperating with advocacy efforts

What if there is no ERH?

Ask the minors attorney to appoint one

The regional center must appoint a surrogate parent within 30 days of determining that one is needed

Surrogate parents cannot have a conflict of interest with the child, such as working for the regional center or being a social worker

Alliance for Childrens Rights Education Manual Page 4

Can ask Childs attorney or social worker if you are not sure


Referring Children for Early Intervention services


Local regional centers contract with the state to provide services to children ages 0-3 under a program called Early Start. Local education agencies serve children with low incidence disabilities.

Regardless of whether you think your child has a developmental delay or a low incidence disability, the initial referral should be sent to your local regional center.

Low incidence disabilities include visual impairments/blindness, hearing impairments/deafness, and orthopedic impairments (e.g., caused by cerebral palsy, paralysis or spinal chord injury).


Referral Process

Step 1: Find the childs local regional center:

Step 2: Send the regional center a referral letter requesting a developmental evaluation and comprehensive assessments.

See Handout 4 for a sample referral letter

Childs name and address

Referring for early start

Include name and contact information of educational rights holder

Describe delays and include examples or milestones that child has n