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Feb 26, 2016
Early Intervention 101
WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE FROM THIS Presentation?
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
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
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 www.drugabuse.gov
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 http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/ & CDC.gov
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
WHAT IS A DEVELOPMENTAL SCREENING?
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 formal screening administered by a professional such as a pediatrician
Great resource for high quality milestones: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html
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
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)?
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
WHO PROVIDES EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES IN CALIFORNIA?
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).
Step 1: Find the childs local regional center: http://www.dds.ca.gov/RC/RCZIPLookup.cfm
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