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Early Intervention By: Colleen Langlands
What is Early Intervention? Early Intervention is a system that
helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or
disabilities. Focuses on helping eligible babies and toddlers learn
skills that normally develop during the first three years of life.
These may include: Physical: rolling, reaching, crawling, walking
Cognitive: thinking, learning, solving problems Communication:
talking, listening, understanding Social/ emotional: playing,
feeling secure and happy Self-Help: eating, dressing
Program Inception/ Intended Population In 1975, Congress passed
a law that we call IDEA today. Back then it was called the
Education of All Handicapped Children Act. It focused on ensuring
that all school- aged children would be given free appropriate
public education. Early intervention for infants and toddlers was
added to this law in 1986. The intended target population is
children who have developmental delays and disabilities that can be
helped by some form of early therapy. It is designed to be
accessible to all children regardless of income level, familial
Who is Eligible for Early Intervention? Early Intervention is
intended for infants and toddlers who have a developmental delay or
disability. It is determined by evaluating the child to see if they
do indeed have a delay or disability. They can then receive early
intervention services through their third birthday, or sometimes
past that. Referrals come in one of twp ways. Sometimes, it is
known from the moment of birth that the child will need EI
services. Children born very premature, with low birth weight,
illness, or surgery soon after birth will often have a referral
before going home. Other children simply develop slower, experience
setbacks, or develop in ways that are different from the norm.
Thus, their parent may bring them in for evaluation, then given a
Funding Sources and Cost Under IDEA, evaluations and
assessments are provided at no cost to parents, and are funded by
state and federal monies. The IFSP development and review, as well
as service coordination must also be free and funded by state and
federal money. Other service costs depend vary from state to state.
However, services cannot be denied simply because a family cannot
pay for them. In Michigan, the program is called Early On, and
their websites states that most services outlined under the IFSP
are free, but any potential cost is determined individually. It is
also available regardless of income. General funding comes
Required Training Those aspiring to work in an Early
Intervention program can either pursue a certification or a masters
degree. Both require a bachelors degree, often in preschool or
primary education. Both can often require prerequisite coursework
in special education or legal issues. Further, a masters degree
will often require competency in concepts closely related to the
specialization, i.e. sign language for someone wanting to work with
hearing impaired children.
Resources "Background & Analysis." Background &
Analysis. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. "Center for Parent
Information and Resources." Center for Parent Information and
Resources. Center Fo Parent Inforrmation, n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.
"Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with
Disabilities." Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers
with Disabilities. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Mar. 2015.