What is “Early Intervention”?
alert icon Families: During COVID-19 you can still schedule visits with your child’s doctor to discuss concerns and contact your state’s early intervention program or your local public school to have your child evaluated. Click for information on what to do if you have a concern.
- Is the term used to describe the services and supports that are available to babies and young children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families.
- May include speech therapy, physical therapy, and other types of services based on the needs of the child and family.
- Can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills and overcome challenges and can increase success in school and life.
- Programs are available in every state and territory (see each program’s contact information below). These publicly funded programs provide services for free or at reduced cost for any child who is eligible.
How do I find out if my child is eligible for services?
Eligibility for early intervention services is based on an evaluation of your child’s skills and abilities.
If you, your child’s doctor, or other care provider is concerned about your child’s development, ask to be connected with your state or territory’s early intervention program to find out if your child can get services to help. If your doctor is not able to connect you, you can reach out yourself. A doctor’s referral is not necessary.
- If your child is under age 3: Call your state or territory’s early intervention program (see contacts below) and say: “I have concerns about my child’s development and I would like to have my child evaluated to find out if he/she is eligible for early intervention services.”
- If your child is age 3 or older: Click here.