Treating kids with developmental delays may be a prolonged and challenging practice. Instead, it would be much faster and more efficient to start early intervention as soon as the first sign of a learning disability occurred. Early intervention services are provided to infants and toddlers who physically or mentally retard in development from their peers. They are ensured by the Individual with Disabilities Education Act and can be obtained in every state across the US. Early intervention is funded and administered by states, and intervention programs also differ from one state to another.
To be eligible for early intervention services, a child must be no older than 3 and be far behind in development than children of the same age. This includes cases caused by specific health conditions except for learning disabilities. In fact, each state puts forward their own criteria on the definition of a developmental delay. Even a risk of the delay measured by the negative environmental exposure can already make a child eligible for early intervention services.
As soon as parents are informed that their child is eligible for early intervention services, the family shall agree upon an Individualized Family Service Plan. It means that parents will be informed about the amount of services they are going to receive. Together with a state team on early intervention they make up a schedule for various specialists to work with a child. The majority of early intervention services are free, but certain ones can be charged. The charge shall be also discussed by parents and state early intervention team.
Early intervention services usually encompass assistance with developing physical, cognitive, and communication skills as well as self-help and social adaptation. Delivered before the age of three, they frequently help children to catch up with their peers.