Early Intervention

“Babies learn and grow at their own rate. Some babies need a little extra help. Since babies grow and learn quickly, it is important to get extra help as early as possible if you or your baby’s doctor has any concerns about your baby’s development. The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia provides supports and services for babies and their families so that families can help their child learn during everyday activities and routines.
This is called early intervention.”
What happens after our doctor or I contact the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia?

When your doctor contacts the Infant & Toddler Connection, you will receive a phone call from someone who will tell you more about early intervention, ask you some questions, and answer any questions you may have. A time will be set up for a service coordinator to meet you and your child. If you (instead of your doctor) call the Infant & Toddler Connection yourself, then the person who answers the phone will get some basic information from you and answer your questions. This person may set up an appointment for someone to meet with you and your child or you may get a second call to make this appointment

What is a service coordinator?

A service coordinator is a professional who helps you understand the services available to your child and family through Infant & Toddler Connection and through other community resources. The service coordinator is a link between your family and the other professionals who will work with you. He or she will make sure your baby gets the services he or she needs.

How will I find out if my child can get early intervention services?

This happens through a process called “Eligibility Determination.” Eligibility for early intervention services is based on your child’s developmental needs — not your income. Early Intervention services are available for your child until his or her 3rd birthday. Information from you, your child’s doctor and from observing your child is used to find out whether he or she needs some extra help with his or her development and learning.

What happens next if my child is eligible for early intervention?

If your baby is eligible, your service coordinator will work with you to develop a plan based on what your child needs. The plan will set out goals for working with you to help your baby do things that are important to his growth. This is called the Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP. The IFSP also lists the services that are needed to meet your goals. The best provider for your child’s services will depend on your child, what’s important to you, and how well the provider’s training matches with your family’s needs.

Where will early intervention services be provided?

For most children and families, early intervention services are provided at the family’s home. Services are also provided at other places in the community, like parks, child care, community centers, and other places where children and families spend time.

What can I expect from early intervention services?

A variety of supports and services are available for eligible children and their families. The purpose of all early intervention services is to help you help your child learn and develop. Families are the first and most important teachers for their children. Since babies learn by watching, exploring, and practicing things, early intervention service providers help your family learn ways to help your child learn and practice new skills throughout each day.

How Much Will Early Intervention Cost?

Some services are free. These include determining eligibility, coordinating services, any testing of your child that is needed, and writing the IFSP. There are fees for some of the services listed on the IFSP, but your family cannot be denied services because you cannot afford them.

 

With a diagnosis of Down syndrome, children are likely to qualify for Early Intervention services in the state of Virginia. Please contact the Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia at 1-800-234-1448 or visit www.infantva.org for more information.