How do I know if my infant or toddler is eligible for early intervention services? How would I have my child evaluated and assessed to determine eligibility?
Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. These are children birth through age 2 who are experiencing developmental delays, or who have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay. They receive early intervention services through a statewide early intervention system. The state determines if children within that age range (0-2) who are at risk of having substantial developmental delays may be eligible to receive services.
On September 6, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education announced the release of the final regulations for the early intervention program under Part C of the IDEA. These final regulations will help improve services and outcomes for America's infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
Infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families receive services through an early intervention system managed by a state lead agency. The governor of each state designates the lead agency, and it can be a health department, a human services department, a state educational agency, or other local agency.
To request an evaluation or to obtain more information, contact the state lead agency director. Your child's pediatrician should also be able to provide you with a referral to the Part C (infant and toddler) program for your area.