Early Intervention – Services
Early intervention services are intended to support families to achieve desired outcomes for their young children, ages birth through four years, with developmental delays/disabilities. As outlined in the federal and state regulations, states must provide a comprehensive, coordinated, statewide interagency system of quality intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
The Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program recognizes that appropriate supports and services that increase parents’ and caregivers’ abilities to enhance their child’s development will lead to improved outcomes for children and families. The goal of the program is that, as a result of participating in early intervention services, children have increased: positive social interactions, engagement in daily activities and routines, and independence, and that families: know their rights, can effectively communicate their child’s needs, and can help their child develop and learn.
Early intervention services are designed to meet the developmental needs of an eligible infant or a toddler with a disability in any one or more of the following 5 areas:
- physical development
- cognitive development
- communication development
- social or emotional development
- adaptive development
Early intervention services may include any of the following:
- Family training, counseling, and home visits
- Special instruction
- Speech-language pathology and audiology services
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Psychological services
- Service coordination services
- Medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes
- Early identification, screening, and assessment services
- Health services necessary to enable the infant or toddler to benefit from the other early intervention services
- Social work services
- Vision services
- Assistive technology devices and assistive technology services
- Transportation and related costs that are necessary to enable an infant or toddler and the infant’s or toddler’s family to receive any of the above services
These developmental services are provided under public supervision (federal, state, or local funds are used in connection with provision of services) at no cost to the family.
Services are selected in collaboration with parents, as indicated by the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Services must also be provided by qualified personnel and in natural environments, including the home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate.