Early Intervention (EI) is a voluntary developmental evaluation and services program offered by New York State and administered locally by the Nassau County Department of Health Office for Children with Special Needs. The County Early Intervention Program is subject to State regulations (see New York State’s publication “A Parent’s Guide to the Early Intervention Program” for more information).
To be eligible for EI services, children must be under 3 years of age and have a confirmed disability or established developmental delay, as defined by New York State, in one or more of the following areas of development: physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, and/or adaptive. Evaluations are conducted to determine eligibility. A variety of therapeutic and support services are offered to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.
The journey of your child’s early years includes many developmental milestones for how he or she plays, learns, speaks, and acts. Click here to learn what to look for in your child. Talk with your child’s doctor about these milestones. Not reaching these milestones, or reaching them much later than other children, could be a sign of a developmental delay
Major provisions of the program include:
- Identification and referral of children at risk or suspected of disability by primary referral sources
- Periodic developmental screening and tracking of at risk children
- Service coordination for eligible children and families
- A multidisciplinary evaluation provided at no cost to parents to determine eligibility
- Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) for eligible children and families
- Provision of early intervention services in the IFSP at no cost to parents
- Delivery of services in natural settings in the community where children of the same age are typically found, to the maximum extent appropriate
Baby Steps: Learn the Signs. Act Early.
Early recognition of developmental disabilities such as autism is key for parents and providers. CDC realized the impact on families and invested in a campaign to help parents measure their children's progress by monitoring how they play, learn, speak and act.
Take a few minutes to watch this video which describes how to recognize developmental milestones.
Parents of children birth through age two years, nine months, or anyone else with parent consent, can make a referral to the Nassau County Early Intervention Program (EI) by:
Unless a parent objects, professionals such as doctors and service providers must refer a child to EI if there is a suspected delay in a child’s development, or there is a confirmed diagnosis that would allow the child to be automatically eligible. The EI clerk accepting the referral will ask for basic demographic information to assist the service coordinator in meeting with the parent to explain the program in detail. All information is kept confidential.
After 2 years, 9 mos., it is most appropriate to call the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) in your school district. The EI clerk can give you the number to call.
Early Intervention also accepts referrals for children who are at risk of developmental delay.