Early Intervention Services
Early Intervention Services have a positive influence on the developmental outcome of children with established disabilities as well as those who are considered to be “at risk” of disabilities. The Department of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Section, through the Babies Can’t Wait program which provides a community-based, coordinated, multidisciplinary, family-centered program for children and their families.
The medical home, in close collaboration with the family and the early intervention team, can play a critical role in ensuring that at-risk children receive appropriate clinical and developmental early intervention services.
The role of the child’s primary care provider caring for children with disabilities and their families should include:
- Surveillance and screening of all infants to identify established disabilities or risks of delayed development following the AAP algorithm.11 The algorithm contains recommendations to perform surveillance at all well-child visits and administration of a standardized screening tool at the 9- and 18-month visits and again at either the 24- or 30-month visit.
- Referring children with delayed development or established risk factors promptly to early intervention services.
- Arranging for medical etiologic diagnostic evaluation as appropriate.
- Being aware of the services and resources available in the community for the child and family and helping to coordinate the health component of the services.
- Collaborating with the family and care coordinator to provide medical input into development of the IFSP while ensuring that goals are functional in nature.
- Advocating for the child’s access to the appropriate medical subspecialty and surgical specialty services.
- Providing continuity of health care, including prescribing specific rehabilitative therapies as appropriate and periodically reviewing the need to continue such services on the basis of the achievement of common goals.
- Periodic and ongoing counseling for the family regarding the child’s progress and treatment and management options.
- Helping to provide ongoing services that are aimed at preventing secondary disabilities.
Services Provided by Babies Can’t Wait
- Multidisciplinary evaluation to determine eligibility and multidisciplinary assessments to determine the scope of services needed.
- Service coordination that assists the family and other professionals in developing a plan to enhance the child’s development.
- Access to early intervention services identified in the child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
- State funds are available, based on a sliding fee scale, to assist families who are determined by the local BCW Program to be unable to pay.
To refer a family for early intervention services, submit the Children 1st referral click here
Click here to view the Babies Can’t Wait website