Early Intervention (EI) Program - Fact Sheet

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What is Early Intervention (EI)?

  • A federal, state and local collaboration that grew out of federal legislation (Public Law 99-457: Public Law 101-476) servicing the family and their child under age three who has documented or suspected developmental delays, or disabilities. 

Local Lead Agency:                                                  

  • Erie County Department of Public Health

Mandated Services:                    

  • Developmental monitoring for families of children at risk
  • Child Find                  
  • Multidisciplinary Evaluation          
  • Public Awareness
  • Monitoring Service Delivery        
  • Individualized Family Service Plan         
  • Service Coordination                                     

Target Population:

  • All children birth through two who:
  • Have a confirmed developmental delay
  • Have a medical or physical diagnosis with a high probability of developmental delay
  • Have been screened and found to need further evaluation
  • Are suspected of or at high risk for developmental delays in one or more of the following domains:   
    • Cognitive
    • Communication
    • Gross/fine motor
    • Social/emotional
    • Adaptive (self help).

Voluntary Entitlement:  

  • Parents must agree to participate; the service is to assist them with enhancing their child’s development.

Role of Service Coordinator:

  • Providing information, advocacy                    
  • Facilitating evaluation, linking with resources
  • Coordinating across agency lines                   
  • Helping parent develop an IFSP                                
  • Monitoring delivery of services and due process      

Sources of Referrals:

  • Primary medical provider       
  • Community based programs/agencies  
  • Parent/Relatives    
  • NICU, Hospital Outpatient Clinics   
  • Human Services   
  • Local School Districts  
  • Other

When to Refer:

  • When a child has a definite delay or diagnosed condition with a high probability of delay; referral should be made within two working days                 
  • If delay is questionable or other circumstances are present, the referral may involve judgement as to the best time to refer. Feel free to contact EI to discuss (716) 858-6374.).
  • When primary medical provider feels that parent will benefit from further information, support, and guidance in seeking evaluation/services for a child

How to Refer: 

  • Contact the Early Intervention Program at (716) 858-6374.

Process after referral:

  • Service Coordinator makes initial visit to explain program and get signed consents
  • Evaluation or screening takes place to determine eligibility (delay must be 33% in one or 25% in two developmental domains, or if the child’s communication is the only concern, then 2 standard deviations below the mean or other criteria as indicated in the NYS Regulations).
  • Service Plan is prepared and services begin for those families of children who are found eligible; developmental monitoring is offered to families of ineligible children or families with children at risk.
  • Ongoing Service Coordinator monitors service delivery, plans reviews and assists with transition of the child out of EI into either continued special needs services or community program.

Frequently Requested

Contact

Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations

Western New York 211