COVID-19 UPDATE Regarding Early Intervention Services:
- The New York State Early Intervention program has released guidance on providing services virtually. Providers and Service Coordinators are communicating with families about this. If you have questions, contact your Service Coordinator. The Erie County Early Intervention program is continuing to process new referrals virtually. The best way to make a new referral is to call in to our main phone number : 858-6161. Leave a voice mail and our intake worker will retrieve messages and return calls to process new referrals. Faxes can be sent in but will not be addressed as quickly.
- The New York State Preschool Program has also authorized virtual therapy services. For children enrolled in Center Based Programs those programs have been communicating with families and questions should be directed to those programs. For home and community based services therapists have been communicating with families with regard to virtual therapy sessions. Questions should be directed to individual therapists. Most school districts are proceeding with virtual meetings and have been contacting families to arrange meetings. Questions on CPSE meetings should be directed to the CPSE Chairperson at the school district.
- For more information go to erie.gov/covid19
Early Intervention (EI) is a voluntary developmental evaluation and services program offered by New York State and administered locally by the Erie County Department of Health. The County EI Program is subject to NYS regulations. EI serves children from birth through 2 years of age and their families where there is a high risk of delay, a suspected delay in development, or a confirmed diagnosis of developmental disability. 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. If a child is found not eligible, parents can request developmental monitoring.
For more information call (716) 858-6161.
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
The steps in the Early Intervention Process are (see diagram of steps):
- Visit by the Initial Service Coordinator
- A multidisciplinary evaluation to look at the child’s functioning in five areas of development, including the area(s) of concern to determine eligibility
- The IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) meeting to develop a service plan
- Early Intervention services if the child is eligible
- Review after six months/evaluate annually
- Transition to Preschool Special Education (3–5) or to other early childhood services
Early Intervention is administered locally by the Erie County Department of Health.