Early Intervention Services
EI supports families in developing the skills to help their children learn and grow. Services are delivered through a parent coaching model in each family’s home or other care giving settings. Services are available for children from birth to three years who have developmental delays in one or more or the following areas: cognitive, physical, communication, self-help, and/or social skills. EI services are also provided to children who have medically diagnosed conditions that are likely to result in a developmental delay later in the child’s development.
The focus of Oregon’s Early Intervention program is to build the family’s capacity to meet the special needs of the child with a disability. Most interventions are provided to the child within everyday routines, activities, and places within their natural environment. Family members or caregivers are shown strategies for teaching the child in situations where and when a skill is used.
Early Intervention services may include:
- Home Visits by specialists or therapists that focus on increasing a child’s skill development in areas identified by the team and on coaching parents in specific techniques or strategies to further expand a child’s skills or increase participation in family routines.
- Parent-Toddler Groups which provide parents with opportunities to learn specific intervention strategies for teaching their children. Children also have opportunities for social and communication interaction, skill development, and practice in an enriched and guided environment.
- Structured Class (Applied Behavior), recommended for children who are two years old who have autism spectrum disorder and require a highly specialized, intensive intervention program.
- Direct Therapy, provided to those children who have specific therapy needs. Training and/or consultation from a therapist are provided to EI specialists and parents as needed. Related service providers will offer ways to support and train the EI specialist so they have the knowledge and skills to work effectively on motor and communication goals.
- Connections to Community Resources Specialists and therapists may assist parents as they identify community-based providers or services (support groups, social services, community activities, and so on).
- Information from a variety of sources (articles, Internet, library, videos, etc.) about typical child development, your child’s specific disability, assistive technology and equipment, use of an interpreter, and so on.
Levels of service in each of these options vary and are based on the needs of the child and family.