What is Early Intervention?

Early intervention (EI) programs are services made available for children under three years of age, who have a developmental delay or a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay in any of the developmental areas:

  • cognitive;
  • physical, including vision and hearing;
  • communication;
  • social or emotion; or
  • adaptive

EI services provided usually include:

  • screening and evaluation,
  • service coordination,
  • family training,
  • counseling,
  • home visits,
  • parent support groups,
  • speech pathology,
  • audiology,
  • vision services,
  • physical therapy,
  • occupational therapy,
  • nutrition services,
  • nursing services,
  • psychological therapy,
  • social work services,
  • special instruction,
  • transportation, and
  • assistive technology devices and services.

These services are provided at no cost to families, and are determined on an individual basis.

Following a referral to the Early Intervention (EI) Program, a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation is performed to determine a child's eligibility for EI services. Once eligibility is determined, a representative of the evaluation team, county EI official, service coordinator, the child's parents, and anyone else requested by the parents, develop an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) that provides EI services.

Early Intervention Resources

To find out who to speak to about referring your child for EI services in your area, you can contact the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities or call 1-800-695-0285. Your local Department of Health or Department of Mental Health may also provide you with information on how you may apply for Early Intervention services in your state.

Recommended Books

Clinical Practice Guideline - Report of the Recommendations - Autism/PDD, Assessment and Intervention for Young Children (Age 0-3 Years)

The book Clinical Practice Guideline - Report of the Recommendations - Autism/PDD, Assessment and Intervention for Young Children (Age 0-3 Years), 1999 Publication No. 4215, sponsored by NYS Dept. of Health EI Program, may prove to be useful in your understanding of EI services. Single copies are available free of charge to residents of NYS by fax requests only at (518) 486-2361 or print publication form at: www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/eip/index.htm


Families Generally Happy with Initial Early Intervention Services Study Shows

Note: News articles online may be available for a short period of time.

Characteristics for autism

Return to Home page