What more do I need to know about Early Intervention?

Early Intervention services are designed to meet an infant’s or toddler’s needs if they are experiencing issues related to 5 specific areas of development. These are:

• Physical (how your baby moves and explores)
• Cognitive (how your baby learns)
• Communication (how your baby lets you know what he/she needs)
• Social-Emotional (how your baby engages with you and shows feelings)
• Adaptive (how your baby uses new skills)

In Illinois, a statewide system called Early Intervention finds and helps arrange for services for children who are eligible for these services. The Principles of Early Intervention in Illinois can be seen by clicking here. This is done in conjunction with federal law that mandates developmental screenings and evaluations are arranged for children under 36 months. A chart indicating some general developmental milestones for children under 36 months can be seen by clicking here.

Another important feature to the Early Intervention program is the focus on providing services in natural environments. This refers to home and community settings in which children without disabilities would participate. The law governing early intervention services mandates that services be provided in natural environments. The principles of services in natural environments can be seen by clicking here.

Sixteen different services are available as needed to families of eligible children in the state of Illinois. These services include:

• Assistive technology and devices
• Audiology
• Developmental therapy
• Family training, counseling, and home visits
• Health consultation
• Medical services (diagnostic/evaluation purposes only)
• Nursing (during therapy sessions only)
• Nutrition
• Occupational therapy
• Physical therapy
• Psychological and other counseling services