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
• Developmental therapy
• Family training, counseling, and home visits
• Health consultation
• Medical services (diagnostic/evaluation purposes only)
• Nursing (during therapy sessions only)
• Occupational therapy
• Physical therapy
• Psychological and other counseling services
How do I refer a child for Early Intervention Services?
Referrals to Child & Family Connections (CFC) can be made by a family member, doctor, day care provider, or anyone concerned about the development of a child who is under 36 months old. To make a referral, call the Intake Coordinator at 815-477-4720 ext. 238 or click here.
The Intake Coordinator will take basic contact information for the child, who will then be assigned to a Service Coordinator (SC). The Service Coordinator will contact the child’s family to set up a meeting to obtain information and written permission from the parent/legal guardian to proceed. The SC will help the family understand their rights under Part C Early Intervention, including the right to free evaluations. The SC will help the family coordinate when and where the evaluations will take place.
What Happens Next?
Once a child is determined eligible, the SC will assist the family in determining desired outcomes (goals) for their child’s development through the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and then link families to services. The SC provides ongoing support and service coordination while the child is receiving services.
If a child is found ineligible for Early Intervention services, the SC and the Parent Liaison will help the family identify other resources to meet their needs.
If you have concerns about the development of your child who is over age 3, you can receive a screening through your local school district. For the current contact information, dates and locations of upcoming screenings for each local school district, please click here
Who qualifies for Early Intervention services?
A child may be determined to be eligible in a variety of ways:
If a child presents a 30% or greater delay that impacts one of the 5 main domains of development as confirmed by a multidisciplinary team - click here to learn about the 5 main domains of development
Certain medical diagnoses make a child automatically eligible - click here to see a list of qualifying diagnoses
A child may qualify if they are found to be "At Risk"
Who pays for Early Intervention services?
Early Intervention services are paid for with a combination of government and family resources. The cost of some services are paid by the program and provided to families at no cost. These include evaluation, assessment, development of a service plan, and service coordination. Ongoing Early Intervention services can be paid for by the family’s health insurance, when appropriate, government insurance (All Kids), and program funds. Families contribute to the cost of services by paying fees based on a sliding scale.
Who decides what services my child will receive?
A team including parents, a service coordinator and therapists create the service plan for the family.
How soon do services start?
Typically, a family service plan is done within 45 days and services will begin within 90 days.
Who is on my child's team?
The first person you will need is your service coordinator. He or she will talk with you about your concerns about your child's development, and guide you in the next steps of the program.
Your EI service coordinator has the following responsibilities:
Serve as the first point of contact in the EI system
Coordinate evaluations to determine eligibility for services
Help families understand their roles and legal rights in the EI system
Assist the family and other EI team members in developing and implementing the IFSP
Contact the family monthly while the child is in EI
Develop and maintain the case record for the child and family
Assist the families with transitioning at the age of three to school district services if eligible or other community resources.
Parent Liaison services are provided by parents of children with disabilities or delays who have experienced the Early Intervention system. The position was designed with you, the parent, in mind. Parent Liaison services are provided at no cost to families.
Services & Supports:
Information about Early Intervention
Specific Disability Information
Family Centered Events
Being available when you need to talk
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or if you just need to talk. I am here for you and your family. Click here to read more.
Angela Krambeer 815-477-4720 ext. 238 firstname.lastname@example.org
How long will services continue?
Services continue until there is no longer a need for them or until your child turns 3. If services are needed after age 3 a referral is made to the local school district so that special education services can continue to provide needed assistance.
Do I have to go somewhere for services?
No, meetings and therapies are designed to be delivered in the natural environment.
What is a live video visit?
Live video visits (e.g., telehealth or teletherapy) enable you and your child to receive early intervention (EI) services. Live video visits may be new to you. Below, we provide some ways live video visits compare with in-person EI visits.
Similarities between live video visits and in-person visits:
You will continue to meet with your Service Coordinator for your EI services.
You will continue to receive coaching from your Service Coordinator about how to support your child.
Billing will remain the same regardless of whether the EI session is via live video visit or in-person.
The use of interpreters and co-treatment can still occur regardless of whether the EI session is via live video visit or in-person.
You may use items and resources in your home to incorporate them into the EI session.
Initial, annual, review, and exit Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings can be conducted via live video visits.
Documentation is the same for live video visits and in-person visits.
Differences between live video visits and in-person visit:
Live video visits are conducted via an Internet platform. Live video visits are not conducted in-person.
In live video visits, your provider may share resources with you over the Internet platform (versus in-person).
If you agree to live video visits, you will need to provide consent to your service coordinator.
Prior to implementing live video visits, EI personnel need to complete required teletherapy training.
Live video visits will NOT be recorded.
Families cannot be asked to encounter financial hardship (e.g., buying equipment or Internet service) to receive live video visits. Live video visits can look different depending on the context, the child, the service being provided, and a variety of other scenarios.
Live video visits for early intervention and examples of using coaching in live video visits: