Early Intervention is not a cure for disabilities or risk conditions. Rather, it is a system of coordinated services that promotes the child's growth and development and supports families during the critical early years. Early Intervention services to eligible children and families are federally mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and in California by S.B. 1085, the California Early Intervention Services Act.
Research shows that participation in family-centered, early intervention services during the first three years of life can have significant effects on the overall development of infants and young children with developmental delays or developmental disabilities.
Infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months may be eligible for early intervention services if through documented evaluation and assessment they meet one of the criteria listed below:
- have a developmental delay in either cognitive, communication, social or emotional, adaptive, or physical and motor development including vision and hearing and are under 24 months of age at the time of referral, with a 33% delay in one or more areas of development or are 24 months of age or older at the time of referral, with a 50% delay in one area of development or a 33% delay in two or more areas of development; or
- have an established risk condition of known etiology, with a high probability of resulting in delayed development.
Within 45 days after referral is received, the Regional Center will:
- Assign a service coordinator to assist the family through evaluation and assessment procedures.
- Obtain parent consent for evaluation.
- Schedule and complete evaluations and assessments for the child's development.
- If an infant or toddler is eligible for early intervention services, develop an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) that addresses the strengths and needs of the infant or toddler, parent concerns, and early intervention services.
- Identify early intervention services that are provided in the family home or other community settings.
Early intervention services under Early Start are provided by regional centers and local education agencies throughout California and may include:
• Assistive technology devices/services
• Audiology (hearing) services
• Family training, counseling and home visits
• Some health services
• Medical services for diagnostic or evaluative purposes only
• Nutrition counseling
• Occupational therapy
• Physical therapy
• Psychological services
• Service Coordination (case management)
• Social work services
• Special instruction
• Speech and language services
• Transportation services
• Vision services
CALIFORNIA EARLY START PROGRAM SERVING INFANTS 0-36 MONTHS FAIR HEARING PROCEDURES
In Early Start, parents have rights and protections to resolve disagreements related to Early Start services or allegations that a federal or state statute or regulation has been violated. The following procedures are only for children under the age of three years.
As a parent, guardian, or surrogate parent you have the right to:
- request a mediation conference and/or a due process hearing any time a regional center or LEA proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, assessment, placement, and/or provision of appropriate early intervention service(s);
- be informed of y our right to file a complaint; and
- file a complaint if you believe there has been a violation of any law governing early intervention services under Early Start.
- Who We Serve
- Services & Programs
- Eligibility Information
- Service Providers
- Board Of Directors
- Contact Us