Early Intervention Mandated Services


Early intervention services are described in federal regulations for Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), (Section 303.13 and 303.13) which follow. Each term is accompanied by a brief description.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system,…that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities. Assistive technology service means a service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

  1. The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child’s customary environment;
  2. Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
  3. Selecting, designing, fitting customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
  4. Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices…;
  5. Training or technical assistance for a child with disabilities or, if appropriate, that child’s family; and
  6. Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing early intervention services), or other individuals who provide services to, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with disabilities.


  1. Identification of children with auditory impairment;
  2. Determination of the range, nature, and degree of hearing loss and communication functions, by use of audiological evaluation procedures;
  3. Referral for medical and other services necessary for…children with auditory impairment;
  4. Provision of auditory training, aural rehabilitation, speech reading and listening device orientation and training, and other services;
  5. Provision of services for prevention of hearing loss; and
  6. Determination of the child’s need for individual amplification, including selecting, fitting, and dispensing appropriate listening and vibrotactile devices, and evaluating the effectiveness of those devices.

Family Training, Counseling, and Home Visits

“Family training, counseling and home visits” means services provided, as appropriate, by social workers, psychologists, and other qualified personnel to assist the family of a child eligible under this part in understanding the special needs of the child and enhancing the child’s development.

Health Services*

  1. As used in this part, “health services” means services necessary to enable a child to benefit from the other early intervention services under this part during the time that the child is receiving the other early intervention services.
  2. The term includes:
  • Such services as clean intermittent catheterization, tracheotomy care, tube feeding, the changing of dressings or colostomy collection bag, and other health services; and
  • Consultation by physicians with other service providers concerning the special health care needs of eligible children that will need to be addressed in the course of providing other early intervention services.
  1. The term does not include the following:
  • Services that are:
    • Surgical in nature (such as cleft palate surgery, surgery for club foot, or the shunting of hydrocephalus); or
    • Purely medical in nature (such as hospitalization for management of congenital heart ailment, or the prescribing of medicine or drugs for any purpose).
    • Devices necessary to control or treat a medical condition.
    • Medical-health services (such as immunizations and regular “well-baby” care) that are routinely recommended for all children.

Medical Services Only for Diagnostic or Evaluation Purposes

  1. The assessment of health status for the purpose of providing nursing care, including the identification of patterns of human response to actual or potential health problems;
  2. Provision of nursing care to prevent health problems, restore or improve functioning, and promote optimal health and development; and
  3. Administration of medications, treatments, and regimens prescribed by a licensed physician.

Nutrition Services

  1. Conducting individual assessments in:
    1. Nutritional History and dietary intake;
    2. Anthropometric, biochemical, and clinical variables;
    3. Feeding skills and feeding problems; and
    4. Food habits and food preferences;
  2. Developing and monitoring appropriate plans to address the nutritional needs of children eligible under this part, based on the findings in paragraph of this section; and
  3. Making referrals to appropriate community resources to carry out nutrition goals.

Occupational Therapy

Services to address the functional needs of a child related to adaptive development, adaptive behavior and play, and sensory, motor, and postural development. These services are designed to improve the child’s functional ability to perform tasks in home, school, and community settings, and include:

  1. Identification, assessment, and intervention;
  2. Adaptation of the environment, and selection, design and fabrication of assistive and orthotic devices to facilitate development and promote the acquisition of functional skills; and
  3. Prevention or minimization of the impact of initial or future impairment, delay in development, or loss of functional ability.

Physical Therapy

Services to address the promotion of sensorimotor function through enhancement of musculoskeletal status, neurobehavioral organization, perceptual and motor development, cardiopulmonary status, and effective environmental adaptation. These services include:

  1. Screening, evaluation, and assessment of infants and toddlers to identify movement dysfunction;
  2. Obtaining, interpreting and integrating information appropriate to program planning, to prevent or alleviate, or compensate for movement dysfunction and related functional problems; and
  3. Providing individual and group services or treatment to prevent, alleviate, or compensate for movement dysfunction and related functional problems.

Psychological Services

  1. Administering psychological and developmental tests, and other assessment procedures;
  2. Interpreting assessment results;
  3. Obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about child behavior, and child and family conditions related to learning, mental health, and development; and
  4. Planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for children and parents, family counseling, consultation on child development, parent training, and education programs.

Service Coordination

Service Coordination services means assistance and services provided by a service coordinator to a child eligible under this part and the child’s family that are in addition to the functions and activities included under 303.22.

Social Work Services

  1. Making home visits to evaluate a child’s living conditions and patterns of parent-child interaction;
  2. Preparing a social or emotional developmental assessment of the child within the family context
  3. Providing individual and family-group counseling with parents and other family members, and appropriate social skill-building activities with the child and parents;
  4. Working with those problems in a child’s and family’s living situation (home, community, and any center where early intervention services are provided) that affect the child’s maximum utilization of early intervention services; and
  5. Identifying, mobilizing, and coordinating community resources and services to enable the child and family to receive maximum benefit from early intervention service.

Special Instruction

  1. The design of learning environments and activities that promote the child’s acquisition of skills in a variety of developmental areas, including cognitive processes and social interaction;
  2. Curriculum planning, including the planned interaction of personnel, materials, and time and space, that leads to achieving the outcomes in the child’s individualized family service plan;
  3. Providing families with information, skills and support related to enhancing the skill development of the child; and
  4. Working with the child to enhance the child’s development.

Speech-Language Pathology

  1. Identification of children with communicative or oropharyngeal disorders and delays in development of communication skills, including the diagnosis and appraisal of specific disorder and delays in those skills;
  2. Referral for medical or other professional services necessary for the habilitation or rehabilitation of children with communicative or oropharyngeal disorders and delays in development of communication skills; and
  3. Provision of services for the habilitation, rehabilitation, or prevention of communicative or oropharyngeal disorder and delays in development of communication skills.


The cost of travel (for example, mileage, or travel by taxi, common carrier, or other means) and related costs (for example, tolls and parking expenses) that are necessary to enable a child eligible under this part and the child’s family to receive early intervention service.

Vision Services

  1. Evaluation and assessment of visual functioning, including the diagnosis and appraisal of specific visual disorders, delays and abilities;
  2. Referral for medical or other professional services necessary for the habilitation or rehabilitation of visual functioning disorders, or both; and
  3. Communication skills training, orientation and mobility training for all environments, visual training, independent living skills training, and additional training necessary to activate visual motor abilities

Qualified Personnel*

Early intervention services must be provided by qualified personnel, including

  1. Audiologists;
  2. Family therapists;
  3. Nurses;
  4. Nutritionists;
  5. Occupational therapists;
  6. Orientation and mobility specialists;
  7. Pediatricians and other physicians;
  8. Physical therapists;
  9. Psychologists;
  10. Social workers;
  11. Special educators; and
  12. Speech and language pathologists