CMU’s Early Intervention Service Coordination is provided for infants and toddlers, ages birth through two, who reside in Dauphin County. Early Intervention is the practice of identifying and addressing developmental delays, disabilities and the unique needs of children and their families/caregivers in early life. Our goal is to help you help your child develop to his/her fullest potential. A developmental evaluation is available for all infants or toddlers in order to determine their eligibility and need for early intervention services. Children eligible for early intervention services must have an identified developmental delay or disability in at least one of the following areas:
- Physical development: the ability to move, see, and hear
- Cognitive development: the ability to think and learn
- Language/speech development: the ability to talk and express needs
- Social and emotional development: the ability to relate to others
- Self help development: the ability to eat, dress, and take care of themselves
Infants and toddlers who are not eligible for early intervention services may be eligible for screening and tracking. This includes children who are or were:
- Less than three and one-half pounds at birth
- Cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit
- Born to chemically dependent mothers
- Seriously abused or neglected
- Confirmed to have dangerous lead levels
Referral and Intake Process
Anyone interested in making or inquiring about referrals or intakes for Early Intervention services may call 232-8761. Please request an Early Intervention intake and your call will be forwarded to the appropriate staff within our agency.
Referral Contact – You will be asked to provide basic information about your child, such as name, address, telephone number, date of birth, and concerns regarding your child’s development.
Intake Appointment – The next step is the intake appointment. After the referral is taken, a case manager will contact you to schedule an intake at a time and place convenient for you, usually your home. At the intake, the case manager will provide you with information regarding services and will collect information from you pertaining to your child’s birth history, present skills, and other information needed to make a referral for a comprehensive developmental evaluation. Agencies for the evaluation will be discussed, as well as where you would like it to be held.
Evaluation – The evaluation should look at all areas of your child’s development, with particular attention to any area of concern that you have. Your participation as a parent or caregiver is very important as a member of the team. This team consists of the parents, the case manager, and at this point, the evaluation team. During the evaluation, the team will discuss the good things your child is doing, as well as identify any concerns. If there are areas of delay, your child may be eligible for early intervention services or supports.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) – The next step is the development of a written plan detailing the EI services and supports your child will receive. The IFSP helps you decide how EI services will help your child and family during their regular routines. The plan is based on your child’s strengths and your family’s concerns and priorities for your child. Services are provided in natural environments, meaning places that are natural or normal for a child of that age who have no disabilities. The initial IFSP should be developed within 45 days of your referral to this agency.
Services – After the IFSP, referrals will be made to agencies of your choice who offer any of the services identified at the IFSP meeting. These services will be at a frequency determined by you at the IFSP meeting, and in conjunction with the therapist. If, at any time, these services are not meeting the needs of your child and family, changes can be made by discussion with the team. At any time, changes can also be made based on your child’s and family’s needs and priorities.
Monitoring – An ongoing relationship continues between the case manager and your family. Their job is to make sure all services are provided according to the IFSP, and to make sure you are satisfied with these services.
Transition – Early Intervention services don’t end at the age of three, but there are different agencies who provide services after the third birthday. Your case manager is responsible for helping you have a smooth transition to further services should your child need them.