What is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention is an entitlement program through the federal government. Any child who is found to be eligible for Early Intervention services is entitled to receive the services in their natural environment on days and times that are convenient for families. Early Intervention is not income-based and is available to any child who meets the eligibility criteria based on an initial evaluation.
Getting Started in Early Intervention
If you have concerns that your child may be delayed or to find out more about the Early Intervention program, your first step will be to contact the Early Intervention program for your specific county.
For the counties in which we provide services, the Early Intervention referral phone numbers are:
- Allegheny County: 412-885-6000 for The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers
- Armstrong/Indiana: 724-545-1234 for the Family Counseling Center (Armstrong County) or 724-465-5576 for the Community Guidance Center (Indiana County)
- Beaver County: 724-891-2827 for the Beaver County Base Service Unit
- Butler County: 724-431-3748 for the Center for Community Resources
- Clarion County: 814-226-1080 for the Center for Community Resources
- Lawrence County: 724-658-3578 x609 for Marci Mastrangelo at Human Services Center
- Mercer County: 724-662-2230 for the Central Intake Unit
- Venango County: 814-432-9100 for the Venango County Early Intervention Office
- Washington County: 724-229-2620 or 866-765-2888 for the Washington County Human Service Center
Once you have made contact directly with your county, the county will assign a Service Coordinator (SC) to work with your family. The SC will contact you to schedule a time to come to your home to complete an intake packet which will help them learn more about your child and family as well as provide you with more information about the Early Intervention program. During the intake, the SC will also discuss the next step in the process which is to schedule a Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation (MDE). The SC will schedule the MDE to be held in your home with an independent assessment team at a time that is convenient for your family. The MDE is a developmental evaluation that is free of cost to children birth to three and will look at five areas of your child's development. The areas that the evaluation will assess are:
- Physical development
- Speech and Language development
- Cognitive development
- Adaptive development/ Self-help skills
- Social and Emotional development
Once the evaluation is complete, the independent assessment team will discuss the results with you and will determine if your child's delays meet the state's eligibility requirements. A child can qualify for Early Intervention services in one of 3 ways :
- A diagnosis or condition that puts the child at risk for high probability of developmental delay
- A qualifying score of a 25% delay or more in any of the developmental areas assessed
- The team may use Informed Clinical Opinion if the specialists determine that your child's delays are not being accurately captured using the standardized testing tool, but your child is at risk for delay.
Once eligibility is determined, all families are given a choice of agencies that are available to provide services in your area. Please tell your SC that you choose Pediatric Therapy Professionals (PTP) to provide your child's services.
After you have selected PTP, your SC will discuss plans to complete an Individualized Family Service Plan where you will develop goals that your therapist will help you and your child work to accomplish.