Eligibility & Screening

Two girl toddlers sitting at a table learning from an early intervention services provider and father
Baby crawling on the floor with mother smiling in background

Parents often wonder what to expect when it comes to their child’s development

Babies and toddlers grow and develop at their own pace, but there are certain activities – such as smiling for the first time, standing and taking their first steps – that your child should be able to do once they reach specific ages. These skills are called developmental milestones. If you’re worried your child is not developing these skills on time, Early Steps can help.

Children can be referred to Early Steps in various ways. Referrals can be submitted by anyone involved in the care of the child, including parents/caregivers and physicians. To be enrolled in Early Steps, your child must first be found eligible.

In addition to the eligibility criteria below, children with certain documented physical or mental at-risk conditions are also eligible for a limited scope of services.

Established Conditions

Children who have an established condition that place them at risk of developmental delay may be eligible for services through Early Steps.

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Genetic and Metabolic Disorder

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Neurological Disorder

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Severe Attachment Disorder

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Sensory Impairment (Vision/Hearing)

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Infants who weigh less than 1,200 grams at birth

Developmental Concerns

If there is currently no diagnosed condition but there are concerns about potential developmental delay, a team of early intervention professionals will collaborate to screen, evaluate and assess your child in the following areas:

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Physical: Health, hearing, vision

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Cognitive: Thinking, learning, problem solving

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Gross and Fine Motor Skills: Moving, walking, grasping, coordination

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Communication: Babbling, languages, speech, conversation

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Social and Emotional: Playing and interacting with others

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Adaptive Development: Self-help skills (feeding, toileting, dressing)

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Eligibility determination

If your child is determined eligible, Early Steps will put together a team to address your child’s needs and develop an Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP). The IFSP team includes the family, service coordinator and at least two professionals from two different disciplines that have been or are currently involved in the assessment and provision of the child’s services. Specialists are also available to address the child’s individualized needs.

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