Here are the most commonly asked questions and answers about early intervention services.
- How do I refer a child? For children ages birth – 3 years old call 311 in NYC or 914-813-5094 in Westchester County for the Early Intervention Program. For children ages 3 – 4 contact your local school district to begin the referral process through Preschool Special Education. For private referrals contact our offices at 212.787.9700 x0 and ask for Damaris Santiago, LMSW.
- How long does it take for the evaluation process? Most evaluations can be completed within a few weeks, and then a meeting is scheduled to review the results and determine if your child is eligible to receive services under early intervention.
- What are Home/Community Based Evaluations? Evaluations of your child’s progress which are done in your home or a community setting.
- What are Home/Community Based Intervention Services? These are services such as speech therapy and special instruction which can be conducted in the child’s home.
- I was told to have my baby evaluated, but I think my baby is OK. What should I do? The decision to have an evaluation is up to you, the parent. The process is completely voluntary. Further, when the evaluations are completed, the decision to have your child receive services is also completely voluntary. If you suspect that your child may need extra stimulation or services that will increase their development in one or more areas, then it is advisable to have an evaluation. Then, you decide if you wish to accept the recommendations of the evaluation team.
- People say my child will grow out of it, and not to bother doing anything now. Shouldn’t I just wait and see if my child improves? You can wait and see if your child improves or catches up, even if they are somewhat behind in a developmental area. However, our approach is to be proactive. Our philosophy is when in doubt, check it out. An evaluation can tell you if an early childhood professional believes your child needs any extra help in an area of development, or not. Having a professional opinion can ease your mind and answer your questions.
- Does intervention really help? Most children improve with the help of intervention. Some children improve very quickly, and some more slowly. If you feel your child is improving quickly, share your observations with your therapist. Also, if you have concerns that your child is not learning quickly enough then share that as well to determine if other therapies may also be needed.