You may believe your young child has a delay or a regression in their development. If so, one of the first things that you need to do is speak with your child’s doctor about what you suspect. Your child’s doctor may agree with you and send you to the Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECI) near you for an evaluation. If they don’t, you have the right to call your county’s ECI services directly. ECI services help young children (birth to 3 years) with delays or disabilities.
ECI is a system of services which looks at all areas of a child’s development - physical, cognitive, speech, social-emotional and self-help skills. Evaluations are done so the delays can be found and a plan made to help your child. When a delay is identified, specific supports are provided. When my daughter was one year-old, she only needed speech therapy. Starting this young with supports for speech helped her reach her fullest speech potential.
Services are usually provided in the home or at the child’s daycare. They are most always provided in the child’s natural and typical settings. You and a team of trained ECI workers will work together to make these decisions. Remember, the earlier the child gets services, the better.
Services are provided on a sliding fee scale. Insurance may also be billed. Evaluations and assessments are at no cost to families.
If you are a parent or caregiver that has concerns about your child’s development, ECI can help. The earlier supports are put in place, the better. You can learn more about ECI on this website at What is the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Program.