Early Intervention Website by the Department of Education
311 (ask for Early Intervention)
The Early Intervention (EI) Program helps young children (birth to 3 years) who are not learning, playing, growing, talking, or walking like other children their age. The program works with your family to set goals for your child and create a plan to help your child and your family meet these goals.
EI provides free, evidence-based physical, cognitive, social, and adaptive therapies for children under 3 years of age with developmental delays. It is available to all eligible New York City children, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, disability, or immigration status, and services are provided at no cost.
Children that are eligible for Early Intervention services (therapy) are those who:
► Are younger than 3 years old (must refer before 2 years and 11 months)*
► Have a delay in one or more of the following areas of development: physical (motor skills), cognitive, communications (verbal/talking), social-emotional, and/or adaptive.
In order to receive services, a child must have a 33% delay in one functional area or a 25% delay in 2 or more areas. Exception: If a child has only a communication delay, they have to score 2 standards below the mean in an assessment of that skill. Children with known medical diagnoses that have a high probability of resulting in developmental delay such as Down’s Syndrome are automatically eligible for services.
*If your child is 2 years 11 months or older and you think he needs special education, visit “Preschool Special Education Services”.
How can I get services?
Speak to a social worker for assistance (ask your child’s doctor for a referral). Doctors can also make a referral by completing the Early Intervention Program Referral Form. Alternatively, you can call 311 and ask for “Early Intervention Evaluation Services”.
Important note: Expect delays from the EI agency that will provide evaluation services for your child. During the pandemic, operations have changed as well as the availability of service providers. Please be patient while EI agents are doing their best to contact your family.
What happens after my child gets referred?
1. A service coordinator will contact you. They will explain what are the EI services, begin the evaluation process, and then select with you an agency to use for the evaluation. (This same person will continue to provide assistance while your child is in the program.)
2. Your child will have an evaluation by a specialist from the agency you select. The evaluation will tell you if your child is behind in developing skills compared to other children their age (like taking the first step, smiling, waving).
3. If your child has a delay, they may be eligible for EI services.
Remember that therapeutic early intervention services have been shown to improve developmental outcomes, mitigate behavioral concerns, and increase caregiver confidence.
Early Intervention handout.
Spanish Early Intervention handout.
Find more information about EI services in NYC by visiting the EIP website by NYC Health.
Preschool Special Education Services by the NYC Department of Education
Contact Your District’s Committee on Preschool Special Education Services by email
The Early Intervention (EI) Program provides services to families concerned about their child’s development. These services are provided free of charge to families.
If you are concerned about your child’s development and you are interested in a preschool special education evaluation, you can write a letter to your local Committee of Preschool Special Education CPSE . This letter is called an “initial referral” and it must be made in writing.
Handout about requesting special education services
Spanish Handout about requesting special education services
Preschool Special Education Services Template Letter.
Preschool Special Education Services Template Letter with Spanish instructions.
You may provide the referral to your CPSE in person, by fax, or by mail. To find out which CPSE covers your child’s home address and to get your CPSE office’s contact information visit this website. You will need to know your child’s school district. To find that district, look up your school’s address with the Find a School tool.
Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are a part of public education. They are given to eligible kids who attend public school. That includes charter schools. Furthermore, students with IEPs participate in the same admissions processes as their non-disabled peers. All schools serve students with disabilities.
An IEP is a map that lays out the program of special education instruction, supports, and services kids need to make progress and thrive in school. The term IEP is also used to refer to the written plan that spells out the specific types of help kids will get.
IEP handout and template letter of request for an evaluation
Spanish IEP handout and template letter of request for an evaluation
ARCH NYC Headquarters
83 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038
AHRC is a family governed organization committed to finding ways for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to build full lives as defined by each person and supported by dedicated families, staff, and community partners. Find services from medical and dental care, school services, and recreational programs.
AHRC’s ACCESS Community Health Center located in downtown Manhattan offers evaluations, therapy, and a full range of primary and specialty health care services, including a special needs dental clinic.
Most insurance plans are accepted. Sliding scale for the uninsured. Call 212-895-3410 for more info or to schedule an appointment.
AHRC runs various educational programs:
—Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School for children ages 5 to 12 with autism spectrum disorders.
—AHRC Middle/High School for ages 13 to 21 who are classified with autism spectrum disorders, emotional disturbances, multiple disabilities, or other health impairments.
Children ages 3 to 5: can receive evaluations at no direct cost to families through the Early Intervention service system. These services are funded through the state and city in accordance with federal law. The child with a suspected developmental delay will need an Early Intervention Services Coordinator. For more information on preschool services, call the intake coordinator at 800-459-7596.
Various activities, including social groups for children, theater, sports, and arts and crafts, are available for all ages. Travel and vacations are even made possible for adults with disabilities. For information about activities taking place in all five boroughs, call AHRC’s Referral and Information Center at 212-780-4491 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.