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Early Intervention/Development

Early Intervention FAQ

What is Early Intervention (EI)?

Simply put, Early Intervention encompasses services designed to help children with developmental delays. In addition, these services/supports lend an important helping hand to these families as they guide their children through the critical first few years of life. Early Intervention can help you help your child through the following:

Give parents/families a better understanding of their child’s development
Allow for better interaction with your child both in and out of the home
Provide a tool for furthering development and education of your child
Bringing more independence to your child’s life
Preventing the need for future intervention, which may in turn be more costly

What are EI Services?

‘Early intervention services can include, among other things, information on how children develop, early childhood education and interventions which can help your child to move his or her body, ideas for how your family can help your child at home and in the community, and plans designed to help you enhance your child’s growing and learning.’ (Taken from Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare website)

It is important to know that EI services are geared towards a ‘family-centered’ approach. Services are provided with your family’s principles in mind, meaning that it is you, the family that is guiding services based on your ideas, concerns, interests, and values.

How do I know if my child is eligible?

The following are BASIC inclusion criteria for EI services:

Children birth to 3 years who have:
Significant delay in one or more areas of development
Known medical conditions that have a high probability of associated delay
A delay documented by a specialist even though it doesn’t show up on the formal evaluation

Children ages 3 years and up who have:
Significant delay in an area of development when compared with other children his/her age
A physical or mental disability, such as: autism/pervasive developmental disorder, serious emotional disturbance, neurological impairment, deafness/hard of hearing, specific learning disability, mental retardation, multiple handicaps, other mental impairment, physical disability, speech impairment or blindness/visual impairment (Taken from PA Dept of Public Welfare website.)
A need for special educational services

Some children who do not qualify for EI services may still qualify for, and certainly benefit from, ‘tracking services.’ Such children include:

Less than 3 and – pounds birth weight
Those children that spent time in the NICU
Those born to mothers with chemical dependence
Those with dangerous levels of lead poisoning
Those who have suffered abuse or neglect

Early Intervention Phone Numbers

County Birth to Three Years Three Years and Up
Adams 717-632-8040 717-624-6475
Cumberland 717-240-6320 717-732-8400
Dauphin 717-232-8761 717-732-8400
Franklin 717-264-2184 717-263-1732
Fulton 717-264-5387 717-899-7143
Juniata 717-242-0351 717-899-7143
Lancaster 717-399-7323 717-665-2366
Lebanon 717-274-3415 717-665-2366
Mifflin 717-242-0351 717-899-7143
Perry 717-240-6320 717-732-8400
York 717-771-9618 717-757-1531