The birth of a child is an exciting, life-changing event. A beautiful new baby comes to your house, family, and neighborhood. It is a time for celebration. Family members look at the new child and wonder: Will he be a football star, will she be a famous musician, will he discover the cure for cancer, will she become President of the United States?
But what happens when this new child has a disability? What if there are health problems? What if, as time goes by, it seems as if the child isn’t learning and progressing as quickly or easily as other children? What do you do?
This part of our site can help you find answers and people who can help–specifically, through the early intervention system that’s available in every state.
Early intervention is an effective way to help very young children (birth to the third birthday) catch up or address specific developmental concerns as soon as possible in their lives.
Early intervention services are authorized under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. To learn more about these vital services, explore the topics below:
Key Terms to Know in Early Intervention
This page is like visiting a dictionary of important early intervention terms (such as the term “infant or toddler with a disability”). Each definition comes directly from Part C of IDEA.
Parent Notification and Consent
Parents are vital partners in early intervention. Learn about two important building blocks of parent involvement: the right to be fully informed by the early intervention system and the right to give (or decline to give) their written consent for activities involving their child or family.
Writing the IFSP for Your Child
The IFSP is the written plan that parents and professionals put together to address the needs of a baby or toddler. It must have specific information include. Find out how to write an IFSP, what must be included, and what happens after the plan is written.
Providing Services in Natural Environments
Early intervention services are to be provided in natural environments to the maximum extent appropriate. Find out how the law defines “natural environments,” what’s not considered a natural environment, and where to look for more info on this key requirement.
Resources for More Information
Texas Health and Human Services
Early Childhood Intervention
National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC)
National Early Childhood Transition Center
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