Family Guide for Early Intervention and Inclusion in Allegheny County

A Guide for Families: Early Intervention In Allegheny County

Early Intervention programs employ professional, degreed therapists who are expert at helping a child reach their full potential.

If a parent or caregiver has concerns, they can request an early intervention evaluation. An evaluation can cover one or more areas of development and will help to determine if your child can benefit from early intervention services. Parents and caregivers may elect to participate in an evaluation to put their mind at ease about the development of their child.

If your child qualifies for services, you will acquire strategies and tactics that work with your family’s daily routines, at a time and pace that is appropriate for you. There is no judgement and no predetermined solution, but rather an individualized approach for your child.

The Benefits of Early Intervention

Early intervention services are important to improving a child’s development, both in how they directly impact the child and how they benefit the family by strengthening and empowering a nurturing environment. There are a number of benefits to receiving early intervention services, including that it:

  • improves and enhances the development of a child with developmental delays, special needs, or other concerns;
  • provides assistance and support to empower families of children with developmental delays, special needs, or other concerns; and
  • lays a foundation that will improve the life of the child and offer greater opportunities. 

Information via TEIS

Statewide Resources

Pennsylvania’s Early Intervention program provides support and services to families with children, from birth to age five, with developmental delays and disabilities. Early intervention builds upon the natural learning opportunities that occur within the daily routines of a child and their family.

Early Intervention supports services and resources for children that enhance daily opportunities for learning and are provided in settings where a child would be if they did not have a developmental delay or disability. Additionally, these services and resources provide families with independence and competencies, and respect families’ strengths, values, and diversity. Supports and services are designed to meet the developmental needs of children with a delay or disability, as well as the needs of the family related to enhancing the child’s development in one or more of the following development areas:

  • physical (including vision and hearing);
  • cognitive;
  • communication;
  • social or emotional; and
  • adaptive.

Parents who have questions about their child’s development may call the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288. The CONNECT Helpline assists families in locating resources and providing information regarding child development for children ages birth to age five. In addition, CONNECT can assist parents by making a direct link to their county Early Intervention program or local pre-k Early Intervention program. If you are unable to connect with your EI program, or you have difficulty starting tele-intervention services, please email the Office of Child Development and Early Learning at ra-ocdintervention@pa.gov.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education also provides a digital introduction guide to early intervention in both English and Spanish.

Local Resources

Families have the right to choose a specific EI provider to provide their child’s ongoing services.

A PDF of this family guide is available for download. (En Español)

Picture: Young children sitting on a carpet, playing with small toys and cards. In the center, a young boy in orange looks off to the left.

Series Navigation

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series highlights several early childhood topics to support parents and caregivers who are caring for young children. Use the list below to navigate through each series topic:

Learn more about the series.

 

Picture: A young baby looks up at the camera.
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