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When it comes to autism, early intervention is key. That’s why, for our next part of the Autism A to Z series, I is for Intervention. I was debating if this should be about integration or intervention or IEP or IFSP, and I think that they’re all important to know.


So after we talk about intervention, we’ll also talk about integration in another post. IEP and IFSP will also be covered in another post though I’m not exactly sure when these posts will happen. But rest assured that they will happen. And if you’ve missed any part of this series so far, please be sure to check out Autism A to Z.


I is for Intervention


Our Early Intervention Journey


Sweet B was diagnosed with autism before her 2nd birthday. She had already been receiving speech, occupational, and physical therapy at home and we also had a special education specialist coming in. All of these services were made possible by the Early Intervention program in our county. But just what is early intervention and does it really make a difference?


To answer the second- yes, it absolutely makes a difference.


What are early intervention services?


And to answer the first, Early Intervention in it’s simplest terms, is defined as follows: a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities.


According to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), a baby or toddler is eligible by the following criteria:


  1. are experiencing developmental delays, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following five areas: cognitive development, physical development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; or
  2. have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.


The IDEA requires that early intervention services be provided, to the maximum extent appropriate, in natural environments. These services can be provided in another setting only when early intervention cannot be achieved satisfactorily for the infant or toddler in a natural environment.


The natural environment includes the home and community settings where children would be participating if they did not have a disability. Each child’s individualized family service plan (IFSP) must contain a statement of the natural environments in which early intervention services will be provided, including a justification of the extent, if any, to which the services will not be provided in a natural environment.


What services are provided with Early Intervention?


Services include helping babies and toddlers meet developmental milestones that they may not be meeting in their own. These milestones include:


  • physical (reaching, rolling, crawling, and walking);
  • cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems);
  • communication (talking, listening, understanding);
  • social/emotional (playing, feeling secure and happy); and
  • self-help (eating, dressing).


(Center for Parent Information and Resources, accessed 4/9/2015)

So how do you access early intervention services in your state? By finding the lead agency in your state.

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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Natali McKee
9 years ago

I agree 100% Early Intervention made a HUGE difference with my boys!