Your child and family may be eligible for early intervention services if one of the following criteria is determined during an evaluation:
- A delay of 25% or more in one area of development
- Atypical development or behavior that puts a child at risk for a delay
- A diagnosed condition with a high probability of delay
Step 1: Make a Referral
When there is a concern about a child’s development, a referral can be made by parents, caregivers, physicians, or social service providers. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to call 410-424-3260. Referrals can also be faxed to 410-424-3270.
Step 2: Participate in an Intake/Screening
Once a referral has been made, a staff member will be assigned to contact the family. A home visit or telephone appointment is scheduled to determine how ITP can best help based on a child’s needs and parent concerns. The staff member will gather information about the child’s medical and developmental history. If a full-evaluation is warranted, a date will be scheduled and consent forms will be reviewed. The staff member will provide the family with information to prepare for the evaluation. These forms include:
- Parental Rights Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- What to Expect During Your Child’s Evaluation
- Intake Form (for parents to complete and bring to evaluation.)
- MSDE Documents and Brochures, including Parent Information Series.
Step 3: Participate in a Full Evaluation
Your child will be evaluated by at least two staff members from different disciplines, such as special education and speech therapy. Parents are active participants in the evaluation. The evaluation is play-based, which means that ITP staff will use toys and other materials to determine if your child is demonstrating age-appropriate skills and concepts. Because the evaluators may not observe all of a child’s skills during this evaluation, we rely on parent report to supplement direct observations. At the end of the evaluation, the evaluators will briefly review their impressions and discuss eligibility. If the child is eligible, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be developed by the evaluators and the parents.
Step 4: Participate in an IFSP Meeting
The IFSP is a written document that outlines the following:
- Your child’s present levels of performance and current strengths and needs as determined by the intake and evaluation.
- Your family’s priorities, concerns, and resources.
- The outcomes that parents and the ITP staff would like the child to achieve including strategies and learning opportunities.
- The services needed to achieve the outcomes.