Early Intervention Services

Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE)

This evaluation will look at all areas of concern as well as any others that were indicated by the preliminary information gathered and screening process. Your participation is very important as a member of the team for the evaluation. This evaluation can take place in your home and will look at five areas of your child’s development.

The five developmental areas are:

    1. Physical Development – ability to move, see and hear
       
    2. Language and Speech Development – ability to talk and express needs
       
    3. Social and Emotional Development – ability to interact with others
       
    4. Adaptive Skills – ability to complete skills used in daily living such as eating and dressing
       
    5. Cognitive Development – ability to think and learn   

The results of this evaluation will determine whether your child is eligible to receive services.
 

Who Is Eligible for Early Intervention Services?

Infant and Toddlers (birth to three years) who have:

  • A significant delay in one or more areas of development
     
  • A physical disability, a hearing loss or vision loss
     
  • A specialist’s determination that there is a delay even if it does not show up on the assessments
     
  • Known physical or mental conditions which have a high probability for developmental delays
     

Where Do Families Receive Services?

In their natural environment, such as, in the child’s home, child care center, nursery, school, play group, Head Start program or other setting based upon the strengths and needs of the child.
 

What Services Are Available? 

  • Service Coordination
     
  • Physical Therapy
     
  • Occupational Therapy
     
  • Special Instruction
     
  • Speech Therapy
     
  • Hearing Impaired Instruction
     
  • Visual Impaired Instruction
     
  • Nutrition
     

Service Coordinators

Assist family’s access and receive services, resources and supports that they need for their child’s development.

Physical Therapy

A certified physical therapist primarily addresses gross motor activities. Physical therapy may improve independence and the quality of movement.   

Occupational Therapy

A certified occupational therapist provides services to address the fine motor needs of children. The occupational therapist works at improving self-help skills such as feeding and dressing and works with sensory integration deficits. 

Speech/Language Pathologist

A certified speech/language pathologist treats children with communication delays or oral pharyngeal disorders. The speech/language pathologist assists children by providing language interventions and strategies and addresses feeding dysfunctions.  

Special Instruction

A certified special education teacher/early childhood teacher assists in the child’s acquisition of skills in a variety of developmental areas.

Hearing Impaired Therapy

A certified hearing impairment teacher assists children and families with communication methods, such as sign language.   

Vision Therapy

A certified teacher of the visually impaired assists children and families with visual strategies.

Nutrition Services

A certified nutritionist conducts assessments, develops and monitors appropriate plans to address nutritional needs, and makes referrals to appropriate community resources.
 

Planning a Successful Transition

When a child turns three years of age, responsibility for funding early intervention services changes from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to the Pennsylvania Department of Educations. This transition will involve a change in who pays for the child’s services and may change the program or placement of services. The Service Coordinator will guide the family and child through this process.