Early Intervention (EI) is a collection of programs and services designed to help families of children with or at risk for developmental delays. EI builds upon natural learning occurring in the first years of life. Early Intervention Services may include:
- Early Identification, Screening and Assessment
- Speech Pathology and Audiology
- Special Instruction
- Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy
- Family Trainings
Preschool children ages three through school age are eligible to receive services if they have a significant developmental delay of 25% of their chronological age in one or more of the five domains of cognitive readiness skills, communication skills, gross motor skills, self-help skills, and behavioral/social/adaptive skills; or a physical disability, hearing loss or vision loss, or a known physical or mental condition which has a high probability for developmental delays.
Upon referral to the EI multidisciplinary team, young children are screened and/or evaluated. Children found to be eligible for special education services have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed to meet their individual needs. This written plan is developed by a team of parents and professionals and reflects the child’s unique needs and strengths. These plans are delivered in one of the CIU 20 preschool classrooms, regular preschool classrooms within the child’s community, or with agencies contracted by CIU 20 in Northampton, Monroe, and Pike counties. Early Intervention services can be delivered through consultation, monitoring, itinerant or class setting.
Specialized Early Intervention Class
A classroom setting designed by the special education team to meet the needs of developmentally delayed students in the educational environment which include typically developing peers as role models. Currently EI has specialized programs for children with multiple disabilities, speech and language needs, and therapeutic needs.
Speech and Language Support
Services are given to children who have difficulty saying sounds, using and understanding language and/or who require a communication method other than speech (communication boards, sign language).
Services are given to children with an identified hearing loss that significantly affects their development.
Services are given to children with a diagnosed visual impairment that significantly affects their development.
Orientation and Mobility
Services are given to children with a severe visual impairment and who need assistance learning to navigate within their environment.
Services are given to children who are unable to access their classroom environment due to motor impairments.
Services are given to children who have difficulty with balance, coordination, body awareness, and sensory input.
Behavior Management and Consultation and Monitoring
Services are given when children have severe problems following directions, accepting limits, socializing with peers and participating in regular nursery, daycare, early intervention, and/or in the home setting.
Consultation/assessment for specific concerns the team may have regarding the children in the program.
The EI staff provides family support that is individual to the family’s needs. This may include referral to other community agencies, information on specific areas of interest and coordination of their children’s educational program.
Early Intervention Topics/Trainings
Periodic workshops are scheduled on topics of interest for parents, childcare provides, and educators. This provides a network of current information and a time for sharing ideas and concerns with others.
CIU 20 contacts physicians, school districts, nursery schools, and daycares on an ongoing basis to explain EI services. EI staff participates in the local Interagency Coordinating Councils and other community groups.
Curriculum and Instruction
All Early Intervention programs use the Creative Curriculum, a developmentally appropriate curriculum for children that is based on research and theory and focuses on how children learn, the learning environment, what children learn, the teacher’s role, and the family’s role. The Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum assesses a child’s progress with respect to the goals of the general education curriculum. Ongoing information is collected over a period of time using direct observation of the child during classroom activities. The Creative Curriculum addresses social/emotional development, physical development, cognitive development and language and literacy.
Specialized classrooms use the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) which assesses basic learner skills, academic, self-help and motor skills. The Hawaii Early Learning Profile Strands (HELP) which assesses regulatory/sensory organization, cognitive, language, gross motor, fine motor, social/emotional, and self-help skills is also used.