Early Intervention Services
Help Me Grow
Ohio’s Early Intervention (EI) program, part of Help Me Grow, supports children from birth through age 2, who are identified with a developmental delay or disability. Early intervention is provided locally in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, with oversight from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. Ohio Early Intervention staff work with parents, community agencies, medical personnel, and childcare providers to provide support to children identified with a disability or developmental delay.
Parents who have concerns regarding their child’s development can refer their infant or toddler to Early Intervention for a no-cost evaluation conducted by an interdisciplinary Early Intervention team. Children are evaluated for delays in the areas of adaptive behavior, communication, fine and gross motor skills, and social-emotional development using appropriate diagnostic tools. Once eligible, the EI team, including the parent, develops an Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP), which identifies goals and EI services in the area(s) of need.
Services through Early Intervention are provided until the child reaches 3 years of age, at which time the child may be evaluated and receive services by the family’s school district of residence. The school district’s evaluation team may include a school psychologist, an intervention specialist, speech-language pathologist, or orientation and mobility specialist.
Early intervention is critical for a child with a sensory disability or co-existing sensory disabilities. Collaboration among service providers and between service providers and the family is essential in building the child’s skills and in providing experiences that support the child’s learning and development. Information about the referral process to Help Me Grow Early Intervention services and related resources for infants and young children (birth to 3 years) with disabilities are available on the Ohio Bold Beginning! and Ohio Early Intervention websites.
Ohio Bold Beginnings
If you suspect your child may have a vision and/or hearing loss
If you suspect your child may have a vision and/or hearing loss, the Decision Tree: Risk Factors and Behavior Suggesting Possible Vision and/or Hearing Concerns in Young and School-Age Children and the web-based Hearing Loss and Vision Impairment Assessments may help guide decision-making to determine the next steps for an individual child. Both of these assessments provide information based upon the abilities of your child.
Early Intervention Decision Tree
Hearing Loss and Vision Impairment Assessments
OCDBE Services for Infants and Toddlers (birth to 3) with Deafblindness
For a child registered on the Ohio Deafblind Census, the Ohio Center for Deafblind Education provides services and supports to the parents and families of young children with a combined vision-hearing loss (deafblindness). Services include information, resources, webinars, scholarships for conference attendance, and consultation for families and service providers through the Deafblind Technical Assistant Program. Click here for more information about Consultation Services.
Additional OCDBE Resources and Information
Parents Guide for the Identification of Children with Deafblindness
The Parents and Families Guide for the Identification of Children with Deafblindness provides guidance for assisting in the identification of a child with a possible vision impairment, hearing loss, or combined vision-hearing loss (deafblindness) and how to register a child with deafblindness on the Ohio Deafblind Census.
Educators Guide for the Identification of Students with Deafblindness
The Educators Guide for the Identification of Students with Deafblindness brochure provides information on combined vision-hearing loss (deafblindness) based on the degree of each sensory loss, steps to take in school when a combined vision-hearing loss is suspected, services offered by the Ohio Center for Deafblind Education, and how to register a child on the Ohio Deafblind Census.
Early Intervention Decision Tree: Guidance for Identification and Program Planning for Children with Vision and/or Hearing Loss
The Early Intervention Guideline Document Identification and Program Planning for Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children with Vision and/or Hearing Loss provides quick guidance about red flags for possible vision and/or hearing loss and the steps to follow when an infant, toddler, or young child has or is suspected of having one or more sensory impairments.
Making Sense of Early Intervention
Making Sense of Early Intervention highlights ways to meet the unique needs of a child, under the age of three, with vision and/or hearing loss and to maximize his or her strengths and includes specific information on Early Intervention services, supports and resources.
Strategies for Parents to Use in Developing a Foundation for Literacy
Strategies for Parents to Use in Developing a Foundation for Literacy provides parents with strategies with their child to develop a foundation for literacy in the areas of motor, communication, and language. Strategies in the areas of concept development, touch, play, and communication are included to enhance the development of their child’s pre-literacy skills.
Early Intervention Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children with a Combined Vision-Hearing Loss
Early Intervention Services for Infants, toddlers, and Young Children with a Combined Vision-Hearing Loss includes information about what deafblindness means, assessing for deafblindness, what a parent can do if deafblindness is suspected, and resources for deafblindness.