Encompass Blog

What is Early Intervention?

June 4, 2019  |  Early Intervention, Pediatric Therapy  |  By Encompass

A mom and girl look at a baby being held by her therapist

Early Intervention is a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. Early Intervention services include assessment, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, physical therapy, health services, psychological services, special instruction, assistive technology devices, and family training, counseling, and home visits, among other services.

These services can provide support in many different areas of concern, including:

  • speech
  • motor/movement
  • problem-solving
  • self-help
  • feeding/picky eating
  • sleep
  • behavior
  • sensory processing

Early Intervention services are available nationwide. Here in King County, Encompass is one of the Early Intervention providers for families living in the Snoqualmie Valley, Riverview, Issaquah, and Skykomish School Districts.

Why Early Intervention?

Research shows that the time between birth and 36 months is a critical developmental period in a child’s life. When developmental delays are identified and addressed during these crucial early years, children have a greater chance of reaching their full potential. Treating developmental delays as soon as possible can decrease the need for special education and related services when a child enters school.

Is Early Intervention just for children with diagnosed disabilities?

Not at all! Children can qualify for Early Intervention with a 25% age delay in one of the following areas of development:

  • social-emotional
  • adaptive
  • cognitive
  • fine and gross motor
  • expressive language
  • receptive language

If the child does not have a 25% delay in one of these areas but the evaluator has concerns based on their clinical knowledge about the child’s development, they are able to write a written justification to qualify a child for Early Intervention even if there are no standardized testing scores to qualify the child.

I’m interested in finding out if Early Intervention is right for my child. Where do I start?

Call us at 425.888.3347 ext. 2311 to request an Early Intervention evaluation. Your family will be assigned a Family Resource Coordinator at that time to help gather information from you for the evaluation, which will take place in your home.

At your child’s evaluation, two evaluators will interview you as well as conduct hands-on assessments and observations of your child. The combination of parent conversation and child interaction will help evaluators determine scores for each developmental area.

If you don’t live within the Snoqualmie Valley, Riverview, Issaquah, or Skykomish School District boundaries, call WithinReach at 1-800-322-2588 to determine which Early Intervention provider is in your area.

What is the journey from evaluation to enrollment in services? What can I expect?

After the evaluation, our Early Intervention team will determine whether your child qualifies for Early Intervention services. If your child doesn’t qualify for Early Intervention, one of our Family Resource Coordinators can assist you in accessing community resources that may be helpful or refer you to be evaluated for therapy at our Pediatric Therapy Clinic.

If your child does qualify for Early Intervention, you will have an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting at your home. Your Family Resource Coordinator and your therapy provider will work collaboratively with you to create goals for your child and family. We know that you know your child best, and so we look to you to be the expert. The IFSP meeting will be your first therapy session, in which we work with you to develop strategies that will best support your child and family.

Therapy visits can occur weekly, twice a month, or on a monthly basis, depending on what is best for the family and child. We provide these services in the family’s home or at a community setting that is part of the family’s daily life. During a therapy session, the provider will discuss and model strategies for the caregiver on how to support developmental goals. Ideally, therapy strategies are woven into everyday routines, such as play or meal time. Therapy continues until your child has met his or her goals and is demonstrating age-appropriate skills in all areas of development, or when the family chooses to discontinue services.

What is the cost of Early Intervention services?

All children under age 3 are entitled to a full developmental evaluation at no cost to the family. If Early Intervention is recommended, therapy services are billed to insurance and families are responsible for co-pays and deductibles. However, at Encompass, there are also financial assistance options due to state and federal funding. We are committed to serving all families who need us regardless of ability to pay.

What if I have more questions about Early Intervention?

Call us today at 425.888.3347 ext. 2311. We are here to help! Our Patient Care Coordinator can answer your questions and help you determine if your family would benefit from having an Early Intervention evaluation.

Don’t wait. Evaluate.

Learn more

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

Thank You to Our Community Partners for Their Support

  • King County logo
  • King County Best Starts for Kids logo
  • City of Seattle logo
  • City of North Bend logo
  • City of Snoqualmie logo
  • City of Carnation logo
  • City of Sammamish logo
  • City of Issaquah logo
  • United Way logo
  • NAEYC logo
  • WA State Dept of Children Youth & Families
Back to Top