Early Intervention Services
To build on and enhance the natural learning capacity of children during their early years
Early Intervention provides supports and services to infants, toddlers and young children up to three years of age who have a developmental delay or are at risk for developmental delay. Early Intervention is designed to build and enhance the natural learning that occurs in the early years and strive to improve long-term outcomes for children by providing early, appropriate, and intensive interventions in the home, child care site, and other community settings identified by the family.
The Early Intervention Coordinator of the DHS Office of Behavioral Health, Bureau of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services works closely with the Alliance for Infants and Toddlers. The Alliance is the Early Intervention service coordination unit which serves as the single point of contact for entry into the Early Intervention system in Allegheny County.
The Alliance provides service coordination for children from birth to their third birthday at no cost to families. All services are provided in the home or in a community setting. Families are assigned a service coordinator who acknowledges the family as the child’s first and most important teacher.
Service Coordination may include:
- Coordinating family enrollment by explaining Early Intervention services and parent rights and by assisting the family in developing a service coordination plan based on the child’s needs.
- Monitoring the child’s development and progress
- Arranging further developmental assessment. Developmental areas include the:
- Ability to move, see, and hear – physical development
- Ability to talk, express needs – language and speech development
- Ability to relate to others – social and emotional development
- Ability to eat, dress, and take care of themselves – self–help (adaptive) development
- Ability to think and learn – cognitive development
- Coordinating and monitoring specialized Early Intervention services. Some of the services that are available include speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, vision services, hearing services, developmental therapy and social work services.
- Providing parent education and support, including identification, referral and coordination of community resources.
- Assisting families and children with the transition into appropriate community supports, services, and programs when leaving the Early Intervention system.
How to get Started
If you are concerned about your child’s development or would like to know more about Early Intervention services, contact the Alliance at 412-885-6000 or visit their web page at www.afit.org.
Children's Developmental Needs (Early Intervention) page from the DHS Community Referral Packet
Early Intervention for Birth to School Aged Children with Disabilities (See Fact Sheets section)
The Right to Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers and Their Families in Pennsylvania