Early intervention services are concerned with all the basic and brand new skills that babies typically develop during the first three years of life, such as:
physical (reaching, rolling, crawling, and walking);
cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems);
communication (talking, listening, understanding);
social/emotional (playing, feeling secure and happy); or,
self-help (eating, dressing).
Early intervention services are designed to meet the needs of infants and toddlers who have a developmental delay or disability. Sometimes it is known from the moment a child is born that early intervention services will be essential in helping the child grow and develop. Often this is so for children who are diagnosed at birth with a specific condition or who experience significant prematurity, very low birth weight, illness, or surgery soon after being born. Even before heading home from the hospital, this child’s parents may be given a referral to their local early intervention office.