Q: I'm worried about my child's development, what do I do first?
A: First, call your Local Lead Agency (LLA) for Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) to discuss your concerns. For children 0-3, call the Intake Coordinator or Lead FRC in your county to discuss any questions or concerns about your child then schedule a developmental screening. For children over 3 years, see our Child Development Screening page or call your school district to speak with their Specialized Services.
Q: What happens at a "screening"?
A: At a child developmental screening, a family meets with the Family Resources Coordinator (FRC) to learn about stages of child development and local Early Intervention services. The FRC works with the family to complete a questionnaire called "Ages and Stages" to determine if there is a potential delay in the child's development. For more information or if you want to complete this questionnaire online, please visit the Parent Help 123 website | A Program of WithinReach.
Q: How does my child qualify for services?
A:Many pediatricians refer families to ESIT because a medical diagnosis may qualify a child for Early Intervention services. Otherwise, if the Ages and Stages Questionnaire shows lags in the child's development, they will be referred to an Early Intervention Service Provider for an evaluation. Please visit the Department of Early Learning's website for more details on eligibility for Early Intervention.
Q: What is the difference between a "screening" and an "evaluation"?
A: In a developmental "screening", a Family Resources Coordinator observes your child and completes a questionnaire with parents called "Ages and Stages". Answers are scored to help determine whether the child's development is on schedule or whether the child should be referred for further evaluation.
The next step is to refer the child to an Early Intervention (EI) Service Provider to schedule an "evaluation". The evaluation is initial meeting with an Early Intervention Specialist and/or another licensed professional depending on the child's developmental needs. At this meeting, the team talks with the family to determine a child's developmental levels through assessment, develop outcomes and determine a service plan based on the evaluation.
Q: Where do I take my child for services?
A: Services are provided in the child's natural environment including:
- The home
- The community, or
- Other environments natural to the child and family