The Early Intervention Program is a federal and state funded program for young children from birth to 3 years who have an identified developmental delay and require intervention. In New York State, the Department of Health (DOH) is the lead agency responsible for the Early Intervention Program. It is under their direction and approval that The Hagedorn Little Village School’s (HLVS) Early Intervention Program operates. The program is provided at no direct cost to parents, though a child’s health insurance may be used to cover some of the costs.
The Early Intervention Program begins with a referral to the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) to start the evaluation process. The referral can be made directly by a parent by calling NCDOH at 516-227-8661. HLVS can also make the referral for the parent.
The evaluation is conducted by a multidisciplinary evaluation team. At least two evaluations will be conducted, one in the specific area of concern and one that serves as a baseline to see exactly how the child is developing across all domains of development. The parent is given the opportunity to select a New York State approved evaluation site to conduct the evaluation. HLVS is an approved evaluation site.
If a child is found eligible to receive services, NCDOH in collaboration with the parent will identify the necessary services and choose a service provider to deliver the services. HLVS is under contract with NCDOH to provide early intervention services.
HLVS can provide the following Early Intervention services:
- Special Instruction/Education – Special Education teachers provide instruction that promotes growth in the areas of cognitive, social emotional and self- help skills. Teachers incorporate caregivers as active participants in their child’s development. Services address the IFSP goals with child and/or caregiver during the daily routine. The child’s intervention is provided with a team approach stressing collaboration between professionals.
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – Special Education teachers trained in the methodology of Applied Behavior Analysis provide professional and comprehensive services to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Applied Behavior Analysis is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. ABA therapy programs are used to:
- Increase language and communication skills
- Improve attention focus, social skills, memory and academics
- Decrease problem behaviors
ABA teams are assigned that consist of a Team Leader who additionally serves as a family trainer and Team members. All teachers hold certificates in competency in Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA programs are developed that are individualized to meet a child’s needs. Goals are addressed using both discrete trail teaching and natural environment teaching when appropriate in order to ensure generalization of skills across all environments.
- Speech/Language Services – Speech therapists work individually with children to improve their speech and language, communication and oral motor abilities. Goals of Speech Therapy include the improvement of:
- Receptive language
- Expressive language
- Pragmatic skills
- Feeding skills
- Feeding Oral/Motor Therapy – Speech therapists work individually with children to increase and improve feeding abilities. Goals of feeding therapy include:
- Increasing strength and function of the oro-motor area including improving biting, chewing and swallowing skills
- Increasing bottle and cup drinking abilities
- Reducing food refusal
- Increasing food repertoire
- Prompt Therapy – Speech therapists may be specifically trained to provide PROMPT therapy. PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a system of tactile kinesthetic cues to guide motor movements in the production of speech sounds across sounds and words. PROMPT is used to increase speech sound production and improve articulation for children experiencing motor speech difficulties.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapists work individually with children to enhance their gross motor development through a variety of therapeutic interventions. Goals of Physical Therapy include the improvement of:
- Postural stability and control
- Balance and coordination
- Range of motion and flexibility
- Muscle strength and edurance
- Functional mobility
- Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapists work individually with children to enhance their fine motor, visual motor, and sensory development through a variety of therapeutic interventions. Goals of Occupational Therapy include the improvement of:
- Sensory processing (sensory gymnasium on site)
- Upper extremity strength and coordination
- Grasping skills
- Bilateral Coordination
- Visual-motor skills
- Social Worker – Social workers provide counselling and support to caregivers of children in the Early Intervention program. A social worker can help a family to access necessary medical and financial support as well as aiding in planning for services after the completion of the Early Intervention program.
- Family Training – Special education teachers or licensed therapists when warranted provide guidance and training that enables families to learn about their child’s delays, how to best engage with their child to promote growth and carry –over and how to handle behavior problems that may arise. Family training is a component of all ABA teams.
- Service Coordination – On-going service coordinators (OSCs) serve as a single point of contact for families when children begin receiving Early Intervention services. OSCs arrange authorized services identified on the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), ensure services are provided in a timely manner, make referrals for additional services when necessary and develop, review and up-date the IFSP. OSCs are available to help parents understand their rights and help in the development of transition plans.
These services may be provided in the family’s home, in a childcare setting, at a community location, or at HLVS. The parent is responsible for fees associated with childcare settings or community locations.
HLVS staff is licensed and certified by the State of New York.