Although the majority of our work involves helping children who are 3 and older, we cannot tell you how often we hear heartbreaking stories of parents who did not know they were entitled to FREE EARLY INTERVENTION (“EI”) services. Or we meet parents who were aware that EI existed, but they were told by EI officials that their clearly struggling child was “ineligible.” In fact, it shocks us how many of these clients whose parents say they were turned down by EI, are later diagnosed with a myriad of disorders, including Autism.
As a Parent, you have the right to a comprehensive evaluation of your child - this is called a MULTIDISCIPLINARY EVALUTION (MDE), and is defined below. And if your child is not deemed eligible, you have the right to fight that determination. As you would expect, time is of the essence because your child is only eligible for EI services for such a short period of time, so we want to reach as many of you as early on as possible, so that you can successfully navigate the EI process.
To this end, we are currently working on a sequel to Regina’s popular “How to Survive Turning Five” entitled “How to Survive EI”…. Stay tuned!
REFERRING YOUR CHILD IS EASY and takes seconds
So don’t put it off!
Professionals such as doctors can refer your infant or toddler to the EIP, unless you object, when there is a concern about your child’s development. If you have a concern, you can also refer your child to the Early Intervention Program in the county where you live. County contacts can be found online at: www.health.ny.gov/community/ infants_children/early_intervention/county_eip.htm Or, you can call the “Growing Up Healthy” 24-hour Hotline at 1-800-522-5006; in New York City dial 311