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I called about my child’s early intervention evaluation…What comes next?

I just requested an early intervention evaluation - now what?

Updated: August 29, 2023 · 3 Minute Read

Jeryn Cambrah

Reviewed by:

Jeryn Cambrah

Highlights

  • Expect to have to wait for the evaluation. Many early intervention programs have a waitlist because they don’t have enough staff to meet demand for services.
  • Know that there’s a chance your child won’t qualify for services following the evaluation. Every program has it’s own requirements that determine which families get services. 
  • If your child does qualify, you’ll be assigned a case manager who should help you navigate the program.

1. Expect to wait a while.

Many states have long waitlists due to the number of families seeking services, so it may take a while to schedule your child’s evaluation.

 

2. After the evaluation, you will be assigned an EI (early intervention) case manager.

They’ll work with you to create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The IFSP is a written document outlining your family’s goals for the program and the plan to help you reach these goals. An IFSP is critical to keeping everyone on the same page.

 

3. Prepare for your IFSP meeting.

The EI evaluation is important for determining what services your child may qualify for, but you should also think through challenges you’ve seen your child face at home that may not have come up in the evaluation. Think through your own goals for your child’s and family’s development. Think about ways you may need support as the caregiver. You can even ask for support like transportation to services and family training.

 

4. The IFSP team should reach out to you to schedule a meeting every 6 months.

This meeting will be to review your child’s treatment plan and to determine whether updates are needed. If they don’t reach out, be sure to ask for the review. You and your family are entitled to it by law (Part C of IDEA). You can also ask to schedule a review at any time if you feel the IFSP is not serving your child’s or family’s interests.

 

There’s a chance your child may not qualify for services based on the results of the evaluation.

This doesn’t mean your child doesn’t need support or wouldn’t benefit from services! It just means the state won’t be providing them. In some cases, states only provide services to kids with high support needs. If your child does not qualify for services through early intervention, but you still have concerns, please consult with your child’s pediatrician.