Early Intervention Evaluation - Suffolk County New York

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Nassau County & Suffolk County - Long Island

early interventionEarly Intervention Evaluation

If you feel your child is delayed in achieving developmental milestones, you should speak with your child’s pediatrician about your concerns. Your pediatrician may tell you to call an approved Early Intervention evaluator and provider, like Alternatives For Children, or they may have you call the County Health Department - Division of Services for Children with Special Needs. Either way, know that your concerns regarding your child’s development will be heard, and action will be taken.

Alternatives For Children is approved by the New York State Department of Health as an Early Intervention Program Evaluator and Provider under contract with Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Who Do I Call if My Child is Suspected of Having a Developmental Delay?

Alternatives For Children - Laura Hauck
Phone: 631-331-6400 ext 376

Suffolk County Health Department
Division of Services for Children with Special Needs
Phone: 631-853-3100

Nassau County Health Department

Division of Services for Children with Special Needs
Phone: 516-227-8661

Growing Up Healthy Hotline
Phone: 1-800-522-5006

Referral Process

The Early Intervention Program process begins with a referral to the County Department of Health-Division of Services for Children with Special Needs. The referral can be made directly by a parent, or Alternatives For Children, with parental consent, can make the referral for the parent on their behalf.

The Multidisciplinary Evaluation

Once a referral has been made to the County Department of Health-Division of Services for Children with Special Needs, you will be given information about the Early Intervention Program, and a multidisciplinary evaluation appointment will be made for you and your child. The multidisciplinary evaluation is conducted by an approved Early Intervention evaluation agency, such as Alternatives For Children, under contract with the county. The evaluation team includes two or more qualified personnel from different disciplines with at least one specialist in the area of suspected delay or disability.

The Evaluation Includes

A parent interview about the resources, priorities and concerns related to the child’s development.

With consent, a review of pertinent records related to the child’s current health status and medical history.

Testing and an evaluation, by qualified professionals, of the child’s level of functioning in each of the five developmental domains:

  • Physical development (growth, gross and fine motor abilities)
  • Cognitive development (learning and thinking)
  • Communication (understanding and using words)
  • Social-emotional development (relating to others)
  • Adaptive development (self-help skills such as feeding)

With consent, findings from other current examinations, evaluations or assessments may be used to augment the evaluation to determine eligibility.

An assessment of the unique needs of the child in each domain including identification of services appropriate to meet those needs.

An evaluation of the transportation needs of the child, parent’s ability to provide transportation, the child’s needs to transportation and safety issues/concerns about transportation.

The Parent Interview

As part of the multidisciplinary evaluation, the parent interview, families are asked to describe their priorities, resources and concerns regarding their child’s development. Some of the questions that might be asked include:

1. What are your concerns about your child’s development?
2. How does your child’s development compare to that of your other children at his or her age or children who you know?
3. How does your child play?
4. How does your child indicate his needs and wants? Pleasure? Distress?
5. How do you spend time with your child?
6. Does your child feed well?
7. How does your child show affection?
8. Who spends the most time with your child and what kinds of activities do they do together?
9. How does your child react to new situations and people?
10. How do you provide opportunities for your child to learn and an environment in which to explore?

Note: The Parent Interview will include a description of the pregnancy, delivery and medical history of the child.

Individualized Family Service Plan

If the multidisciplinary evaluation determines that the child meets the criteria for Early Intervention services, the evaluation team, county officials, and the family meets to tailor an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), and determine the services that best serve the needs of the child. Approved service providers are selected and an ongoing service coordinator is chosen by the family to implement the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).