Early Intervention Supports and Services in the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia
Family Information (download a pdf copy of this document)
- Early intervention supports and services in Virginia are provided through the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia. These supports and services are available for all eligible children and their families regardless of the family’s ability to pay.
- Early intervention supports and services are for infants and toddlers from birth through age two who are not developing as expected or who have a condition that can delay normal development.
- Early intervention supports and services focus on increasing the child’s participation in family and community activities that are important to the family. Supports and services also focus on helping the parents and other caregivers know how to find ways to help the child learn during everyday activities.
- Each locality in Virginia has a “central point of entry,” which connects children and their families to early intervention supports and services.
- Every child and family referred to the Infant & Toddler Connection is provided a service coordinator who helps guide them through the early intervention process.
- To find out if a child is eligible for early intervention supports and services, the child’s development is evaluated by at least two professionals who come from different professions or areas of development.
- If a child is found eligible for early intervention supports and services through the Infant & Toddler Connection, then the family and professionals work together to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (called an IFSP, for short). This plan will list the outcomes (changes) the family and the rest of the IFSP team would like to see for the child and the early intervention supports and services needed to meet those outcomes.
- The IFSP team, which includes the family, will come up with outcomes that are just for this one child, that are important to this family, that focus on helping the child be a part of family and community activities, and that look at the whole child rather than specific developmental skills.
- Early intervention supports and services are based on the outcomes the IFSP team lists. Supports and services fit into the family’s life and take place as part of the daily activities, routines, and environments of each child and family.
- Since most of the child’s learning happens during everyday activities (between service provider visits), early intervention supports and services are provided at a frequency that matches the family’s and other caregivers’ need for support to be comfortable in using intervention strategies.
- For most children and families, one primary service provider will be working in partnership with the family to address the outcomes listed on the IFSP. Other team members support the primary provider and the child and family by consulting with the primary provider, coming on joint visits with the primary provider to the child and family, and/or making suggestions to help the child make more progress toward the outcomes.
- Parents teach their children everyday – they are the ones who make the most difference in their child’s development. In order for early intervention supports and services to work best, there needs to be an active partnership between the parents and the service providers. This partnership includes the family and other caregivers being involved in each early intervention session.
- By the time they leave early intervention, some children have gotten all the help they need and no longer need special services. Others still need some more help. A transition plan helps each child and family move smoothly from early intervention to whatever comes next. Transition plan activities will be included in every IFSP for each child and family.