Early Intervention &
Therapy for all Ages and Needs

Publicly-Funded Programs

Any parent who is concerned about a child's development can request a free developmental evaluation to determine eligibility for publicly-funded Early Intervention (Infant/Toddler, birth to age 3). A healthcare professional can also request the evaluation, with the consent of the parent.

To request a free developmental evaluation, contact the Alliance for Infants and Toddlers at 412-885-6000.

After the initial phone call, a service coordinator from The Alliance for Infants and Toddlers schedules a family meeting in the home. Following the meeting, the child receives a Multidisciplinary Evaluation (MDE) by a team of specialists to determine eligibility for Early Intervention. Eligibility is based on the following:

  • Medical diagnosis (such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy) that is likely to result in developmental delay.
  • A developmental delay of at least 25 percent in one or more developmental areas (for example -- gross motor, fine motor, speech, cognitive)
  • Risk factors such as birth weight under 3 pounds, 5 ounces; a stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); or confirmed lead poisoning, abuse or neglect, or the effects of illegal substance abuse.

If a child cannot be evaluated using available methods, the opinion of a healthcare professional may be used.

Publicly-Funded Early Intervention (Infants/Toddlers, birth to 3 years)

  • Is designed to support and strengthen families with children who have minor or major delays in development.
  • Is provided free of cost to families.
  • Is family-centered, recognizing that the family is the child's first and most important teacher.
  • Focuses on developing skills and preventing or lessening problems.
  • Helps families understand how children learn, and how they can support their development through everyday activities.
  • Is provided in a "natural environment" settings such as home, day care center, playground or library.
  • Includes education, health, and social services.
  • Is regulated by federal and state laws that guarantee services to all eligible children and that protect family rights.

Service Coordinator

Each family enrolled in Early Intervention is assigned a service coordinator who:

  • Explains how the Early Intervention system works.
  • Explains the family's rights and choices within the Early Intervention system.
  • Coordinates the family's medical and community service providers.
  • Helps the family set goals for their child.
  • Coordinates assessments and evaluations.
  • Helps develop the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).
  • Monitors the delivery of services.
  • Helps the child make the transition to Preschool Early Intervention services at age 3, if he or she is eligible.
  • Provides parent education and support, including referral to community resources.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

If the child is eligible for Early Intervention services, a meeting is held for parents and specialists to write the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). An IFSP lists the types, frequency and duration of services, where services will be provided, and who will provide them. Services are offered at a place where the child is comfortable, such as home, day care center or other setting.

The IFSP also contains goals and desired outcomes for each service and a way to monitor the child's progress. The IFSP must be reviewed — and, if needed, revised — every six months.

Early Intervention Services (Infants/Toddlers, birth to 3 years) may include:

  • Developmental, Physical, Occupational, Speech, and other Therapies
  • Social Work
  • Behavior Support
  • Social and Emotional Support
  • Nutrition Support
  • Health Care (for diagnostic and evaluation services, but not for medical treatment)
  • Vision and Hearing Services