Your guide to early learning and skill development that promotes your child's active participation in everyday activities.
About First Connections
Early intervention seeks to build functional, foundational skills to help infants/toddlers with a developmental delay or disability to be full, active participants in home and community life. The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has established the following outcomes (or goals) for early intervention under IDEA Part C:
Children have positive social relationships
Children acquire and use knowledge and skills
Children take appropriate action to meet their needs
In Arkansas, First Connections (FC) Early intervention is under the direction of the Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. FC is a federally funded program for families whose child is under the age of three and has a developmental delay or disability. Early intervention may begin at any time between birth and age three; however, when early intervention is needed, the earlier it is provided, the better the outcome for the child and family. Supports provided under First Connections are aligned with each family’s unique situation, culture, language, resources and priorities.
First Connections collaborates with families to facilitate the child’s active participation in family and community activities. Early intervention is linked to specific family goals which support their child’s development.
First Connection’s goal is to strengthen the capacity of families to meet the developmental and health-related needs of their infant or toddler. FC ensures that families receive supports and services that are:
Based on relationships
Focused on the strengths of the child and family
Provided in natural environments (where the child lives, learns and plays)
Provided in partnership with the child’s caregivers