Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible for early intervention through First Connections?
Infants/toddlers (0-36 months) with a diagnosed physical or mental condition with high probability of developmental delay.
Infants/toddlers whose multidisciplinary developmental evaluation identifies a significant delay (25% or more of chronological age) in one or more areas of development: adaptive, cognitive, communicative, physical, social and emotional.
How do I refer?
Visit our Refer a Child page to get started. If you have questions about referring a child, call the toll-free information line at 1-800-643-8258.
Do I have to wait until there is a confirmed diagnosis to refer?
No. Federal IDEA guidelines indicate that a referral for an intervention program must be made as soon as possible (but not later than seven days) if a child is suspected of having a developmental delay.
Will I receive feedback on my referral?
Yes. First Connections follows up with the referral source.
How common are developmental disorders?
“Developmental disabilities are common and were reported in 1 in 6 children in the United States in 2006–2008. The number of children with select developmental disabilities (autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other developmental delays) has increased, requiring more health and education services. Additional study of the influence of risk-factor shifts, changes in acceptance, and benefits of early services is needed.”
The U.S. Department of Education reports that less than 3% of children under three are being served through the federally-funded (“Part C”) early intervention program even though approximately 17% of children under the age of 18 are affected by a developmental, behavioral, or learning disability.
Who makes up a child’s IFSP team?
The IFSP team is a multidisciplinary team that must include: the family and anyone the family chooses to invite such as a classroom teacher, childcare provider or Primary Care Physician (PCP), the EI service coordinator, and an early intervention service provider qualified to interpret evaluation results. The child’s PCP may choose to be a part of the IFSP team and is encouraged to do so. As a child approaches his/her third birthday, a representative from Early Childhood Special Education under Part B (3-5) or a representative of an appropriate agency to which the child may transition may join the team to prepare the toddler for what lies ahead.