While all children grow and develop in unique ways, some children experience delays in their development. Children in Pennsylvania with developmental delays and disabilities benefit from a state supported collaboration among parents, service practitioners and others who work with young children needing special services. The Pennsylvania Early Intervention program provides support and services to families with children, from birth to age five, with developmental delays and disabilities. Early Intervention builds upon the natural learning opportunities that occur within the daily routines of a child and their family.
The Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit’s Early Intervention Program provides services for eligible children ages 3 through 5 and is available to any qualifying child residing in any of the 14 school districts served by the Intermediate Unit. Related Services are available in the areas of developmental instruction, speech therapy, hearing/audiology support, vision support, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Supports services and resources for children that enhance daily opportunities for learning are provided in settings where a child would be if he/she did not have a developmental delay and disability.
Early Intervention supports and services are designed to meet the developmental needs of children with a disability as well as the needs of the family related to enhancing the child's development in one or more of the following areas:
Services are provided when the child meets the eligibility criteria of a 25% delay in one or more of the five developmental areas and demonstrates a need for specially designed instruction. The primary goal of the program is to improve a child's developmental levels to enable him or her to access the general curriculum when they are school-aged. The staff works closely with school districts and parents to facilitate the transition-to-school process for eligible children. A language-based curriculum with developmentally appropriate activities provides a framework for learning.Children are encouraged to learn through active exploration of materials and settings. These explorations involve verbal and physical manipulations.The needs of the child determines the amount of support provided by the teacher.
The services provided to children and their families differ based upon the individual needs and strengths of each child and the child's family. Services such as parent education, instruction(classroom based), speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy,hearing/audiological support, vision support, and other family-centered services that assist in child development and may be included in a family's Early Intervention program.
Early Intervention promotes collaboration among parents, service providers and other important people in the child's life to enhance the child's development and support the needs of the family.
Services may be provided in the child’s day care center, pre-school, Head Start program, early childhood special education classroom or at a location where the child can be seen on an itinerant basis and the family would provide transportation (such as a neighborhood pre-school or New Horizon school).
Early Intervention provides supports and services in a variety of settings. Early Intervention supports and services are embedded in typical routines and activities, within the family, community and/or early care and education settings. This approach provides frequent,meaningful practice and skill building opportunities.