Frequently Asked Questions

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The who , what , when, where and how

 

 What are "Supports and Services?

 I think my child may not be developing at the same rate as other children their age.  How can they get Early Intervention Services?

 What happens at an intake evaluation and what is eligibility based on?

 Can I afford this?

 Additional Insurance Information

 What is an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)?

 Who is on the IFSP team?

 What is a Service Coordinator and what role do they play?

 What does a “transition plan” mean for my child?

 I have a complaint, what are my rights?

 Who can guide me through this?

 Family Rights

 The Notice of Child and Family Rights in the Infant & Toddler Connection of Part C Early Intervention System

 

 

 What are “Supports and Services”?

 Supports and services may include:

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy

  • Speech services

  • Service Coordination

  • Educational services

  • Audiology screening

  • Assistive technology devices and services

  • Developmental services

  • Family training, counseling and home visits

  • Health services

  • Nursing services

  • Psychological services

  • Social work services

  • Transportation and related costs

  • Vision services

  • Medical services (for diagnosis or assessment only)

 

 

 I think my child may not be developing at the same rate as other   children their age. How can they get Early Intervention services?

If you are in question of your child’s development, or you have been told that your child has a medical condition that can cause  developmental delays, their pediatrician can help with establishing Early Intervention services. Each locality in Virginia has a “central   point of entry” to the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia. Most pediatricians are aware of Virginia’s Early Intervention system, and have the contact information for your locality, also known as the local Infant & Toddler Connection system. You may also find your local Infant & Toddler Connection to begin the Early Intervention process. 

Once the call has been placed to your local Infant & Toddler Connection system, they will work with you to arrange for an evaluation   of your child to determine eligibility. This is often called an intake evaluation.

Rely on parental intuition and never be afraid to approach your child’s pediatrician with your concerns. Early Intervention services   provide your child the best opportunity to reach their full potential and help prepare you to best support them in their development.   The   earlier you approach your pediatrician with your concerns, the earlier services can begin.

 What happens at an intake evaluation and what is eligibility based   on?

 An intake evaluation consists of at least two evaluators. They are professionals of two different professions or areas of development.   During the intake evaluation, you will be asked to provide information about your child’s development and medical history. The   evaluators may even ask your child to perform a few age-appropriate tasks, to help determine if they are developing at an equal rate as   other same-aged children. If a developmental delay is noted, your child is found eligible for Early Intervention services. At this point,     you may be asked to provide either financial or insurance information. However, Early Intervention supports and services are available   to all eligible children and their families regardless of the family’s ability to pay. Eligibility is NOT based on financial information.

 Can I afford this?

 Some services are available at no cost to parents. These services are eligibility determination, assessment, service coordination, IFSP   development, and safeguards.

 You may be charged for other early intervention services based on your ability to pay as determined using the steps described in the   document Facts About Family Cost Share. You received a copy of this document and it was explained to you when you received prior   written notice before eligibility determination. You will receive an additional copy and explanation of this document at every annual I   IFSP meeting.

 Some of the costs of services are supported by federal, state and local funds. Local early intervention service providers also rely upon   payment from individual health insurance (with your permission) and Medicaid, as well as fees based on parent income in order to   fund services.

 Early Intervention services are typically covered by most medical insurance plans, including Medicaid. If your child does not have   medical insurance, or the plan’s required patient responsibility portion (co-payments or annual cap) will cause financial hardship on   your family, you can request that your financial information be considered to establish a reduced fee for services. This may be offered   during the intake evaluation, and can also be requested at any time. If you are not satisfied with the results of the financial screening,   you can appeal the decision. Early Intervention supports and services are available to all eligible children and their families, regardless   of the family’s ability to pay. If you have some questions about how services for your child might be funded, you should discuss this   with your service coordinator.

 

 

 Additional Insurance Information

 We’ve just finished the intake meeting and my child was found eligible. What comes next? What is an Individualized Family Service   Plan?

 After your child has been found eligible, a team will develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This team is known as the   IFSP team. The IFSP will address the needs of your child and family, by developing desired outcomes for your child. The IFSP will   list these outcomes, as well as the Early Intervention supports and services needed to meet them, and the duration and frequency of   each service. The support and services are designed with the whole family in mind and will be incorporated into your child’s daily   routine and environment. This concept is referred to as providing services in the child’s “natural environment”. A natural environment   can be your home, a daycare, a play group, even a local restaurant playground. It can be anywhere your child would typically be found   learning new skills or spending their time.

 Because most of your child’s learning will happen between service provider visits, Early Intervention services are as important for the   caregivers as they are for your child. For this reason, you should view Early Intervention services not only as services for your child,   but more importantly as empowerment for caregivers to provide a continuation of services until the next visit. This continuation could   help your child reach those desired outcomes more quickly.

 What is an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)?

  • 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.

 

 

 Who is on the IFSP team?

 The IFSP team consists of anyone involved in the development and delivery of outcomes for your child. This includes you, as well as other family members or caregivers of your choosing. Some examples of IFSP team members include:

  • Parents

  • Grandparents

  • Other relatives

  • Day care provider

  • Service Coordinators

  • Occupational therapists

  • Physical therapists

  • Speech therapists

  • Educators

 

 

 What is a Service Coordinator and what role do they play?

 A Service Coordinator is assigned to every family referred to a local Infant & Toddler Connection system. They are your guide   through the Early Intervention process. They can answer questions, help find information and resources, and coordinate all of your   child’s Early Intervention supports and services. This may be their only role, but in some instances they may also provide another   service for your child, such as physical therapy.

 What does a “transition plan” mean for my child?

 From the development of your child’s first IFSP, the team will be considering ways to best support your child as they exit the Early   Intervention system. Some children no longer need services when they exit, while others may need a continuation of the support and   services they received during their Early Intervention experience. This transition out of Early Intervention is planned from the   beginning to end by including transition plan activities on each IFSP. Continuation of services are typically offered through your local   public school system’s Early Childhood Special Education program, and can begin when your child is either two or three years old. As   long as your child continues to remain eligible for Early Intervention services, you have the option to continue services until your   child’s third birthday.

 While some families may decide to continue with the natural environment Early Intervention services until their child’s third birthday   to allow a child more time to mature or for health reasons, other families may opt to start the public school’s Early Childhood Special   Education program when their child is two for socialization or peer-driven development. The decision is yours, as you know what will   suit the needs of your child and family best. However, you should be open-minded to any concerns the other members of the IFSP   team may have.

 Another option for your child may be community services, which will vary between localities. Your child’s Service Coordinator or   local Arc chapter may be able to help locate services in your community.

 

 

 I have a complaint, what are my rights?

 If you ever find yourself questioning any aspect of Early Intervention support and services, you should feel comfortable talking with   your Service Coordinator. If you are not, or if they are not able to resolve the issue, you can ask to speak with their System Manager.   The System Manager is charged with overseeing all operations within a local Infant & Toddler Connection. In most instances, the   System Manager is able to resolve the issue. In some rare instances, a complaint may need to be filed with the Infant & Toddler   Connection of Virginia.

 A Notice of Child and Family Safeguards in the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia Part C Early Intervention System is provided   to every family found eligible for Early Intervention services during the intake visit. It is a detailed document describing your rights as   a parent within the Early Intervention system.

 Simply put, these safeguards ensure your right to:

  • Evaluation for your child;

  • IFSP within 45 calendar days of evaluation

  • Services as described in IFSP

  • Evaluation, assessments, IFSP development, service coordination and procedural safeguards at no cost. Other services may have associated fees, though inability to pay will not prevent your child from receiving services

  • Refuse services, if you choose;

  • Participate in meetings where decision about your child will be made;

  • Receive written timely notice before actions are taken affecting services to your child or family (5 days written notice)

  • Services in your child’s natural environment

  • Confidentiality

  • Review and correction of records

  • Mediation and/or due process procedures

  • File an administrative complaint

 

 

 Who can guide me through this?

 Although Early Intervention can seem overwhelming, you are not on this journey alone. There are many people that can assist you   along the way. While your instinct right now might be to focus on your child, sometimes it helps to reach out to others for assistance.   There are many local, state, and national organizations, including The Arc of Virginia that can offer you information, support and   friendship.

 Some local supports to consider:

  • Child’s Service Coordinator

  • Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

  • Meetup

  • Family

  • Neighbors

  • Friends

 

 

 Family Rights

 If you ever find yourself questioning any aspect of early intervention supports and services, you should feel comfortable talking with   your Service Coordinator. If you are not, or if they are not able to resolve the issue, you can ask to speak with their System Manager.   The System Manager is charged with overseeing all operations within a local Infant & Toddler Connection. The staff at The Arc of   Virginia is also available to answer questions and discuss concerns with families, please contact us and let us help resolve any issues   or answer questions about services.

 In some instances, a complaint may need to be filed with the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia.

 The following are available to assist with explaining families rights and helping families to understand their role within the early   intervention system.

 

 

 The Notice of Child and Family Rights in the Infant & Toddler   Connection of Part C Early Intervention System - Strengthening   Partnership

 The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA is the nation's special education law.  The IDEA guides states, schools and   public agencies providing services such as early intervention, special education and other services for children with disabilities. The   section of IDEA that guides early intervention services is Part C, this is why you sometimes hear services for infants and toddlers   called “Part C.”

 The Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Services or VICC advises and assists the lead agency, The   Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia.  The VICC is made up of early intervention providers, family members and other public   agency representatives.  The VICC meets quarterly and there is opportunity to make public comment at these meetings.