Early Childhood Intervention

The topics listed are individual websites that can be accessed by members of The American Academy of Special Education Professionals (AASEP). If you are not a member of AASEP, and would like to join AASEP, click on the following link: Join AASEP to Register .

Members of AASEP, please login  (member login and password) to have full access to all the information and other websites links, in our database.

The  3 topics below this table  are examples of how extensive AASEP is in regards to the topic of Early Intervention. Members receive active links to all the  areas below and topics as well as the same extensive overview in each of  the following topics areas:

Early Intervention Topic Categories

What is EI EI in Your State
Who's Who in EI Pediatrics & Health Care
Child Find Matters Assessment/Evaluation Practices
Interagency Efforts The IFSP
Involving Families Effectively Transition to Preschool
Materials/Resources in Spanish Effective Interventions
Staff Training and Development Materials from Commercial Publishers
Other EI Resources

What is Early Intervention?

If you're asking the question "what's effective in delivering early intervention services?" then you probably don't need an intro to what early intervention is. But we don't like to presume what anyone might already know (or not know) when they come to these Foundations pages. So we'll start with the basics. Skip this section if you already know them.

EI: What is it? How to find it.

Start with NICHCY's Finding Help for Young Children with Disabilities (Birth-5). Early intervention services are explained, as well as how to access them for infants and toddlers. This publication will also connect you with many of the major organizations who can tell you more.

What's the law have to say?

The legal basis for early intervention services comes from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The link above takes you to the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center's (NECTAC) pages on the IDEA's early childhood provisions.

The lowdown on "service coordination."

"Early intervention service coordination is a mandated service under Part C of IDEA, provided at no cost to families. Service coordination is defined as an active, ongoing process that assists and enables families to access services and assures their rights and procedural safeguards." So begins the service coordination page at NECTAC, where you'll find IDEA's definition of service coordination, how different states are addressing service coordination, training resources, and links to the Research and Training Center on Service Coordination (described more below) and other resources on this topic.

Go straight to the RTC, if you like.

If the above item interested you, and in particular if the availability of the Research and Training Center on Service Coordination interested you, we provide the link to the RTC to speed you on your way there. (But make sure to visit NECTAC, who has boatloads of information on early intervention policy and practice. We've cited a goodly portion of it throughout this Foundations page, as you'll see.)


The Long Term Economic Benefits Of High Quality Early Childhood Intervention Programs - Minibibliography answers one aspect of the benefits question. An extensive body of research indicates that high quality early intervention for at-risk infants, toddlers, and young children and their families is a sound economic investment. Courtesy of NECTAC, 2004, 9 pages.

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Early Intervention in Your State

Is early intervention available in my state?

Oh yes, EI services are available in your state. Visit NICHCY's state resource sheets page, click on your state, and look for the heading "Programs for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities: Ages Birth through 2." You'll find the contact info for the early intervention system in your state. That's just the starting place. There's an incredible EI network in most states and a great deal of online information about early intervention services in general, a state's system in specific, training modules, and... be sure to visit your state's online EI resources, which will lead you into the heart of the system where you live.

How does my state define who's eligible for services?

Find the answer in State and Jurisdictional Eligibility Definitions for Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities Under IDEA.

And how does my state define "developmental delay" under Part B of IDEA?

Find the answer in Eligibility Policies and Practices for Young Children Under Part B of IDEA.

State definitions matter.
This 6-page article, States' Part C Eligibility Definitions Account for Differences in the Percentage of Children Participating in Early Intervention Programs, comes from TRACE (Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence).

What is (and who's on) my state's ICC?

As required by the IDEA, each state has what's known as an Interagency Coordinating Council, or ICC. Its role in the state's early intervention system is suggested by its title---to address the coordination of the efforts of the various agencies involved in providing or supervising the provision of EI services. Find out about your state's ICC at the link above---its composition and membership, parent roles and participation, structure and organization, and roles and functions.

If you live in California (and even if you don't)...

WestEd’s Center for Prevention & Early Intervention (CPEI) provides training, technical assistance and resource development and provision supporting early intervention services for California infants and toddlers with disabilities and at-risk conditions and their families. For those of us who don't live in CA, there's still lots of info at CPEI, including the online Early Start Library, a specialized collection of more than 4,200 items you can check out—videotapes, training kits, latest research studies, and much more.

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Who's Who in Early Intervention

How long a list would you like? In the interests of efficiency, we're going to give you the short and to-the-point list to get you started (we apologize to all those organizations we haven't listed here). This starter list will definitely lead you into the wider network and keep you informed in the ongoing work in early intervention.

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC).

NECTAC supports the implementation of the early childhood provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Its mission is to strengthen service systems to ensure that children with disabilities (birth through five) and their families receive and benefit from high quality, culturally appropriate, and family-centered supports and services. The center addresses this mission by working primarily with the state agencies responsible for ensuring EI services.

CLAS, the Early Childhood Research Institute on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services.

CLAS identifies, evaluates, and promotes effective and appropriate early intervention practices and preschool practices that are sensitive and respectful to children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. You won't believe how many materials they offer to guide early intervention practice---and in multiple languages as well. We mention quite a few of them in these Foundations pages, but you'll want to visit anyway and see how much more there is.

Research and Training Center (RTC) on Early Childhood

The RTC on Early Childhood Development is conducting applied research on knowledge and practice that improves interventions associated with the healthy mental, behavioral, communication, preliteracy, social-emotional, and interpersonal development of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with or at risk for developmental disabilities. You'll find a wealth of information about effective early childhood intervention practices based on research on the RTC's Web site.

Early Childhood Research Institute on Measuring Growth and Development (ECRI-MGD).

The ECRI-MGD was launched in October 1996 with a mission to produce a comprehensive system for continuously measuring the skills and needs of individual children with disabilities from birth to eight years of age. A wide range of reports and manuals encapsulating their results are available at the link above.

The ECO Center.

ECO is the Early Childhood Outcomes Center: Demonstrating Results for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers with Disabilities and Their Families. If you're looking for research-based info on how to measure outcomes and the success of your efforts, you'll soon find yourself at ECO.


TRACE stands for Tracking, Referral and Assessment Center for Excellence. The major goal of TRACE is to identify and promote the use of evidence-based practices and models for improving child find, referral, early identification, and eligibility determination for infants, toddlers, and young children with developmental delays or disabilities who are eligible for early intervention or preschool special education. Lots of great stuff here!

Division for Early Childhood (DEC).

DEC is especially for individuals who work with or on behalf of children with special needs, birth through age eight, and their families. DEC promotes polices and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. Visit DEC's publications page to connect with (for-sale but on-point) DEC's Recommended Practices series.

IDEA Infant and Toddler Coordinators Association.

This association promotes the mutual assistance, cooperation, and exchange of information and ideas in the administration of the IDEA Infant and Toddler Program. It also provides support to the state coordinators. Membership in the Association is open to the agency within each state or jurisdiction that has been designated as the Part C lead agency. Membership fees are established in relation to the Federal Part C allocation.

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