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Frequently asked questions

Where can early intervention services be provided?

Early Intervention services are provided where it's best for the child in places such as your home, day care or other community settings.

Who is eligible for the New York State Early Intervention Program?

Children are eligible for the EIP if they are under three years old and have 1) a diagnosed physical or mental condition that often leads to developmental problems, or 2) a developmental delay in at least one area of development (communication, social-emotional, adaptive, cognitive, and physical) that meets the criteria in Department regulations.

What if my child is three years of age or older and has or is suspected of having a disability?

A child with a disability who is three years of age or older may be eligible for the preschool special education program. More information about this program can be found at

How is eligbility determined?

Every county in NYS has an Early Intervention Official (EIO) who serves as the "single point of entry" for the EIP. All children referred to the EIO are evaluated by two or more professionals to determine if a child meets the eligibility requirements. This is called a "multidisciplinary evaluation." See NYSDOH's booklet The Early Intervention Program: A Parent's Guide for more information.

How do I refer my child to the Early Intervention Program?

You can call 311 or call our location and speak to our specialists that will assist you

How else will the EIP help me?

The EIO is responsible for making sure that eligible children receive evaluations at no cost. The EIO is responsible also for choosing an initial service coordinator to help a family arrange for the child's evaluation and assist with the Individualized Family Service Plan

Why does the Early Intervention Program collect my health insurance information?

If you have health insurance, it may be used to help pay for early intervention services. The EIP can bill your insurance only if it is licensed or regulated by NYS. You will not have to make out-of-pocket payments or co-payments. The county and state will pay these expenses for you. NYS law prohibits payments made for early intervention services from counting against annual and lifetime caps that your insurance policy calls for.



Do I need to worry about costs?

No! If your child is eligible for the Early Intervention Program, early intervention services must be provided at no cost to you.

Health insurance, including private insurance and Medicaid, is used to pay for early intervention
services in New York State.

New York State law protects family insurance policies from being affected by payments for early intervention services. Your insurance policy can only be used if your insurance company is licensed or regulated by New York State. If your policy is not subject to New York State regulation, its use is voluntary on your part.

When your insurance is used for early intervention:
• You will not have to make out-of-pocket payments for co-payments or deductibles. This is true even if your insurance company is not licensed or regulated by New York State and you volunteer to use your insurance for early intervention.

• Payments for early intervention services will not be applied to the annual and lifetime caps in your insurance policy. Your coverage for health services will not be reduced because your child is receiving early intervention services. These protections apply to your policy only if your insurer is licensed or regulated by New York State.New York State has a health insurance plan for kids called Child Health Plus. Children under the age of 19 who are not eligible for Medicaid and who have limited or no health insurance may be eligible.

For information, call the Child Health Plus
toll-free number at 1-800-698-4KIDS (1-800-698-4543).





Glossary of Terms

Adaptive Skills (Also called self-help skills)

The skills needed to take care of ones basic needs, e.g., eating, dressing, grooming, toileting

Early Intervention Services

Services provided by Qualified Personnel (e.g., speech language pathologist, physical therapist) that meet the needs of a Child and family as described in the Individualized Family Service Plan. These services are provided with parent consent and, as much as possible, in natural environments.

Expressive Language

The ability to use words and spoken language to express ones wants and needs.

Fine Motor Skills

The small muscle group used to accomplish tasks such as writing, cutting, stacking blocks, etc.

Functional Outcomes

Goals that a child is to achieve in a natural setting (home or community), using the services and supports specified in the IFSP

Gross Motor Skills

The large motor groups used to accomplish such tasks as sitting, standing, walking, throwing and jumping

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

A legal written plan for children that documents the childs current level of functioning and an individualized plan of instruction, including goals, services to be received and accommodations needed in an educational setting. The IEP is required for all children who receive special education services ages 3 through 21. The IEP is reviewed annually but it can be reviewed and revised at any time.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

A written plan for children birth to age 3 receiving early intervention services. The IFSP is based on the concerns and priorities of the family and is reviewed every 6 months.

Informed Consent

Parents/guardians have the opportunity to review the information that will be shared regarding their child. Parents must sign an informed consent form before information is released

Multi-sensory approach to learning

Introducing information using several of the childs senses: hearing, vision, touch and movement.

Pre-Academic Skills

The skills a child must learn (such as matching shapes or colors; one to one correspondence and other concepts) before learning more complex academic skills (such as reading, math and spelling)


School for children ages 3 to 5 years of age

Receptive Language

The understanding of language and the spoken word

Sensory Integration

The ability to use ones senses (touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing) to make meaning of ones environment and to react to the environment appropriately

Service Coordinator

Responsible for services planning, connecting families to services and monitoring the childs progress in learning new skills

Tactile defensiveness

Reacting negatively or over reaction to being touched by others or touching objects that would not normally cause one to react


A child and family centered process that occurs when a child moves from one program or setting to another. Parents and providers are to be a collaborative team in the systematic planning process


Process used to determine a Child’s eligibility for the Early Intervention Program.

ABA - Applied Behavioral Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can be described as a therapeutic intervention, and teaching methodology based on behaviorist theory which target socially significant behaviors through a system of reinforcement and promoting positive behaviors.



The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a public program for children under the ages of three who are either suspected of having a risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Potentially eligible children must be referred to a county program by calling 311 to receive EIP services. EIP is funded by New York State and county governments. All EIP services are provided at no cost to parents. Health insurance may be used for approved services. A child’s eligibility for the program can be determined only by state-approved evaluators under contract, and all services must be authorized by the county. The county will arrange for the services to be provided and will choose the provider based on the needs of the child and family. EI services are provided where it’s best for the child in places such as your home, daycare, or other community settings. The EIP covers the cost of early intervention services only. The EIP does not pay for the daycare or other fees charged by the community settings. The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a public program for children under the age of three who are either suspected of having or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities.

While the Personal Touch Early Intervention Program makes every effort to post accurate and reliable information, it does not guarantee or warrants that the information on this web site is complete, accurate or up-to-date. The Personal Touch Early Intervention Program assumes no responsibility for the use or application of any posted material. This web site is intended solely for the purpose of electronically providing the public with general health-related information and convenient access to data resources.


The Personal Touch Early Intervention Program assumes no responsibility for any error, omissions or other discrepancies between the electronic and printed versions of documents.
The Personal Touch Early Intervention Program cannot provide individual advice or counseling, whether medical, legal, or otherwise. If you are seeking specific advice or counseling, you should contact a licensed practitioner or professional, a social services agency representative, or an organization in your local community.

The Personal Touch Early Intervention Program web site links to web sites maintained by other entities. Reasonable precautions are taken to link only to web sites which are appropriate, accurate and maintained by reputable organizations. However, those web pages are not under the Personal Touch Early Intervention Program control and the Personal Touch Early Intervention Program is not responsible for the information or opinions expressed in those linked sites.


Your Rights

Parents have rights under the Early Intervention Program that you should know. Your Early Intervention Official is responsible for making sure you know about your rights. These rights include:


  • The right to say yes or no to having your child evaluated or screened and taking part in a family assessment.

  • The right to say yes or no to participating in the Early Intervention Program without risking the right to take part in the future.

  • The right to say yes or no to any certain type of early intervention service without risking your right to other types of early intervention services.

  • The right to keep information about your family private.

  • The right to look at and change your child's written record under the Early Intervention Program.

  • The right to be told by your Early Intervention Official about any possible changes in your child's evaluation or other early intervention services before any changes are made.

  • The right to take part – and ask others to take part – in all meetings where decisions will be made about changes in your child's evaluation or services.

  • The right to use due process procedures to settle complaints.

  • The right to an explanation of how your insurance may be used to pay for early intervention  services.

Part of your service coordinator's job is to explain these rights to you and make sure you understand them and help you carry them out.
Your child's records
Your child's record includes all written materials developed or used for the Early Intervention Program. Your child's record may include:

  • Information gathered as part of your child's referral to the Early Intervention Official.

  • Screening and evaluation reports and summaries.

  • Your family assessment (if you took part in one).

  • Your Individualized Family Service Plan and all documents related to the plan.

  • Progress notes and other information about your child's and family's services prepared by early intervention service providers (including your service coordinator).

  • Any records about complaints you may have filed.

  • All other records involving your child and family.

All information in your child's record must be kept confidential by the Early Intervention Official and early intervention elevators, service providers, and service coordinators. You must give your written permission to allow information in your child's record to be released. There are two types of "releases" that you can sign:

  • A selective release – this type of release requires you to identify the persons who can access the information in your child's record and from whom they can get the information.

  • A general release – this type of release will allow information to be shared with individuals and agencies that will be providing services to your child and family.

No matter what type of release you sign, you can change your decision about who can access your child's record at any time.