When a child is referred to the Early Steps, a multidisciplinary evaluation and assessment is conducted to determine whether the child is eligible or qualifies for services commonly referred to as Part C early intervention services.
The evaluation and assessment process takes a couple of hours, and in some cases, may take more time. The multidisciplinary evaluation and assessment is conducted by a team of professionals that may include two or more of the following: a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech-language therapist, a psychologist, and an infant and toddler developmental specialist. The family and Early Steps service coordinator are also mandatory and critical members of the evaluation team. Together, this Individualized Family Support Plan (“IFSP”) team will assess the child's strengths and needs in various areas of development, including fine and gross motor, cognition, receptive and expressive communication, social-emotional, and adaptive domains.
Once the evaluation and assessment is complete, the team will then discuss the outcome results, as well as the family’s concerns, resources, and priorities in order to develop the Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP). The IFSP is a written report of the child’s evaluation and assessment results, the family’s goals for meeting the child’s and family’s needs, the family’s available resources, and for eligible children, the team’s recommendation for services. For children determined eligible for Early Steps, family’s assigned service coordinator will explain what types of services and programs are available for the child, and link the family with the appropriate resources. The service coordinator will also be available to answer any questions the family may have about Part C services, and will help resolve any issues that may arise.