What is Early Childhood Intervention?
ECI is a wonderful opportunity for children with developmental delays or other disabilities and their families to begin an intervention program that will support children in making as much progress as possible during the important very early years from birth to three. Services may include evaluation, related services such as speech or physical therapy, family centered intervention, case management to explore a range of local resources and planning for the future. These services are available in every state in the country and the Federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that these important supports are available free of charge to families.
Why is Early Childhood Intervention Important for Your Child?
Most children with Down Syndrome will have been identified either prenatally or at birth. Beginning intervention and support services as early as possible is a key to your child’s long term positive outcomes. The sooner that services begin, the greater the chance that delay in developmental skills can be lessened.
It is possible to be overwhelmed during the first weeks or months of your child’s life as you focus on becoming a parent. Remember that there is support available for you and your child through ECI. ECI supports will end on the child’s third birthday as they become eligible for services through the local public school. Contact your local ECI program as soon as possible after your child’s birth to take advantage of this support.
How Can I Connect My Child and Our Family to Early Childhood Intervention?
ECI services are available in all parts of the state. For detailed explanations of available services and identification of the local agency responsible for providing services in your area please see https://hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/early-childhood-intervention-services.
There are three local agencies providing Early Childhood Intervention services in San Antonio. Each agency supports specific zip-code areas. These local agencies are:
- Brighton Center – www.brightonsa.org/services
- Easter Seals of Central Texas – www.easterseals.com/centraltx/our-programs/childrens-services/eci.html
- Center for Health Care Services – www.chcs-eci.org/