Download The ECA Parent Packet Below:
Understanding Early Intervention
1. Enhance the development of infants and toddlers with
developmental delays or disabilities
2. Minimize the need for special education and related services after
infants and toddlers with disabilities reach school age
3. Maximize the potential for individuals with disabilities to live
independently in society
4. Enhance the capacity of families to meet the special needs of their
infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities
The Benefits of Early Intervention
According to research, learning and development are at their highest rate in the preschool years. Some children, due to conditions noticed at birth, special needs, or developmental delays which occur in the early years, risk missing some of the most important learning and developmental milestones. Early intervention helps keep these children on a path to making the most of abilities and skills developed during the early years.
Early intervention services also support the parents and siblings of children with special needs. Families often experience frustration, stress, disappointment, and helplessness. This can both impact the well-being of the family and further affect the development of the special needs child. Early intervention helps build a nurturing and supportive environment for the entire family.
Early intervention is forward looking, even into adulthood. It has been shown that EI therapies do far more than provide for immediate benefits during the developmental years. They significantly increase the child’s ability to integrate in future social environments, including school, community, and ultimately employment.
3 Core Benefits To Be Aware Of:
1. Early Intervention improves and enhances the development of a child with
developmental delays, special needs, or other concerns.
2. Early Intervention provides assistance and support to empower families of children with
developmental delays, special needs, or other concerns.
3. Early Intervention lays a foundation that will improve the life of the child and offer greater opportunities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developmental disabilities affect 1 in 7 children in the United States, or about 15%.
As a child grows, they develop new physical, cognitive, and social skills at every age. From smiling and paying attention to faces at two months to playing make believe and dressing themselves by three years of age, a host of milestones have been identified that help parents know whether their children are on the right path.
For milestone examples, visit the CDC’s page on Developmental Milestones, which also features a printable milestone checklist.
Understanding “A Routines-Based Approach” In Early Intervention
The following videos introduce essential concepts related to how early intervention has evolved. Also, these videos outline the role that early intervention clinicians play as a “coach” and why early intervention is most successful in the natural environment.
Click on each video below to watch:
Understanding California Regional Center System
What is the Regional Center?
Regional Centers are private non-profit organizations that are set up throughout the state of California and divided up by regions. The
Regional Centers are responsible for providing services and support to those with developmental disabilities and their families all over the state of California and ultimately upholds the laws set forth by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).
Regional Centers are responsible for providing diagnosis and
assessment of eligibility and they help plan, access, coordinate and monitor the services and supports that are needed because of a
After eligibility is determined then a Service Coordinator is typically
assigned to help develop a plan for services, explain where services are available, and help you obtain the approved services for your child.
How To File A Complaint To The Department ?
Of Developmental Services (DDS):
The Department of Developmental Services can be reached at (916) 654-1987 or you may file a complaint at
What is the Early Start Program?
The Early Start Program is California’s response to federal legislation ensuring that early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families are provided in a coordinated, family-centered system of services that are available statewide.
Infants and toddlers from birth to 36 months may be eligible for early intervention services if through documented evaluation and assessment they meet one of the criteria listed below:
have a developmental delay in either cognitive, communication, social or emotional, adaptive, or physical and motor development including vision and hearing and are under 24 months of age at the time of referral, with a 33% delay in one or more areas of development or are 24 months of age or older at the time of referral, with a 50% delay in one area of development or a 33% delay in two or more areas of development; or have an established risk condition of known etiology, with a high probability of resulting in delayed development.
California Government Code: Section 95014(a)
ECA is currently vendored and provides services for the following Regional Centers:
• East Los Angeles Regional Center – Website: www.elarc.org
• Lanterman Regional Center – Website: www.lanterman.org
• North Los Angeles Regional Center (San Fernando Valley Office,
Santa Clarita Valley Office, and Antelope Valley Office) –
• San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center – Website: www.sgprc.org
• South Central Los Angeles Regional Center – Website: www.sclarc.org
• Westside Regional Center – Website: www.westsiderc.org
What if my child is not eligible for services?
If your child is not eligible for Early Start, your child may be considered for California’s Prevention Program, which provides developmental monitoring to children birth through 35 months of age with high risk conditions, and certain developmental delays (children between 24 and 35 months of age with a 33-49% delay in one developmental domain) that do not otherwise qualify them for Early Start. Click here to learn more about the prevention program. In addition, you may explore insurance coverage through a local therapy clinic or a private pay provider. Again, at this time we are not able to accommodate any requests that are not connected to the regional center referral process.
Our Referral Process:
The ECA referral process begins with a request of availability from one of our
vendored regional center case management departments. As a reminder, you must first go through the regional center in your area in order to get authorization for Every Child Achieves to be your service provider. You may locate your nearest regional center by going to the following website:
Upon receiving the request from the regional center, our internal case management team will review availability, ensure we have the appropriate expertise and experience for the child, and begin the care coordination process. Once we have everything approved, we will coordinate with the regional center to complete their authorization process so funding can occur.
Upon receipt of an authorization, our clinical team will reach out directly to the family of the regional center consumer to create a plan of a care, an ongoing care schedule, and integrate all services that the child is receiving to ensure clinical collaboration, continuity of care, and optimum clinical outcomes. Our focus during the referral process is optimizing the needs of the child with the most skilled provider in the area along with creating a plan of care that optimizes the parent’s role and impact in their day to day routine centered around developmental milestones being achieved or exceeded.
We care about supporting families in the community at every level. Our goal is that families can streamline their process to receive services by directly getting qualified by the early start program connected to their local regional center.