If you still have concerns with your child’s development you can request an evaluation from the Treasure Coast Early Steps Program. A developmental evaluation is completed by a team that will include at least two evaluators who will be either a Child Psychologist, Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist, Speech, Occupational or Physical therapist. The Early Intervention program in Florida is called Early Steps. Early Steps evaluation is available to anyone with concerns about their child’s development from birth to age three. Early Steps is available in every state of the Union and is outlined in the Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Early Steps is available for children even without a diagnosis who show a delay in an area of development. In Florida the tool used to determine eligibility is called the Battelle Developmental Inventory which looks at all five areas of development. If the child is eligible for Early Steps services may be provided by an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist, Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist. The Infant Toddler developmental Specialist holds certification in infant toddler growth and development and acts as a teacher for the child and family. All Interventionist who are part of the Early Steps program are Pediatric Trained meaning they specialize in the development of children.
Early Steps provides families with children who are eligible education and the opportunity to develop skills and strategies that will enhance your child’s development. Early Steps is available for children from birth to three with significant developmental delays. An Interventionist is assigned to work with the family or caregiver one on one. The interventionist will work with you to address your concerns for your child and demonstrate strategies that you can use as part of your everyday routine and interaction with your child to enhance their development.
If your child is eligible for Early Steps the team which consist of you, the evaluator’s and your Service Coordinator will develop Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) for your child. This document tells your child’s story, what your concerns were that brought you to Early Steps, the evaluation results, what you want to see as a result of your time with Early Steps (your goals and objectives) and the supports that Early Steps will put into place to help your child.
Written by: Brenda Amos-Moss, Lead PSP Team Supervisor Treasure Coast Early Steps