Early intervention is a general term for support, resources and services that are provided to young children who have been diagnosed with, are suspected to have, or are at risk of developmental delays or disabilities.
Research has shown that the time between birth and age 36 months is a critical developmental period in a child’s life. These months offer a window of opportunity that will not be available later. Early intervention programs minimize and, in some cases, prevent delays in the development of infants and toddlers with disabilities. They can decrease the need for special education and related services when a child enters school and increase independence. Children whose special needs are identified and addressed during these crucial early years have a greater chance of reaching their full potential.
Early intervention for infants and toddlers (birth to 3) has been a part of the federal law regulating special education school services (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or IDEA) since 1986. This section of the law is known as part C of IDEA. Part C defines Early Intervention as “a statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, inter-agency system that provides early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.”
Watch Augie’s video to hear how he and his family benefited from early intervention, in his own words!
Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) is Georgia’s Part C Early Intervention Program. The program is administered by the Georgia Department of Public Health through 18 District offices across the state. Through the 18 offices, children and families in every county in Georgia can access early intervention services.
Parent to Parent of Georgia manages Georgia’s statewide directory of information about the Babies Can’t Wait program. To find out which Babies Can’t Wait office is nearest you and other information about the program, contact P2P at 1-800-229-2038 or 770-451-5484.
This video from California’s Desired Results Access Project is meant to benefit families who are, or will be, receiving early intervention services, as well as current and future early intervention practitioners. In Part 1, Karis and Mike Johnson share reflections about their daughter’s birth and early months in the NICU; in Part 2, Karis describes and illustrates the role of early intervention in their lives. Harper Hope: A Parent’s View of the Power of Early Intervention (runtime 15:03)