In the Exam Room – When to Make a Referral to Early Intervention

December 9, 2020
In the Exam Room – When to Make a Referral to Early Intervention

What is Early Intervention? Why is it important? When and how should you refer?

What? Early intervention provides free, evidence-based physical, cognitive, social, and adaptive therapies for children under 3 years of age with developmental delays.

Why? Therapeutic early intervention services have been shown to improve developmental outcomes, mitigate behavioral concerns, and increase caregiver confidence.

When? There is frequently lag time between identification of developmental delays in the primary pediatric care setting and initiation of Early Intervention services. A child in your practice is eligible for services if there are noted delays in:

  • Cognitive
  • Communication
  • Motor
  • Social/Emotional
  • Adaptive/Self-help skills

In order to receive services, a child must have a 33% delay in one functional area or a 25% delay in 2 or more areas. Exception: if a child has only a communication delay, they have to score 2 standards below the mean in an assessment of that skill. Children with known medical diagnoses that have a high probability of resulting in developmental delay such as Down’s Syndrome are automatically eligible for services.

How? For information for your local area, click here.