Overview of Early Intervention 

The New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP) is part of the nationwide EIP.  Infants and Toddlers under the ages of 3 years old, who reside in New York State, that have a diagnosed disability with a high probability of developmental delays, or an established developmental delay are eligible.

A disability means that a child has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high chance of resulting in a delay. These include, but are not limited to, autism, Down syndrome, motor disorders, or vision and hearing problems.  Appendix B provides a list of these conditions and indicates the licensed professionals qualified to diagnose these conditions under New York State education law.

A developmental delay means that the child is behind in at least one area of development.  The delay as measured by tests must be at least a 33% or 12-month delay or a score of 2 standard deviations below the mean in one area of development, or a 25% delay or score of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in at least 2 areas of development.

The developmental areas that are tested include:

Cognitive:  thinking, reasoning, learning

Physical:  fine motor, gross motor, vision, hearing, sensory and oral motor feeding and swallowing disorders

Communication: talking and understanding what others are saying

Social-Emotional: relating to others

Adaptive (self-help skills): sleeping, feeding, toileting, dressing

For children who have been found to have a delay only in the communication domain, delay shall be defined as a score of 2.0 standard deviations below the mean in the area of communication; or, if no standardized test is available or appropriate for the child, or the tests are inadequate to accurately represent the child's developmental level in the informed clinical opinion of the evaluator, a delay in the area of communication shall be a severe delay or marked regression in communication development as determined by specific qualitative evidence-based criteria articulated in clinical practice guidelines issued by the Department.

A child can be referred to the Early Intervention Program by various health professionals or by his/her parent(s). All children referred with a suspected disability are entitled to receive a multidisciplinary evaluation to determine their eligibility for early intervention services. Children with a diagnosed condition will still need an evaluation to help plan early intervention services.

Please see the Checklist for Growing Children  and the Early Intervention Steps: A Parent's Basic Guide to the Early Intervention Program for more information.