handbook

Early Intervention

Murray Ridge Center

Working to Help Youngsters Achieve

What Is Early Intervention?

Early Intervention refers to a wide range of therapeutic and educational activities designed to treat and/or educate children from birth to three years of age with developmental delays, or those who are at risk of having delays. Early intervention assists children and their families during the most critical developmental changes.
Early Intervention programs are based on the belief that by intervening as early as possible, development can be enhanced, accelerated, or modified in a positive way. This concept has become a standard philosophy in the treatment of children with disabilities and developmental delays.
 

Early Intervention Mission Statement:

The Lorain County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD) participates in the County’s comprehensive system for early intervention services and supports. Early Intervention services are provided by LCBDD on a year-round basis, for a minimum of two hundred forty (240) days per year, to eligible infants and toddlers and their families as part of a comprehensive, coordinated, transdisciplinary, interagency early intervention system. The Early Intervention calendar is provided to families upon entry to the LCBDD Early Intervention Program and annually, and is available on the agency website at www.murrayridgecenter.org. The role of LCBDD as a partner in the local “Help Me Grow” network is as follows:

 
Service


Lorain County Board of DD role


Central Coordination N/A. LCBDD does not provide Central Coordination for the Lorain County Help Me Grow program (HMG). This is provided through the local Children and Family Council..
Screenings N/A. Screenings required through the Help Me Grow program for families referred to Early Intervention/Part C are provided by HMG service coordinators contracted through the local Children and Family Council.
Child find/Outreach Activities LCBDD participates in child find/outreach activities by offering developmental screenings to local daycare providers upon request and by participation in local health/family fun fairs.
Intake/Referrals If a referral is received at LCBDD, the information will be taken and immediately faxed to the Help Me Grow Centralized Coordination Contractor’s (CCC) referral line with parent permission. The family may also choose to contact HMG CCC directly.
Eligibility Evaluations and Child Assessments Until June 30, 2015, LCBDD will provide eligibility evaluations/assessments for all Lorain County children referred for Part C Early Intervention services, and will provide the required annual redeterminations of eligibility/assessment of need for all Lorain County children receiving Part C Early Intervention services; funding for this function will come from a contract with the local Children and Family Council, which passes through some ODH funds for this purpose, and from local levy dollars for any costs not covered through the contract with the local Children and Family Council. After June 30, 2015, LCBDD will not conduct eligibility evaluations/assessments for Part C Early Intervention services, but may assist the entity engaged by the local Children and Family Council for this purpose by providing staff to serve as a second discipline during redeterminations of eligibility/need for services. In all cases, after June 30, 2015, the entity engaged by the local Children and Family Council to conduct Part C eligibility evaluations/assessments will be responsible for meeting timelines and providing required written reports to parents.
Family Assessments The service coordinators contracted through the local Children and Family Council are responsible to provide the family directed assessment when families agree to participate. The LCBDD Developmental Specialist may participate in this process as a team member if requested, with parental consent.
Service Coordination N/A. LCBDD does not provide service coordination for early intervention participants. Help Me Grow service coordinators are contracted through the local Children and Family Council.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development The Help Me Grow service coordinator engaged by the Children and Family Council is responsible to ensure the development, implementation, review and monitoring of the IFSP and related timelines. As an IFSP team member, the LCBDD Developmental Specialist should be invited by the service coordinator and/or the parent, to all IFSP meetings in order to provide input into identifying desired outcomes and determining the degree to which progress in being made toward achieving such outcomes.
Procedural Safeguards, Resolution of Complaints and Parents Rights All notices of Procedural Safeguard, Parental Rights and Resolution of Complaints are given, at a minimum, upon entrance to the program and annually by LCBDD.
Early Intervention services in natural environments Certified Early Intervention Specialists (EIS) work directly with and provide specialized instructionandsupports to parents and caregiversin the homeand other community settings and within the family daily routines and activities. All intervention services are intended to provide the family with techniques, information, skills and support related to enhancing and understanding the special developmental needs of their child. EISs use curricula, including Responsive Teaching or P.L.A.Y., to assist parents in supporting their child’s development and building relationships and meaningful, intentional communication.   Activities are planned that will promote the child’s participation in family activities through interest and strength based outcomes on the family’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP).   The LCBDD also provides very limited early intervention Speech Therapy services; these are also provided through the IFSP and are family directed.
Procedural Safeguards, Resolution of Complaints and Parents Rights If a participant wishes to file a formal complaint about the early intervention system or any EI services (including those received through the County Board of DD), the participant has the right to file a complaint through ODH. All notices of Procedural Safeguards, Parental Rights and Resolution of Complaints process are given, at a minimum, upon entrance to the program and annually thereafter by the service coordinators engaged by the local Children and Family Council.
Early Intervention Services in Natural Environments Certified Developmental Specialists (DS) hired by LCBDD work directly with and provide special instruction to parents and caregivers, in accordance with the IFSP, in their homes and other community settings. These services are intended to provide the family with techniques, information, skills and support related to understanding the special developmental needs of their child, and stimulating their child’s development within the family’s daily routines and activities. Developmental Specialists use the Responsive Teaching or P.L.A.Y. (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) curriculum to assist parents in supporting their child’s development, and building relationships with meaningful, intentional communication. Activities are planned that will promote the child’s participation in family activities through interest and strength based outcomes on the IFSP. The LCBDD also provides limited early intervention Speech Therapy services in the home; these are also provided through the IFSP and are routines based. All CBDD Early Intervention services are provided based upon the availability of funding and the Agency’s plans/priorities.
Staffing Ratios The LCBDD determines a reasonable child-to-Development Specialist ratio via a weighted caseload methodology in order to provide services and supports to families and children as determined by the IFSP team. Some variables that may affect the ratio include:
(1) The extent and intensity of the family supports provided;
(2) The extent and intensity of the child’s needs;
(3) Location of services and supports including travel time for home-based
services;
(4) The involvement and assistance of other services, supports, and agencies;
(5) The resources available within the county board and the community.Staffing ratios are determined by the Early Intervention Supervisor.
Home Visiting LCBDD does not participate in the Help Me Grow home visiting program.
Other Support LCBDD provides support to eligible families through the following means:
• Offering short term equipment/toy loan at no cost
• Opportunities for parent to parent networking and for children to socialize at playgroups in various locations including community sites
• Infant therapy funding (income based eligibility)
• Family Support Services Program (income based eligibility)These support services are based upon the availability of funding and the Agency’s plans/priorities.
 
Infant Therapy Funding:
Children from birth to age 3 who have been determined eligible for Help Me Grow Part C services will be eligible to make application for Infant Therapy Funding (ITF) through LCBDD. Once eligibility to apply for funding has been established via the HMG evaluation/assessment report, the need for therapy is verified through a Pediatrician/Primary Care Physician’s order for occupational, physical, or speech therapy and is supported as an outcome on the IFSP as determined by the IFSP team. Funding is not provided for any other therapies. Families will complete an ITF application and provide needed information. Forward the application to Early Intervention for processing. A committee comprised of the Educational Services Director, the Early Intervention Supervisor and the Director of Day Service and Support Administration (SSA) will review the application and apply guidelines. 
This program will follow Family Support Services funding guidelines for a sliding scale to be applied. Application for funding may include proof of family income. Family will be notified of decision by the SSA office. This program will follow the Funding Hierarchy for Help Me Grow Specialized Services and provide funding only after private insurance, Medicaid and other identified funding has been exhausted. Family will be required to provide proof of this. Each child will be limited to $600 per 6-month period.

 

Family Support Services Funding: 
 
Family Support Services assists a family who keeps at home a family member who has a developmental disability. The program promotes the unity of the family by assisting it to meet the special needs of the individual. Afamily is eligible for family support services if it includes a family member who resides at home and is eligible to receive services through the Lorain County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Request for services is initiated by the family. Request will be approved if funds and services are available and consistent with the Board’s Family Support Services plan and philosophy. Family allocation can be accessed each quarter. Families reapply at the beginning of each fiscal year for continuation of funding. If the needs of the family change, a new application is submitted. Families must verify that they have exhausted all other funding prior to requesting Family Support Services funding, including waivers.
 
 
Equipment/Toy Loan:
The Early Childhood Lending Library provides short term loan of therapeutic/developmental equipment and toys to families eligible for LCBDD services. Items are loaned at no-cost to families based on a first-come-first-serve basis, need, and availability of the item requested. A written contract shall be signed prior to delivery of the item to the family. Available items can be viewed on our website under Services for Children – Early Intervention – Lending Library, or you can contact the Early Intervention Supervisor, Heather Knoble at 440-284-3655 or EI@murrayridgecenter.org
 
Calendar:
 
LCBDD ensures and makes available early intervention services on a year round basis for a minimum of two hundred forty (240) days, based on availability of funds. The Agency calendar is provided to families at intake and annually.

 

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Murray Ridge Center
Lorain County Board of Developmental Disabilities Offices
1091 Infirmary Road
Elyria, OH 44035
(440) 329-3734
(440) 322-2683 fax
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