Did you know that children who have suspected delays or disabilities may be eligible for free in-home services? The Shelby County Board of DD (SCBDD) provides in-person coaching and therapy to families with children who may be at risk of not meeting milestones. Our early intervention department is staffed with licensed speech, occupational and physical therapists with specialized training to work with babies and children ages 0-3. Developmental specialists are also members of the department who help round out the team and provide in-home supports and coaching.
Early intervention services are unique in that a referral from a pediatrician is not required to receive an evaluation or to access services. Families don’t have to travel to the hospital or an outpatient center to receive services. SCBDD provides all services in the child’s natural environment using objects and items that the family has regular access to and can integrate into their own unique family routines. It is not uncommon for one of the early intervention team to be present for bath-time or dinnertime at the home to help the child develop their skills. The goal is always to involve the family with the process so that when our staff are not there, the family is comfortable using skills they learned to further their child’s development.
Even throughout the pandemic, we were operational and learned to provide services virtually through video calls and other platforms. We only have a short period of time to affect the development of a child so it was imperative for us to adapt our work. These days the majority of our services are happening in person, but some families may still request virtual services.
Once a child turns 3, the early intervention team can assist with the transition to preschool, whether that is through a special education program or through a general education program. At age 3, a child may also be eligible for a service and support administrator who can assist the family with navigating systems.
If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about eligibility for early intervention services, please call 937-497-8155 and ask to speak to our early intervention director.
The services we provide at the Shelby County Board of DD truly span the entire lifetime. For more information on what we do, please check out our website at www.shelbydd.org and make sure to follow us on Facebook @shelbydd.org.
The writer is the superintendent of the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities.