Parents are often the first to recognize that a child may have a disability. As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else and will naturally be concerned if your infant or toddler does not reach certain developmental milestones. If you believe your child may have a disability, the first step is to speak with your family pediatrician about your concerns. Every child is unique and develops at his or her own pace.
On the other hand, there are also knowledgeable professionals other than physicians who can be helpful, and evaluations may be free of charge. If your child has a developmental delay affecting one or more functional areas-physical, cognitive, communication, social-emotional, or adaptive-he or she may be eligible for Early Intervention services until the age of 3. The qualified disability attorneys of KSLN concentrate in providing legal assistance to families of children with disabilities and can help you navigate the Early Intervention program process.
Steps for the Early Intervention Program
To receive Early Intervention assistance, there are a series of steps to determine eligibility, what benefits are needed, and to develop a plan of action. Initially, you or a qualified individual can refer your child to your county’s Early Intervention Official, who will schedule any necessary evaluations or medical assessments to determine if your child qualifies for assistance. The disabilities lawyers of KSLN can help to guide you through this process, collecting the necessary documentation and consulting with your Early Intervention Official.
Once your child’s eligibility is established, you as parents and other important family members (or caregivers you choose), will meet with your Early Intervention Official, your initial service coordinator, and your child’s evaluators to create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The IFSP outlines goals for your child and what services are needed to achieve those outcomes. The IFSP also includes the designation of an ongoing service coordinator. Someone from KSLN may also attend this meeting with you, if you choose, to ensure that your IFSP meets your child’s needs. We can also help you prepare or represent you in mediation or an impartial hearing if you and the Early Intervention Official disagree on the contents, outcomes, or services detailed in your IFSP.
KSLN is also available to act as your advocate and legal support system if, during your Early Intervention Program experience, you feel your child is not being adequately or appropriately served by the program.
To learn more about KSLN, and how we can help you, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.