Early intervention (EI) services for children with disabilities used to be provided in an office, clinic, or a special center. Now, by law, children from birth to 36 months who have or are at risk for developmental delays are entitled to receive EI services in their natural environments. Natural environments are settings that include the same activities and routines in which children of similar ages without disabilities take part. The activities might take place at home or other places the family and the child go during the course of their every­day lives. An EI service provider helps parents adapt daily routines and activities.

This topical guide on natural environments will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse.


Contact us to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian).

  • Environment:  Promoting Meaningful Access, Participation, and Inclusion (DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series No. 2)
    Tricia Catalino and Lori Meyer, Eds.
    Division for Early Childhood, 2016
    This book offers professionals and families multiple ways to implement the environment practices across the settings in which children grow and learn.
    LC 4019.3 .D641 2016 Vol.2 961922670
  • Family-Centered Early Intervention : Supporting Infants and Toddlers in Natural Environments
    Sharon A. Raver
    Brookes Publishing, 2015.
    Offers recommended practices for family-centered, evidence-based intervention and team collaboration to ensure the best possible outcomes for infants and young children involved in early intervention programs.
    LC 4019.3 .R39 2015 894670517
  • Natural Environments and Inclusion
    Susan Rebecka Sandall & Michaelene Ostrosky (Eds.)
    Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children, 2000.
    This short book addresses the importance of natural environments and inclusion. Chapters include “It’s Only Natural…to Have Early Intervention in the Environments Where It’s Needed” and “Interest-Based Natural Learning Opportunities.” The last chapter titled “Resources within Reason: Natural Environments and Inclusion” includes lists of books, videos, and Web sites.
    HQ 778.5.N285 55220314


Contact us to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Some videos may be viewed online.

  • Team Lydia Rose:  Supporting Inclusion Every Day in Every Way
    16-min. video
    Desired Results Access Project, CA Dept. of Education
    This 2-part video illustrates how inclusive practices should begin as early as possible. The first part describes Lydia Rose’s time in the NICU and her stroke at 4-months old. In the second part, Lydia Rose’s EI team members discuss inclusion, collaboration, teamwork, natural environments, coaching, and more.
  • Any place, any time, anywhere: Everyday learning in family, community, and classroom activities
    83-min. DVD
    This DVD discusses children’s learning that occurs every day as part of family life. The three-part video series focuses on learning in the natural environments of young children: the family home, the community, and the early childhood classroom.
    LB 1060 .A637 2009dvd 501204586


We are still adding to this resource guide. Please check back later for additional resources.


The journal titles linked below will take you to the publisher's homepage. You can ask your local public librarian how to obtain these articles or contact us for more information.

  • ASHA Leader, 13: 14-21
    Providing early intervention services in natural environments.
    J. Woods. (2008).
    This article describes ASHA’s position on service delivery in early intervention.  Direct link available here.
  • Young Exceptional Children, 5(3), 21-24
    Natural Environments: A Letter from a Mother to Friends, Families, and Professionals
    Lorna Mullis. (2002)
    A mother of a son with Down Syndrome discusses how her family and child care providers work with him in natural environments to support his learning in daily activities. She urges other parents to keep trying until they find the right match that works for their family.

Web Resources

The web resources listed below provide quick and easy access to evidence-based online information.


Natural Environments