After your child’s eligibility for Illinois Early Intervention Program services has been determined, your service coordinator will guide you through the development of your child’s Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). Within 45 days of your referral, the IFSP team will meet to develop this plan. You will be part of the IFSP team, along with your service coordinator and the early intervention professionals that evaluated your child.
The IFSP outlines the services that your child and family will receive. The plan will include the types and frequency of services, the date that your child will transition out of early intervention services, and the statement or signature of consent. A valuable infographic describing Illinois Early Intervention Systems of Support was created by a statewide workgroup in collaboration with the Early Intervention Training Program (also available as a printable PDF).
You may also receive help from a parent liaison: a parent of a child who has already received Illinois Early Intervention Program services. As someone who has been in your shoes, this individual supports you by listening or answering your questions.
Early intervention services may include:
- Assistive technology
- Audiology/aural rehabilitation
- Developmental therapy/special instruction
- Family training and support
- Health consultation
- Medical services (only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. See brochure)
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Psychological/counseling services
- Service coordination
- Sign language or cued language
- Social work
- Speech language pathology
- Translation/interpretation to other languages
The delivery of these services should meet your child’s and family’s preferences, learning styles, and cultural beliefs.
How services are provided
The Illinois Early Intervention Program provides services in several ways.
- A therapist may provide direct services through one-on-one interactions with a child and family to provide education, intervention, and environmental support. A therapist will interact with the family at least monthly.
- Monitoring involves evaluation and re-evaluation of a child and family’s needs and may include assistance and review of activities for parents or caregivers to do with the child.
- Consultation involves the therapist providing training, evaluation, or assistance regarding a specific challenge for a child.
- Most services can be effectively provided through live video visits with providers observing parent-child interactions and providing feedback about the interactions. Your provider may model an activity or part of a routine and ask you to observe. You will then be invited to try the strategy or activity with your child.
Who provides services
Services are provided by qualified personnel including:
- Special educators (developmental therapists)
- Speech/language pathologists and audiologists
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Social workers
- Family therapists
- Orientation and mobility specialists
- Pediatricians and other physicians
After your child receives services for 6 months and again after a year, the IFSP team, including you, your service coordinator, and the Illinois Early Intervention Program team serving your child, will review your child’s care, progress, and needs. The IFSP team may meet more frequently if needed or upon your request. After a year, if your child is determined to still be eligible for services, the team will develop a new IFSP.
When your child turns 3
Upon reaching his or her third birthday, your child no longer will be eligible for Illinois Early Intervention Program services. For this reason, your service coordinator will begin to help you with transition planning at least 6 months in advance.
A common transition is moving from the Illinois Early Intervention Program to a program for 3- to 5-year-old children, such as a preschool, Head Start program, Preschool for All classroom, or an early childhood program offered by your school district.
- Developing Family-Centered Outcomes with Your EI Team (Tip Sheet)
- The Family’s Role in Early Intervention: How You Can Help Your Child (Tip Sheet)
- Natural Environments: Where All Children Belong (Tip sheet)
- Paying for EI Services (Tip Sheet)
- Six-Month Review: An Important Part of the EI Process (Tip Sheet)
- Talking with Your EI Service Providers (Tip Sheet)
- Transition at Age 3: Leaving the Early Intervention Program (Tip Sheet)
- What Happens During a Typical EI Visit? (Tip Sheet)
- What’s in Your IFSP? (Tip Sheet)
- Who Is on Your Early Intervention Team? (Tip Sheet)