Understanding early intervention
Early intervention is a term that often is used to describe specific agencies, programs, services, and resources. In North Carolina, early intervention refers to the system of services provided by many different agencies and programs for children birth to five and their families. This comprehensive, interagency system is called Together We Grow. There are two parts of Together We Grow - the Infant-Toddler Program for children birth to three and the Preschool Program for children ages three to five. The North Carolina Interagency Coordinating Council is an advisory group to both programs, and focuses on the birth to five age range.
The early intervention system of services is provided under federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Part C of the IDEA provides the federal mandate for services for young children with special needs, aged birth to three years. Part B of the IDEA provides the federal mandate for students with special needs, aged 3-21 years.1
Some examples of Early Intervention Services are:
- Assistive technology
- Hearing services
- Family counseling and support
- Parenting classes
- Medical services
- Nursing services
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Respite services
- North Carolina Infant Toddler Parent Handbook is a helpful guide to understanding early intervention services in North Carolina.
- NC Early Intervention Library provides additional resources on this topic.
- Children’s Developmental Services Agencies (CDSAs) assure that children from birth to three years of age receive services mandated under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Most CDSAs serve multiple counties. They are the point of referral for the North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program. All
- Family Support Network™ work with their local CDSAs to provide support for families with children who have special needs.
- CARE-LINE, 1-800-662-7030 (English and Spanish) is the toll-free telephone information and referral help line of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Individuals who are deaf or have a hearing impairment may reach CARE-LINE toll-free at 1-877-452-2514 (TTY).