Early Intervention Services (EIS)

Services and supports that are available to eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. As determined by an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) Team, the IFSP may contain a broad range of services to address the needs of the infant/toddler and family, including:  assistive technology devices and services; audiology services; family training, counseling, home visits; health services; medical services (diagnosis/evaluation); nursing services; nutrition services; occupational therapy; physical therapy; psychological services; service coordination; sign language and cued language; social work services; special instruction; speech-language pathology; transportation and related costs; and vision services.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)

A written plan for providing early intervention services to an infant/ toddler with disabilities and the family. Each IFSP must be based on the infant/toddler’s evaluation and assessment, and developed by an IFSP team that includes the  parents, the service coordinator, a person who was directly involved in conducting the evaluation and assessment, and, as appropriate, people who will be involved in providing early intervention services to the infant/toddler or family. 

Each infant or toddler’s IFSP must include: 1) information on the infant’s or toddler’s present level of development in all areas; 2) if the parents agree, the family’s resources, priorities, and concerns related to improving the infant’s or toddler’s development; 3) results or outcomes for the infant/toddler and family; 4) procedures for measuring progress toward those results or outcomes; 5) services the infant/toddler and family will receive to help them achieve the outcomes; 6) length, duration, frequency, intensity, and method of providing the service; and 7) the setting(s) in which services will be provided.

IFSP Team The team that creates an Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) for an eligible infant or toddler. The IFSP Team members include:  1) a parent or parents of the child; 2) other family members as requested by the parent; 3) an advocate or person outside the family, if parent requests that the person participate; 4) Service coordinator; 5) a person or persons involved in conducting the infant/toddler and family’s evaluation and assessment; 6) as appropriate, a person or persons who will be providing early intervention services to the infant/toddler and/or family.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) A law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
IDEA Part B The section of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that addresses how states provide a free appropriate public education for eligible Children and youth with disabilities ages three through 21.
IDEA Part C The section of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that ensures infants and toddlers with disabilities, birth through age two, and their families, receive early intervention services.
Lead Agency (LA) This is the agency that the governor of a state appoints to: 1) receive federal funds under Part C of the IDEA; and 2) oversee and implement the state’s responsibilities under the Part C early intervention program.  Examples of Lead Agencies in different states include:  1) the State Department of Health; 2) the State Department of Education; 3) the State Department of Human Services; and 4) some interagency organizations.
Parent Under Part C of the IDEA, a parent means: 1) a biological or adoptive parent of a child; 2) a foster parent, unless state law, regulations, or contractual obligations with a state or local entity prohibit a foster parent from acting as a parent; 3) a guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent, or authorized to make early intervention, educational, health or developmental decisions for the child (but not the state if the child is a ward of the state); 4) an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare; or 5) A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with the IDEA.
Parent Center  A federally-funded Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers in each state who work with families of infants and toddlers and children with disabilities and help families participate effectively in the infant’s or toddler’s development and education.
Public Agency (PA) The state Lead Agency and any other agency or political subdivision of the state. Examples of Public Agencies in different states include: 1) the State Department of Health; 2) the State Department of Education; 3) the State Department of Human Services; and 4) some interagency organizations.
Service Coordinator The person assigned to assist the infant’s or toddler’s family with the early intervention process.  The service coordinator’s responsibilities include: 1) coordinating all of the early intervention services the infant/toddler and family receive; 2) assisting the parents in gaining access to early intervention services; 3) facilitating the IFSP process; 4) informing parents of their procedural rights; and 5) coordinating funding sources for early intervention services.
State Educational Agency (SEA) The state agency that: 1) is primarily responsible for the state supervision of elementary and secondary schools (such as state board of education or other agency or officer); and 2) receives IDEA Part B funds to meet the state’s responsibilities under Part B of the IDEA. Generally this is for the education of students with disabilities aged three through 21 years of age. An SEA may serve as a lead agency in some states.