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Infants and toddlers who have an identified disability, including children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and pervasive developmental delays (PDD) are eligible for early intervention services.
The federal government, under Part C of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provides funding to states for screening and identification, assessment, IFSP development, and service coordination for children birth through three years of age with or at risk for disabilities and their families.
In New Jersey, funding for early intervention services flows through the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services. To begin the process of enrolling in early intervention services parents may go to NJEIS and click on Make a Referral to identify contact information for their geographic area.
The early intervention program at P. G. Chambers School assists the family in helping their child improve the communication, motor, learning, social, and emotional skills necessary for lifelong learning. The program also provides parents with support, information, and education about child development, disabilities, their rights as parents of children with disabilities, and how to secure services and advocate for their children.
The goals of P.G. Chambers School early intervention program are:
- to improve the motor, language, learning, social, and emotional development of each child
- to provide the foundation for success in school and life
- to provide support, information, and education to families
- to increase the connections to community resources for each family
Special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, social workers, and child development assistants provide early intervention services to families.Using a family-centered approach, PGCS staff provide activities and interventions using evidence-based best practices in early intervention. Services are provided in natural environments including the child’s home, child care center, or other group settings in the community.
As a child reaches the age of two years, families begin the process of transition and learning about options for preschool. At age three, the family and their local school district determine the child’s eligibility and enrollment in a preschool special education class.
State early intervention funding is supplemented at P.G. Chambers School by generous support from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, and grants and contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
In addition to state-funded early intervention services, P.G. Chambers School also offers integrated developmental playgroups, individual/family counseling, and parent support groups for families enrolled in early intervention. Technology is used as a support to learning, growth, and development and is integrated into both the state-funded home visiting program and the developmental play groups.
For more information, contact early intervention program director,
Amber Hummer, at firstname.lastname@example.org