May is Early Intervention Month

May 17 , 2007

Fredericksburg, Virginia – Governor Kaine has declared May 2007 as Early Intervention Awareness Month in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Locally, early intervention services are provided by the Parent Education-Infant Development Program (PE-ID) of the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB).

The PE-ID program works with infants and toddlers with delays aged birth to 36 months who live in the City of Fredericksburg and the Counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford. The program provides physical, occupational, and speech therapies, as well as special education and service coordination to more than 300 infants and their families each year.

Children are referred for evaluation when a developmental delay is suspected in the areas of language, motor skills, cognitive development, or social or self-help skills. PE-ID staff works together in teams to conduct a multi-disciplinary assessment of each child. Services are provided in the child’s natural environment which includes the home and daycare. An emphasis is placed on parent training and activities that will support the child’s development and meet identified goals.

According to Jill Donaldson, PE-ID Program Coordinator, “Parents are their child’s best teacher. Early intervention can make a tremendous difference in the lives of children to help families minimize delays and support development."

Early Intervention evolved from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which originally provided services for children ages three to 21 with developmental delays or disabilities and later expanded to include children from birth to age three.

Program coordinator, Jill Donaldson, was awarded the 2007 Virginia Early Intervention Leadership Award this past March. The award is presented to an outstanding individual who has made significant contributions to the field of early intervention at the local, state, and national levels that have improved or will improve the lives of young children with delays and disabilities and their families in Virginia. In addition to serving as program coordinator, Ms. Donaldson provides direct services to children and families enrolled in the PE-ID program as a Speech Language Pathologist.

The PE-ID program is the service provider for the Infant & Toddler Connection of the Rappahannock Area, part of Virginia’s outreach program to increase awareness of early intervention services throughout the state.

Evaluations and assessments are provided at no cost. Therapy services are billable to medical insurance including Medicaid. Fees are based on a sliding scale and no one is denied service due to an inability to pay.

A total of 95 toddlers graduated from the PE-ID program in August 2006 and 350 children were served from July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.

Visit www.racsb.state.va.us and select “Early Intervention” for list of developmental milestones. Or, call 540-372-3561 for additional information.

 

 
 


Rappahannock Area Community Service Board  |  600 Jackson Street  |  Fredericksburg, VA 22401  |  (540) 373-3223