Ages Birth – 5
Early childhood is a time of tremendous growth across all areas of development. A newborn grows from being entirely dependent, into a young person who is learning to take care of his or her own needs as well as interact with others. This is also when a child may demonstrate a developmental delay in one of the following areas of development:
- Large Muscle Movement (rolling, crawling, walking, etc)
- Small Muscle Movement (holding a bottle, rattle, toys, etc)
- Speech and Language Skills (feeding, understanding others, saying words, etc)
- Cognitive Skills (thinking and learning, how does your child play with/interact with toys and environment)
- Social Emotional Skills (how does your child interact with others)
- Self Help Skills (eating and dressing)
Children age 0 through 2 who demonstrate a delay in at least one area of development listed above, or who have a diagnosed medical condition such as Down Syndrome, Autism, or a genetic condition that has a high probability of causing a developmental delay, are eligible for services from our Early Intervention Department (EI).
EI works collaboratively with the Help Me Grow Program to provide quality services that have been proven effective in helping children achieve milestones in their development. Our team of professionals, which include Developmental Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, and Help Me Grow Service Coordinators will help build your family’s capacity to care for your child and promote his/her growth and development in his/her natural environment.
To be eligible for our services, children age 3 to 5 must display at least two developmental delays listed above, or have a diagnosis that establishes a risk for delays.
Children in this age group are transitioning to school-age and your local school district becomes the main service provider for your child. If eligible for our services, children are assigned a Path Coordinator from our Community Living Services Department (CLS) who will assist you in planning for and finding resources to aid your child, and assisting with your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) at school.
Eligibility for services is determined using guidelines established by the State of Ohio. Click here for information about eligibility.
Paying for Services
Our Early Intervention Department and Help Me Grow are funded through Federal and State grants, and the generosity of our community through the Developmental Disabilities tax levy. There is no fee for families to participate in this program.
If a child requires therapies that are not provided through Help Me Grow or Early Intervention, some funding is available through Medicaid or the Family Needs Assistance program (FNA). FNA covers such services as respite care, adaptive equipment, home modifications, developmental toys, and some therapies. Contact your Service Coordinator for help in applying for this funding.
Local school districts are required by law to provide free and appropriate public education to children with disabilities age 3 to 21. An appropriate education may be accompanied by related services such as speech therapy, occupational and physical therapy, psychological counseling, and medical diagnostic services necessary to the child’s education.
If a child requires therapies that are not provided through the school, some funding is available through Medicaid or the Family Support Services program (FSS). FSS covers such services as respite care, adaptive equipment, home modifications, developmental toys, and some therapies. Contact your Path Coordinator for help in applying for this funding.
The links below are for informational purposes, are not all-inclusive, and do not indicate endorsement by Developmental Disabilities of Clark County.
Disability.gov – disability-related information and resources
Disabled Travelers – information on businesses from around the world that specialize in disability travel
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program – Medicaid’s child health component, available to any child in Ohio with a Medicaid Card, including children on Ohio’s Home Care, Transitions, IO and Level 1 Waivers
OBI – robotic feeding device that allows people of all ages to eat independently and be active participants in social mealtimes
Ocali – very good resources for families who have a child with autism
Recreation Unlimited – year-round programs in sports, recreation and education for individuals with disabilities
Resource Guide for families with young children – provided by the Clark County Children and Family Collaborative
Sibling Support Project – A national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns
The Learning Cafe – an innovative program offering for-credit and personal interest courses as well as access to social services and convenient nutritious dinners for participants
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Autism information – information regarding screening/diagnosis, treatments, causes and risks