Early Childhood

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)

Ages Birth-2

Children from birth through age 2 with a diagnosed disability, a condition with a high probability of resulting in a delay, or who demonstrate a delay in at least one area of development listed above may be eligible for Early Intervention services.  Early Intervention provides quality services that are proven effective in helping children achieve developmental milestones.  Our team of professionals, which include Developmental Specialists and Service Coordinators as well as an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Speech Therapist will help build your family’s capacity to care for your child and promote his/her growth and development in natural environments.

Ages 3-5

Children age 3 to 5 must have documentation of at least two developmental delays to be eligible for our services.  Children in this age group are transitioning to school-age and your local school district becomes the main provider for your child.  If the eligibility criteria is met, children are assigned a Service & Support Administrator (SSA) who will assist you in planning for and finding resources to aid your child, as well as support you in navigating the education system.


Eligibility for services is determined using guidelines established by the State of Ohio. Click here for information about eligibility.

Paying for Services

Early Intervention services are funded through Federal and State grants and the generosity of our community through the Developmental Disabilities of Clark County tax levy.  We adhere to Ohio’s System of Payments rule for Early Intervention services, the majority of which are provided at no cost.

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 Early Intervention or the school, some funding may be available through Medicaid or the Family Needs Assistance program (FNA).  Contact your Service Coordinator or Service & Support Administrator 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.

529 Plans

10 Tips for Selecting Toys for Your Speech Delayed Child

American Academy of Audiology – Resources for Kids & Teens

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Beneficial Activities for Kids with Special Needs

Bridges to Transition

Career Assistance for People who are Deaf and Hearing Impaired

Catholic Charities & Second Harvest Foodbank

Cerebral Palsy Guide

Champaign Residential Services

Choices in Community Living

Clark County Family & Children First

Consumer Support Services

College Assistance Guide for People with ADHD

Disability Rights Ohio

Disability.gov – disability-related information and resources

Disability.gov’s Guide for Family Caregivers

Disabled Travelers – information on businesses from around the world that specialize in disability travel

Downsize Farms

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

Financial Assistance for Accessibility Home Repairs and Modifications

Flying with Children who have Autism

Golden Buckeye Card

Goodwill Easter Seals

A Guide for Homebuyers who have Disabilities

Hearing Loss Association of America

Home Accessibility

Home Accessibility Costs

Homeschooling and Children with Special Needs

Housing Connections

How Caregivers Can Take Better Care of Themselves

Independent Living of Ohio

Inner I Gallery

Learning Disabilities Association of America

Medicaid Buy-In program

Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association

Miami Valley Special Education Regional Resource Center

New Neighbors

Obesity and Children with Special Needs

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

Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

Ohio Early Intervention

Ohio Family and Children First


Ohio Provider Resource Association (OPRA)

Online Directory of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities

Project SEARCH

Provider Search

Quest Adult Services

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

Rights for Those with Hearing Loss


Routines and Children with Disabilities

A Safety Guide for Pedestrians who have Disabilities

Self-Help Groups for Speech, Language, and Swallowing Disorders


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

Speaking Freely: Empowering Speech Therapy Apps

Specs for Us

Special Olympics – Clark County, Ohio

STABLE Accounts

Streaming Television Solutions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing



Teaching Students with Special Needs

The Ability Builders

The ARC of Ohio

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

Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources

Toward Independence

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Autism information – information regarding screening/diagnosis, treatments, causes and risks

United Rehabilitation Services of Dayton (URS)

United Senior Services

United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication