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 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.

Abiltypaths.org : Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs
529 Plans
10 Tips for Selecting Toys for Your Speech Delayed Child
American Academy of Audiology – Resources for Kids & Teens-Learning Disabilities Association of America
Beneficial Activities for Kids with Special Needs
Bridges to Transition OACB Login in
Clark County Family & Children First
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
Flying with Children who have Autism
Homeschooling and Children with Special Needs
Learning Disabilities Association of America Ohio Medicaid’s main page
Medicaid Buy-In program American Academy of Audiology: for kids and young adults
Ocali – very good resources for families who have a child with autism
Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities
Ohio Early Intervention
Ohio Family and Children First
Resource Guide for families with young children – provided by the Clark County Children and Family Collaborative
Routines and Children with Disabilities
Strive 10 tips for selecting toys for speech delayed child
Teaching Students with Special Needs
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Autism information – information regarding screening/diagnosis, treatments, causes and risks
Providers of DD Services
Consumer Support Services
Champaign Residential Services
Choices in Community Living
Downsize Farms
Goodwill Easter Seals
Independent Living of Ohio
Provider Search
Quest Adult Services
Recreation Unlimited – year-round programs in sports, recreation and education for individuals with disabilities
The Ability Builders 
Toward Independence
United Rehabilitation Services of Dayton (URS)
General Resources
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities-Ovation hearing: Rights for those with hearing loss
Catholic Charities & Second Harvest Foodbank
Cerebral Palsy Guide
Disabled Travelers – information on businesses from around the world that specialize in disability travel
Hearing Loss Association of America
Home Accessibility
Home Accessibility Costs
Hearing Loss Association of America
OBI – robotic feeding device that allows people of all ages to eat independently and be active participants in social mealtimes
Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council
Online Directory of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
A Safety Guide for Pedestrians who have Disabilities
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
Specs for Us-Superior Precision Eyewear for Children who are Special. (Adults and Infants too!)
Special Olympics – Clark County, Ohio
STABLE Accounts
Streaming Television Solutions for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
The ARC of Ohio
Trauma Informed Care: Perspectives and Resources
United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Community Resources
Housing Connections
Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association
Miami Valley Special Education Regional Resource Center
Disability Rights Ohio
Disability.gov – disability-related information and resources
Disability.gov’s Guide for Family Caregivers Link not working 9/17/19
Career Assistance for People who are Deaf and Hearing Impaired Bad link
College Assistance Guide for People with ADHD  page under construction 9/17/19
Golden Buckeye Card
A Guide for Homebuyers who have Disabilities
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Wrong link. Right one: https://ood.ohio.gov/ 
Project SEARCH
United Senior Services