Early Intervention

“It is truly night and day. We’ve been able to establish communication with Enzo and [he is] having less frustration.” – EI Parent

The mission of Early Intervention is to identify all children from birth to age three who are exhibiting delays or are at risk of delays in developmental skills. Some of the services covered include: speech, language, occupational, physical, and developmental therapies; social work; psychological services; assistive technology; nutrition, and nursing. The Early Intervention model stresses the importance of family participation and the family’s relationship to help the child grow and develop. 

CHAT started seeing clients through Early Intervention in 2023. We see this as an extension of our mission of helping those with few – if any – other options. We can reach children earlier, can potentially offer continuity of care once children age out of EI eligibility, and can offer early guidance to families about advocating for their children’s needs.

What is the Process?

  • Children can be referred to Early Intervention through:
    • Parents concerned about their children’s development
    • Pediatricians
    • Social workers
    • Daycare or preschool providers
    • Community screening events
  • Child is evaluated by a multidisciplinary team to determine if there is a developmental delay in the areas of cognitive, communication, physical, adaptive or social/emotional development.
  • To qualify for Early Intervention services, a child must have at least a 30% developmental delay that impacts one of the five main domains of development as confirmed by the multidisciplinary team, a qualifying medical condition, or meet risk eligibility criteria. 
  • Once a child has qualified, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) will be developed with the family to determine the home-based services the child will receive. 
  • If you are interested in obtaining services through Early Intervention you can reach out to your CFC, or regional office in your area to request an evaluation.  https://www.clearbrook.org/cfc/

How can CHAT help my birth-three aged child with services?

  • CHAT provides private clinic services for children under the age of three and can process an intake of your child’s needs and place them on our waiting list for services. At this time, services delivered in our clinic are not covered by Early Intervention (except in certain circumstances when an EI-credentialed clinician has an available clinic time), but rather by a family’s insurance directly.
  • If you would like to determine if your child would qualify for Early Intervention through the state of IL, you can request an evaluation by calling your local CFC (https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?module=12), through which a team can be scheduled to evaluate your child in your home. If they qualify for services, the family can request a CHAT EI provider through their Early Intervention Service Coordinator.

What is the cost or EI services? 

Services are funded through the state of Illinois. Every child found to have a qualifying developmental disability or delay can receive EI services, regardless of insurance status. For more information on pricing and fees, please refer to: https://eicbo.info/families/families-question-answers/

Although EI services are meant to be provided in the natural environment of the child (home or daycare), it is possible that CHAT will provide EI based services in our clinic in the future. For the time being, however, if you are interested in accessing services through CHAT at our clinic, payment will be billed privately through your insurance. 

Benefits of Early Intervention:

  • Gaps in development at earlier ages are smaller hurdles to overcome than if left unaddressed until a child is older.
  • The earlier services are delivered, the more likely children are to develop effective communication, language, and swallowing skills and achieve successful learning outcomes.
  • Reaching children in their homes, with their trusted caregivers, tends to result in better outcomes for the child.
  • CHAT SLPs can also provide guidance about accessing school-based services for families aging out of EI, helping them to advocate for their children.

Questions? Contact Zoë Miller, zoe@chatwithus.org