The State is proposing a dramatic change in eligibility for early intervention (as proposed in the "Eligibility for Infant/Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention.")
Children who understand words but are not able to speak may be excluded.
Children who walk but have trouble with their hands may be excluded.
These eligibility changes, if enacted, will:
Reduce by 25% the number of young children (ages Birth to 3 years old) who will have access to Early Intervention Services.
Especially impact young children with communication disorders and undiagnosed conditions (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder).
Reduce school readiness among young children.
Increase the likelihood of the state incurring more special education expenses, as Early Intervention has been demonstrated to reduce the cost of Special Education (for every $1 spent in Early Intervention, $4 are saved in Special Education.)
We should be investing in these children from the very beginning. Early Intervention services have been shown to be effective, both therapeutically and financially. Without these services families will struggle to gain access to the support their children need. Please reconsider this proposal.
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