Are you concerned about your child's development? Worried that your child might have autism? Afraid your child's not keeping up with his peers? The Early Intervention Program (EIP) can help make a difference for children with special needs.
Young children learn and develop differently. One baby may walk earlier than another, while another baby might talk first. Often, these differences will even out. However, some children will need help to grow and develop.
The New York State publication, "Early Help Makes a Difference", is a good reference to help you look for signs at different stages of development, that might suggest that your infant or toddler may not be growing and developing. Remember to talk with your child's pediatrician if you have concerns about your child's development. Here's what you can expect your child to be doing from birth to age three:
At three months of age, most babies:
- turn their heads towards bright colors and lights
- move both eyes in the same direction together
- recognize bottle or breast
- respond to their mother's voice
- make cooing sounds
- bring their hands together
- wiggle and kick with arms and legs
- lift head when on stomach
- become quiet in response to sound, especially speech smile
At six months of age, most babies:
- follow moving objects with their eyes
- turn toward the source of normal sound
- reach for objects and pick them up
- switch toys from one hand to the other
- play with their toes
- help hold the bottle during feeding
- recognize familiar faces
- imitate speech sounds
- respond to soft sounds, especially talking
- roll over
At twelve months of age, most babies:
- get to a sitting position
- pull to a standing position
- stand briefly with out support
- imitate adults using a cup or telephone
- play peek-a-boo and patty cake
- wave bye-bye
- put objects in a container
- say at least one word
- make "ma-ma" or "da-da" sounds
At 1 1/2 years of age, most babies:
- Like to push and pull objects
- say at least 6 words
- follow simple directions ("Bring the ball")
- pull off shoes, socks and mittens
- can point to a picture that you name in a book
- feed themselves
- make marks on paper with crayons
- walk without help
- walk backwards
- point, make sounds or try to use words to ask for things
- say "no," shake their head or push away things they don't want
At two years of age, most babies:
- use two-to-three word sentences
- say about 50 words
- recognize familiar pictures
- kick a ball forward
- feed themselves with a spoon
- demand a lot of your attention
- turn 2-3 pages at a time
- like to imitate their parent
- identify hair, eyes, ears and nose by pointing
- build a tower of four blocks
- show affection
At three years of age, most babies:
- throw a ball overhand
- ride a tricycle
- put on their shoes
- open the door
- turn one page at a time
- play with other children for a few minutes
- repeat common rhymes
- use three-to-five word sentences
- name at least one color correctly
Early Help Makes a Difference - Developed by NYS Dept. of Health, Bureau of Early Intervention
Where Can Parents Get Help?
Call the Early Intervention Program, Westchester County Health Department at (914) 813-5094. Support staff will put you in touch with an Initial Service Coordinator who will assist you with the Early Intervention process to determine if your child is eligible for the Early Intervention Program.
What Help is Available?
If your child is found eligible, the Early Intervention Program can provide a variety of therapeutic and support services for you and your infant/toddler with disabilities, including: evaluation services (hearing and vision screening), home visits, speech, physical and other therapies, child development groups, and family counseling. These services are provided at no cost to you.
What Children Need Early Help?
Any child from birth to age three with a developmental delay, disability or condition that affects development may need help. Developmental delays may range from minor delays in speech development to more major delays in children with autism.
Who Do I Call?
Early Intervention Program, Westchester County Health Department at (914) 813-5094.
If you have any information concerning suspected fraud, please report it using the online fraud reporting form. Your information will be referred to someone who will investigate the claim.
Please help us to evaluate the Early Intervention Program by taking a few minutes to answer one of the questionnaires below. Your response will be useful in determining what practices work best and how we can refine the system for those we will be serving in the future.
- Questionnaire for child determined Ineligible for Services
- Questionnaire for child who received EI services and is being discharged
- A Parent's Guide for Children with Special Needs - Birth to Age Three (NYSDOH)
- Early Help Makes a Difference (NYSDOH) - available in a number of different languages