A cerebral palsy early intervention Venn diagram with examples of interventions in the surrounding circles.

What is Early Intervention (EI)?

Early Intervention (EI) services for cerebral palsy are for children from birth to age 3. These programs support the early development of the child when they have a qualifying diagnosis or they are at high risk for a developmental condition such as cerebral palsy. In order to receive EI services children will need to meet their state’s guidelines for services. Some children are diagnosed at birth with a condition that may qualify them. EI services may take place at your home, a clinic, a daycare center or through a Head Start program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides supportive resources and tools to help families during this time.

A little boy with cerebral palsy stands, playing at a giant version of the ‘Connect Four’ game as a woman observes him.

What Happens When Your Child Meets the Guidelines for Services?

After your child has been evaluated, and it has been decided they meet your state’s early intervention guidelines for services, you and your medical team will build an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan lays out the services your child, and family, will get through early intervention.

How to Access Early Intervention Services in your Area

The initial evaluation for early intervention will be conducted by a health professional free of charge. Parents may be referred for a screening by their healthcare provider, or they may contact their local EI program directly to ask for an evaluation. After the initial assessment services may be provided by the state at no cost or on a sliding scale. Contact your state EI program for more information.

What Services are Provided by Early Intervention for Cerebral Palsy?

What Early Intervention Approaches Work in Infants with Cerebral Palsy?

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The information from this page appears in our free and downloadable cerebral palsy tool kit.