Early Childhood Intervention Program
Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) provides home based services for infants, birth to three, with developmental disabilities or delays and their families.
Children grow, learn, and develop a lot during their first three years. Although each child is special and grows and learns at his or her own pace, some children need extra help. This extra help is called early childhood intervention.
What are the benefits?
Research shows that growth and development are most rapid in the early years of life. The earlier problems are identified, the greater the chance of eliminating or minimizing them. Early intervention responds to the critical needs of children and families by:
- Promoting development and learning
- Providing support to families
- Coordinating services
- Decreasing need for costly special programs
Through the Early Childhood Intervention Program (ECI), PermiaCare offers services that help infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years of age) with disabilities or delays achieve their developmental milestones. By coaching families and caregivers how to embed learning strategies into everyday routines, we work as a team to maximize your child’s greatest potential. We also assist parents to access the resources they need to function at their best while focusing on the specific needs of the ECI child. ECI goes to families and focuses on working with the child and family in their natural environment, such as home, grandma’s, or a child care center. Essentially, it’s where children live, learn and play.
How can we help your child thrive?
Children referred to ECI will receive a developmental evaluation to determine eligibility for services, at no cost to families, according to the requirements of the State of Texas, your insurance or Medicaid will be billed. The evaluation team, with the family’s input, will determine the most suitable services for the child’s unique strengths and needs. The services offered in PermiaCare’s Early Childhood Intervention Program are described below.
Specialized Skills Training
Our ECI Program offers Specialized Skills Training for infants and toddlers that demonstrate developmental delays. Services are provided by an Early Intervention Specialist, who has broad knowledge of development and can address delays in language development, thinking skills, social-emotional development, and gross or fine motor skills. We also help the family integrate skills taught by therapists across developmental domains.
A Licensed Occupational Therapist (OT) may work with your child on enhancing their physical, sensory, or cognitive development. Depending on the age and needs of your child, the OT may work on gross or fine motor skills, feeding difficulties, or sensory integration techniques.
A Licensed Physical Therapist may work with your child to increase strength and muscle tone of the large muscles involved in standing, walking, climbing, running, and more.
A Speech-Language Pathologist addresses difficulties with producing the sounds expected of his or her language. We may also teach augmentative communication techniques if the child continues to have problems with language development. Feeding and oral-motor strengthening may be part of the developmental plan.
A Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Clinical Social Work may provide assistance with behavioral concerns (extreme tantrums, difficultly with compliance, sleeping difficulties, etc.) or attachment disorders including working with adoptive and foster children.
The services of a Registered Dietician may be requested if a child has an extremely limited dietary intake, has a history of poor growth, or is transitioning from mechanical feeding (such as a gastrointestinal tube) to normal feeding in order to ensure appropriate nutrition.
Auditory and Visual Impairment
A child with a visual or hearing impairment may be eligible for services from certified teachers who specialize in deaf and blind education. These specialists teach families how to maximize their child’s hearing or vision in order to help meet developmental and/or educational goals.
A Service Coordinator is assigned to each family in order to coordinate the services of the ECI team and/or outside service providers or agencies, to handle associated and necessary paperwork, and to assist the family in accessing any needed supports. Our Service Coordinators also monitor the family’s satisfaction with services and progress toward goals, makes arrangements for any additional services that may be needed, and schedules periodic reviews of the service plan. We will assist the family in preparing for any needed supports when the child turns three and leaves the program.
What is a Developmental Delay?
Developmental Delay: children who are delayed in one or more of the following areas of development:
- cognitive: difficulty with playing, learning and thinking
- motor: gross, fine and oral
- communication: limited understanding or responses in communicating with others
- social-emotional: attachment problems, limited parent/family interactions or behavior concerns
- self-help skills: feeding
- vision concern
- hearing concern
What is Atypical Development?
Atypical development: children may perform within their appropriate age range on test instruments, but whose patterns of development are different from their peers.
- Atypical sensory-motor development: muscle tone, reflex or postural reaction responses, oral-motor skills and sensory integration
- Atypical language or cognition: state regulation, attention span, perseveration, information processing
- Atypical emotional or social patterns: social responsiveness, affective development, attachment patterns, and self-targeted behaviors
Is My Child Eligible If They Have a Medically Diagnosed Condition?
Medically diagnosed condition: children who have a medically diagnosed condition with a high probability of developmental delay are automatically eligible for ECI services. Children with documented auditory and/or vision loss should be referred for automatic eligibility.
About ECI Services
The Parent to Parent: Knowing Your Rights video complements the ECI Parent Handbook, encouraging families in ECI to understand and exercise their rights. It also encourages parents to feel free to ask questions if they don’t understand something being said by an ECI professional or something in the handbook. It provides an overview of some, but not all, of a family’s rights, such as consent, prior written notice and confidentiality.
Family to Family
The Texas ECI: Family to Family video offers a family perspective for families who have been or may be referred to ECI and who would like to learn more about ECI services. ECI families talk about their experiences with ECI and how their child and the family benefited from ECI services; not just on the day of service, but every day as they apply the lessons learned from ECI professionals. You will hear how important you are to your child’s success and how you and ECI staff will work together to help your child.
Texas counties served by the PermiaCare ECI program include: Midland, Ector, Pecos, Brewster, Presidio, Culberson, and Jeff Davis.
Call to make a referral or for more information: