1. New Jersey’s protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities published a paper in March 2008 outlining the importance of providing early intervention services for children with developmental delays. In the state of New Jersey, early intervention is not mandated and it is underfunded. As a result, New Jersey began charging parents for some early intervention services. This paper explains the hardship this has caused families. The paper also points out that early intervention services provide a tremendous savings to the state as the child grows. These savings come from reduced need for special education in school and for state developmental disabilities programs later in life.
Institutional source, paid for by a non-profit agency. The audience is anyone working with or caring for people with disabilities.
2. This month in Arizona, early intervention teachers are delivering letters from Arizona’s Department of Economic Security to families explaining that as of Mar 1, 2010, families will be required to pay a percentage of EI services. This is a link to the actual letter, along with a chart showing the formula used to determine how much each family will pay. Also included is a justification explaining why Arizona is allowed to charge families for these services. Both federal and state law are used to support this family cost share plan. Since these services aren’t mandated federally, and since Arizona law does not mandate them, the state is free to charge families.
Institutional source, paid for by the state of Arizona.
3. This US Department of Education site explains how funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was supposed to be used to support early intervention programs. The 500 million dollars allocated to early intervention funding was supposed to be used to allow “…early intervention service providers to implement innovative strategies to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youths with disabilities while stimulating the economy.” When Judy Newman, co-director of Early Childhood CARES, was asked how her agency used the money, she replied that it was used to save six staff position from being cut.
Institutional source, paid for by federal government.
4. Investing in early childhood development makes good economic sense. In March 2003, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis summarized their findings in a paper published in their journal, The Region. Their conclusion is that money spent on educating children during the first 5 years of life is an investment that saves huge amounts of money throughout the life span of that child. This paper concludes that children who receive help during their early critical years are less likely to drop out of school, commit crimes, and to receive public assistance. The authors of this paper made such a compelling argument that, according to Judy Newman, they were invited to speak to the Oregon state legislature about the importance of increasing early intervention funding.
Institutional source, paid for by state of Minnesota.
5. Each of the 50 United States have developed state law about how early intervention will be funded and delivered in their own state. States are federally mandated to provide certain aspects of early intervention at no cost to families, such as evaluations, informing parents of their legal rights, and reviewing children’s progress. States are free to decide whether or not to charge families for the actual services, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, or visits with a developmental specialist. As a result, each state differs in what services they deliver and at what cost. Minnesota’s law mandates all early intervention services and does not require parents to pay.
Institutional source, paid for by state government.
6. A success story of what early intervention can do for a child. This paper was written in April 2002 by a woman who is both the mother of a child with disabilities and a Kansas State Preschool Coordinator. She writes about the lessons that Kansas learned while implementing early intervention in her state. Additionally, she describes how her son received early intervention services in the 1970’s, before they were mandated. She reports that when her son was 6 months old, a group of specialists recommended having him institutionalized as he would never develop. He grew up to become a happily married man employed as a web master at a university.
Academic Research source, paid for by state of Kansas.
7. Illinois Comptroller, Dan Hynes, wrote an open letter in Dec 2009 to all early intervention service providers apologizing for lack of payment for their services. In this letter, he explains that the problem of non-payment will be getting worse as the state is in debt and does not have money to pay providers for their services.
I believe this is a citizen source. Although written by a state official, it is a letter written to the people of Illinois. Paid for by state of Illinois.
8. As of Feb 2010, Illinois service providers are still not being paid. Some are beginning to quit working in early intervention and have either left the state or have found jobs in private clinics. This situation has left some families without services as they wait for new therapists. Chicago Parent, an online parenting magazine, posted this article. They are paid by advertisers. This is a journalistic source.
9. Senate testament, given by Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer of Autism Speaks, in Aug 2009, argues for more funding for services for children with autism. Children with autism make up a huge portion of the children who receive early intervention services and autism is the fastest growing category of developmental delay.
Academic source, paid for by the group, Autism Speaks, an advocacy group.
10. The federal law outlined in IDEA, Part C, explains how states must address early intervention. While a complicated law, it is clear that this law allows the states to decide whether or not they will mandate and pay for early intervention. This is not the case with special education for children from age 3 through school age. It is only babies who can be denied special education services if the states choose.
Institutional source, paid for by federal government.