Early Intervention is a program that provides services to children from birth to 3 years old who experience developmental delays or have other health or medical issues. Services are provided by:
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Social workers
- Special education teachers
- Teachers of the deaf
Virtua's Early Intervention Program (EIP) provides a variety of therapeutic and support services to help infants and toddlers who have developmental delays. Virtua’s EIP specialists evaluate children at home or in other environments, such as childcare sites, to determine if they are experiencing developmental delays. Parents do not need a physician referral to access the service.
The evaluation team assesses the following:
- Adaptive or self-help skills such as dressing and feeding
- Learning abilities and play development
- Communication skills including speech, language and comprehension
- Gross-motor skills such as body movement, walking and crawling
- Fine-motor skills such as small-body movement and hand/finger use
- Sensory development including the ability to receive information through touch, hearing, sight and movement
- Social and emotional development including interactions with children, adults and the environment
To be eligible, children must be under 3 years old and have a z-score of -2 standard deviations below the mean in one area or -1.5 standard deviation below the mean in two or more areas. Children are also eligible based on specific medical diagnosis (i.e. Autism, hearing impaired, cerebral palsy).
Virtua’s Early Intervention Program is funded, in part, by the New Jersey Department of Health and funds coming from part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act from the Federal Government Act.
If eligible, the evaluation team creates an Individual Family Service Plan to help children develop their fullest potential. Services are provided in the natural environment, including the home and community.
For more information about Virtua’s Early Intervention Program call: 1-888-VIRTUA-3 (1-888-847-8823).
To make a referral call: 1-888-NJEIINFO (1-888-653-4463).