Currently in Illinois, a child is eligible for Early Intervention (EI) with a 30% or more delay, if they have a diagnosis of medical or mental condition that typically results in delays or if they are at a substantial risk of delay based on defined risk factors. Services include a broad range of developmental, social, emotional and health services designed to maximize their development, including speech/language, occupational, physical and developmental therapies.
As a federal and state funded program, the budget crisis has impacted providers' ability to continue services, resulting in many children who are not receiving authorized services. This is costing the state more money in the long run, as every dollar spent on EI saves at least $7 in future costs. EI services are 2 1/2 times less costly than special education services in preschool and elementary years.
Pediatric Interactions has options for families:
- Free developmental screenings
- Discounted private pay rates for individual and small group therapy. Scholarships may also be available thanks to the generosity of funders https://www.gofundme.com/helpeifamilies. Applications can be requested from firstname.lastname@example.org
- Participation in family enrichment and education programs offered through WeeBits