Early Intervention (EI) consists of services designed to help families with children who have developmental delays or disabilities. Early Intervention builds upon the natural environments in a child’s first few years of life. Early Intervention is a process that promotes collaboration among parents and service providers, presented in the family home or the child’s natural setting.
​Children do not need a diagnosis to qualify for Early Intervention services.  A developmental evaluation determines eligibility for services, and all children determined eligible receive free and appropriate services, regardless of the family’s insurance or income.
Every child grows and learns new things at his or her own pace and may vary by up to six months in some things they are able to do.  If you are concerned about your child’s development, please give us a call.
Who can receive Early Intervention Services?

Any child who resides in Lackawanna or Susquehanna Counties can receive Early Intervention. Early Intervention is provided free of charge to all families.  There are no insurance requirements and there are no income guidelines.  Children ages birth to three years old begin their Early Intervention process with Scranton Counseling Center where they are assigned to work with a service coordinator. All of Early Intervention services take place at the home or at a childcare setting. The team working with your child will travel to you.

What is the role of your service coordinator?

The service coordinator will meet with you to do an intake, which is where we meet with the parent or guardian to gather information about the child, get required signatures and share an information packet with the family.  The service coordinator is responsible for setting up your child’s evaluation and coordinating services if your child is eligible for EI services. If eligible, the service coordinator monitors progress, sets up progress meetings and assists with community resources.  At three years of age, the child will transition out of the birth to three program to other services as appropriate.

Who is eligible for Early Intervention?

Any child can have an evaluation with any developmental concern.  We schedule a developmental evaluation. A child can be eligible based on the evaluation scores, a diagnosis that puts a child at risk for developmental delays or under Informed Clinical Opinion.

Who can refer to Early Intervention?

Families can self-refer directly to EI.  Doctors, local childcare programs, social service agencies all can also refer to Early Intervention.

What types of services are available in Early Intervention?

Early Intervention provides services such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupation therapy, Special needs instruction, vision services, Special needs instruction for behavior, and hearing services.  These services are provided by local agencies outside of Scranton Counseling Center who are contracted to serve families.

Why would some refer to Early Intervention?

If a child is having difficulty with any area of development or is not reaching milestones, a referral can be made. Some of these areas may include speech concerns (a child may not be using words yet), motor concerns (a child may not be walking or crawling yet), feeding concerns (a child may be having difficulty transitioning to table foods or may not be using utensils to feed), cognitive concerns (a child’s play and understanding may be behind), or social              developmental concerns.

Ten Tips for Raising Happier, Healthier Children
  • Be warm, loving and responsive
  • Respond to the child’s cues and clues
  • Talk, sing and read to your child
  • Establish rituals and routines
  • Encourage safe new experiences and play
  • Make television watching selective
  • Use discipline as an opportunity to teach
  • Recognize that each child is unique
  • Choose quality child care and stay involved
  • Take care of yourself
Development Milestones

Birth to 6 months: Your baby should know your face and turn their head to watch a toy, be able to make cooing sounds and chuckle, and watch you when you are talking.

6-9 months: Your baby will drop a toy and look for it, roll a ball and repeat actions that make noise.  Your baby will turn their head to their name and can imitate sounds.  This is a time where your baby will begin to wave “bye-bye” and play “so big”.  Your baby will be able to use a cup with help and move things between hands. Your baby can begin to sit up, creep or crawl on their belly and may even pull to stand.

9-15 months: Your child may be pointing and like banging toys together.  They can build blocks after 12 months.  Your child may be walking and trying to say several words.  Your child may also be helping with turning pages in a book. Your baby is starting to chew and can pick up things like Cheerios using their thumb and finger.

15-24 months: Your child can name some things in pictures, say up to 10 words and will point to things when asked (Where is your nose?).  Your child can take off their shoes and socks and can put things in a box.  Your child can run and climb stairs!  They also may not like to share at this age (mine).  Your child may be able to build blocks of six now and can match sounds to animals. At around 24 months we usually see children using at least 20 words and begin putting 2 words together.  They can play by themselves for a longer period of time. They can use a spoon, cup and set it down well.

30 months: Your child enjoys pretend play like feeding a doll, knows 3 body parts, and can use 3-word phrases.  Your child can also brush their teeth with help and can wash their own hands. They can run well, walk on tiptoes and can hold a crayon with fingers and turn pages one at a time.