Early Intervention Still A Vital Service

Leigh Anne Wenning

Even through a pandemic, the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities is working to ensure all people are receiving the services they need. The Shelby County Board of DD’s Early Intervention (EI) Department is no exception. Our EI Department, in partnership with Ohio Early Intervention Service Coordination and our local Family and Children First Council, works to ensure that babies and children ages 0-3, who may not be hitting developmental milestones, receive the intervention they need.

Early Intervention is a service funded through local levy dollars and offered at no cost to children in our county who have a developmental delay or disability.

EI builds upon existing strengths and provides support to assist caregivers to enhance a child’s development through daily routines. Pre-pandemic you would find our EI staff in homes throughout the county, childcares and other natural environments, working with children and their families on developmental milestones and skills like sitting up, talking and eating. Now that we are all dealing with COVID-19, the way we are working may have changed, but we are still providing important services to families all around the county.

Safety for our families, our staff and the community is always a big concern, but especially during this time. That is why we now offer a virtual option for many of our services. Families are still able to meet with their EI team in real-time and receive feedback and consultation through our virtual platforms. In some complex situations, we have taken necessary safety precautions and met with families in person, but many of our visits are still occurring virtually.

A child’s development is not going to wait for the pandemic to be over and our team has been committed to ensure support is there when needed.

For more information on the Shelby County Board of DD’s Early Intervention services, please check out our website at: https://shelbydd.org/family-individual-support/ birth- 2- years/ . If you are concerned about your child’s development and would like to make a referral for services, please call the toll-free referral line at 1-800-755-4769. If you have questions and would like to speak to one of our EI staff, please call us at the Shelby County Board of DD at 937-497-8155.

The writer is the superintendent of the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

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Leigh Anne Wenning Contributing columnist

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