Birth to 2 Years

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What DD Services are Available for Infants & Toddlers?

  • Individualized family plan based on your needs
  • Early Intervention programming
  • Autism programming and support
  • Learning in a natural environment setting
  • Specialized therapy based on the physical, emotional, social and mental needs of each child

What is Ohio Early Intervention?

A statewide system that is a centralized site for referrals and provides coordinated services to parents of infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities or delays in Ohio.

Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities works in partnership with Ohio Early Intervention to provide developmental evaluations and early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays.

Families and Professionals seeking general information about Ohio Early Intervention or who wish to make a referral for a child aged birth-2 may use one of the following options:

Call the Toll-Free Help Me Grow Referral Line – 1-800-755-4769
Secure Web-Based Referral Form

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Eligibility for Early Intervention

To be eligible for Early Intervention services, the child must be less than 3 years old and found to have a developmental delay in at least one of the following areas: communication, emotional/social, motor, cognitive or self help via an evaluation.

More Information About Early Intervention Programs

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Natural Environment Learning for Early Intervention

Through our natural environment learning program, we come to the family and support them in everyday activities and routines. We show parents and caregivers how to work with a child in their natural environment so they can have the most frequent opportunities for practice and skill repetition. Families have access to a core team of professionals who can coach and provide direct therapy when needed.

What will staff do in my child's natural environment?

  • Watch your child play or participate in their natural routine
  • Play alongside your child
  • Reinforce activities that you are already doing with your child in your daily routines
  • Address any questions/concerns caregivers may have
  • Develop a plan together of what will be worked on between visits

What is the role of the caregiver during the natural environment visit?

  • Play with your child and go about the natural routine
  • Learn and get new ideas as well as make suggestions for strategies to reach outcomes
  • Help your child develop independence
  • Discuss with your service providers what your child is doing and share any concerns

Caregivers are asked to remain in the natural environment with the Early Intervention staff and the child. Typical natural environment visits will last for 30 minutes to one hour.

If you need to cancel a natural environment visit, please do so in advance by calling your child’s primary service provider or the Early Intervention program at 937-497-8155.

Developmental, Speech, Occupational, & Physical Therapy for Early Intervention

early intervention young boy in striped shirt

Developmental Specialist

A Developmental Specialist works with families in the five domains of development: communication skills, physical (fine motor and gross motor) skills, adaptive skills, cognitive skills and social/emotional development.

Examples of skills we can assist you and your child in developing

  • Copying sounds that your child makes or singing nursery rhymes to improve communication.
  • Making tummy time fun or having your child run and jump to improve motor skills.
  • Helping transition from finger foods to using utensils or making getting dressed into a game to improve adaptive skills.
  • Searching for items that are hidden or getting items in hard to reach places by using another object such as a spoon to improve problem-solving skills and cognition.
  • Working with you on ways your child can express him/herself when they are unhappy and giving more opportunities for peer interaction to improve social and emotional skills.
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Speech Therapy

The focus in Early Intervention speech therapy is teaching caregivers how to use daily routines that are already a part of your life, such as meals, bath and play times, to increase communication skills.  Speech therapy in Early Intervention is designed to help your child be an effective communicator with the world. This involves much more than teaching him or her to say words.

Before sounds and words can become communication, a child needs to do the following:

  • Play with people
  • Imitate actions
  • Imitate sounds
  • Take turns with others
  • Stay in turn taking interactions with others for several turns
  • Communicate with sound and movements (reaching, pointing, waving)
  • Prefer being with people rather than alone
early intervention young boy

Occupational Therapy

Our Occupational Therapists work with the family to establish strategies that are embedded in daily routines to improve a child’s fine motor skills, sensory processing skills and self care skills.

Examples of skills we can assist you and your child in developing

  • Using two hands together
  • Using fingers to pick up food
  • Difficulties with loud noises and/or always wanting movement
  • Difficulties with touching different textures or grooming (nail clipping, hair cutting, etc.)
  • Transitioning from bottle to sippy cup/straw cup (8-10 months)
  • Transitioning from baby food to table food (10 months)
  • Difficulty with chewing/swallowing food and/or tolerating different food textures
  • Difficulty with self-feeding (fingers/utensils)
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Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy in the world of Early Intervention focuses on coaching parents in activities that they can incorporate in their day to day lives to help the child develop age appropriate large muscle skills, such as rolling, sitting, crawling and walking.

Examples of skills we can assist you and your child in developing

  • Teach ways to help your child reach for toys to develop muscles needed for sitting balance.
  • Teach how to position your child to incorporate strengthening and weight bearing throughout his or her arms and legs.
  • Help you obtain orthotics if these are needed to help with foot and/or ankle stability.
  • Teach how you can use everyday furniture to help your child learn how to sit, crawl and walk.
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Resources for Early Intervention