Begin your journey

We are glad you are here.

We understand that receiving a diagnosis of a developmental disability is something most families are unprepared for. You may experience grief, anger or disbelief. And each of these are normal ways of responding to a new diagnosis. We are here to help you take the first steps to ensuring your family has access to resources and supports throughout their lifespan.

Where do I begin?

The best place to begin is with early intervention services.  Early intervention (also known as Part C services) supports families of infants and toddlers, ages birth to three years, with developmental delays and disabilities. Children learn best with people they know and in the places they spend most of their time. Early Intervention professionals help families build on the things they do every day to support their child’s learning and development in order to reach their goals for their child.  

Connect with Parent to Parent

Connecting with other families on similar paths can also play a huge role in getting the support and references you need to guide you along this journey. 

The foundation of the Parent to Parent program is linking "veteran" families of children with disabilities to families  who may need emotional support, guidance or assistance in navigating an often overwhelming system of care.

You may contact Parent to Parent of Virginia by emailing 

Early intervention (Part c )services

What is early intervention?

Learn about early intervention services.

Learn more

Who is eligible for early intervention services?

Infants and toddlers with 25% or greater delay in one or more developmental area(s): 

  • Cognitive, adaptive, receptive or expressive language, social/emotional, fine motor, gross motor, vision, hearing development
  • Infants and toddlers with atypical development – as demonstrated by atypical/ questionable sensory-motor responses, social-emotional development, or behaviors, or an impairment in social interaction and communication skills along with restricted and repetitive behaviors
  • Infants and toddlers with a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay – e.g., cerebral palsy, hearing or vision impairment, Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities, central nervous system disorders, effects of toxic exposure, failure to thrive, etc. 

How can I be referred for services?

Referral for services can be made by a physician or a member of the person's family. 

Click here to access the physician referral form.

Click here to access the general referral form

What services are available under early intervention?

There are various service options through the Early Intervention program, including: 

  • Social work services
  • Assistive technology 
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Developmental services
  • Audiology services
  • Nursing care
  • Family training and consulting
  • And more.

What happens after the referral?

After a referral is made, a support coordinator will contact your family and complete a screening. This screening will be evaluated by a team with expertise in development. This team will determine if your child meets the criteria for eligibility. You will receive written notice of the team's decision.

My child was found eligible for services. Now what?

Members of the Early Intervention team will conduct an assessment and develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan will include your input, and together, you will discuss services and outcomes for your child. 

Next Steps

Learn about Medicaid waivers

During this time period, you should also learn about and apply for Medicaid Waivers. In Virginia, there are four specific waivers that are available for individuals with developmental disabilities. These waivers are:

  • CCC Plus
  • Building Independence
  • Family & Individual Supports
  • Community Living

When your child is diagnosed with a disability, we recommend applying for the CCC Plus waiver. Obtaining Medicaid is NOT based on income should your child meet eligibility criteria of the waiver. Learn more about the CCC Plus waiver by visiting our waiver page.

Learn about special education

Your child will age out of the early intervention program and likely move to Part B special education services. This will take place by their third birthday. At the discretion of some states, two year-olds who will turn three during the school year may receive special education services.

Learn about assistive technology

What is assistive technology?

 In general, assistive technology is considered to be any device, software or equipment that helps people with disabilities work around challenges so they can learn, communicate and function.

What is an assistive technnology (AT) device?

Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device (IDEA 2004 Section 300.5)

How might assistive technology support my child?

Assistive technology can provide support in many areas, including:

  • Communication
  • Speech
  • Social skills
  • And so many more.

Speak to an advocate

Would you like to speak to an advocate about this information? Please fill out our intake form.