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.
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.
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 PTPofVA@aol.com
Learn about early intervention services.
Infants and toddlers with 25% or greater delay in one or more developmental area(s):
There are various service options through the Early Intervention program, including:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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: