Eligibility Criteria for Nebraska's Early Intervention Program
The Early Development Network serves children from birth to age three and their families. A child is eligible for services if he or she is not developing typically, or has been diagnosed with a health condition that will affect his or her development.
After receiving the family's permission, a referral may be made by anyone concerned about the child's development (e.g. a family member, child care provider, physician, social worker, or other service provider). The call will go to a Services Coordinator who will contact the family within seven days to determine if they are interested in Early Development Network services.
With the family's permission, the Services Coordinator will arrange for an assessment with the local school district to determine the unique needs of the child and his or her eligibility. The assessment is done with a multidisciplinary evaluation team which includes the child's parents. Together, the team is responsible for the analysis, assessment and documentation of developmental abilities and needs of the child and family. In making a determination of eligibility, verification criteria found in Section 006 of Rule 51 is used. The Services Coordinator can link the family with community resources before the assessment if needed.
The verification of children with disabilities is one of the most important aspects of both federal law and state special education regulation. It is important that children who need EDN/special education services receive them. The verification process is the means for determining those children who are in need of EDN/special education services.
The development of the Verification Guidelines for Children With Disabilities Technical Assistance Document has involved much research, discussion, planning and development by many parents, educators, administrators, to assist in the process.
If the child qualifies, the Services Coordinator will identify with the family, others who can participate on a team to help the family develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), which sets goals for the child and family and identifies activities and services needed to achieve those goals. The IFSP will be completed within 45 days, so the family can access Early Development Network services as quickly as possible.