Many children seem to learn everyday skills easily, including crawling, walking, talking, playing, and eating. Some children, however, need special help to learn these skills, and the RISP staff can help parents give their children that extra help. Working with children early in their lives is the best way to help reduce developmental delays and can sometimes prevent developmental problems. For young children with special needs, early intervention services are a very worthwhile investment in the future, offering many benefits as the child gets older.
Email Early Intervention Services for more information.
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Once RISP gets a referral, your child receives one or more of the following services, as needed, based on his or her individualized plan. Note that every child may not need all of these services.
We help children from birth to three years old, including those born prematurely or with a medical problem that may cause developmental delays. All children will grow and learn - some quickly, some more slowly. Their families are central to fostering their development. We also help children who have a disability or who are having problems learning to:
Our services aim to help families address areas of concern about their children. Each time we visit, we share information about how parents can help their child. We depend on parents to let us know how their child is doing and what is working best for both parent and child. Email Early Intervention Services for more information.
Since a child in day care typically responds best to familiar people in any setting, it would be most helpful for a day care provider to be actively involved in the RISP visits. This way, RISP staff and the child's care provider can work together to address the family's concerns, as well as any issues that have been noted in the day care setting. RISP visits are also a good time to try out different suggestions and to find out what works best for the child.
Childcare is busy enough, so RISP staff members do not want to add to it by asking providers to create "therapy" time each day. Instead, RISP staff will show how to adapt some of the existing routines and activities using materials that are already in the day care setting to help encourage child development. Before beginning services in the day care setting, RISP staff will ask to meet with the care provider to make sure that our services will be helpful and feasible.
Our referrals generally come from doctors, families, and from many agencies and programs in the community that work closely with us, such as:
Anyone who refers a child to RISP should obtain parental permission before making a referral.
Young children learn best in their "natural environment," which is usually in their home or day care setting. RISP staff usually visits a child at home, and can also provide some services in the day care setting, if the parent and childcare provider are interested. Email Early Intervention Services for more information.
RISP receives funding from a variety of sources, including state and local dollars through the Community Services Board. RISP also receives funding from other state and local agencies, civic groups, individuals, and organizations.
Additional funding comes from Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), so there is never a charge to a family for some services, such as a child's developmental screening, evaluation, plan development, or service coordination.
RISP is licensed as an outpatient rehabilitation program and charges a fee for direct physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Most health insurance will cover part or all of the cost of these services.
If the cost of RISP services would be a hardship to any family, our agency can use a statewide sliding fee scale to reduce the charges to the family based on its income and need. No family is ever denied services because of inability to pay.
Statistics are important, but they do not tell the whole story. They cannot measure the impact of a young child achieving a goal that his or her family did not even dare to dream would be possible: a toddler with cerebral palsy taking her first steps, a child with hearing impairment using sign language for the first time, or the smile of a baby who is blind when he recognizes his grandmother's face by touch. In addition to identifying specific goals for each child and measuring progress toward those goals, RISP continues to measure parent satisfaction with program components.
Here is the impact that some families have told us about: