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IFSP Tutorial - Evaluation and Assessment

Legal Requirements for Evaluation and Assessment:

Essential Content for Legal Requirements

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What are early intervention services?

Definitions, Federal Law [Sec.632 (4)]

The federal law defines early intervention services and identifies what they include.


The term 'early intervention services' means developmental services that:
(A) are provided under public supervision;

(B) are provided at no cost except where Federal or State law provides for a system of payments by families, including a schedule of sliding fees;

(C) are designed to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability in any one or more of the following areas –

(i) physical development;
(ii) cognitive development;
(iii) communication development;
(iv) social or emotional development; or
(v) adaptive development;

(D) meet the standards of the State in which they are provided, including the requirements of this part;

(E) include --

(i) family training, counseling, and home visits;
(ii) special instruction;
(iii) speech-language pathology and audiology services;
(iv) occupational therapy;
(v) physical therapy;
(vi) psychological services;
(vii) service coordination services;
(viii) medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes;
(ix) early identification, screening, and assessment services;
(x) health services necessary to enable the infant or toddler to benefit from the other early intervention services;
(xi) social work services;
(xii) vision services;
(xiii) assistive technology devices and assistive technology services; and
(xiv) transportation and related costs that are necessary to enable an infant or toddler and the infant's or toddler's family to receive another service described in this paragraph;


Appendix A lists the regulatory definitions for the early intervention services listed above.

Definitions, Federal Regulations [Sec.303.12]

The federal regulations describe how to provide early intervention services, including natural environments.


(a) General. As used in this part, early intervention services means services that--

(1) Are designed to meet the developmental needs of each child eligible under this part and the needs of the family related to enhancing the child's development;
(2) Are selected in collaboration with the parents;
(3) Are provided--

(i) Under public supervision;
(ii) By qualified personnel, as defined in Sec. 303.21 (Public agency), including the types of personnel listed in paragraph (e) of this section;
(iii) In conformity with an individualized family service plan; and
(iv) At no cost, unless, subject to Sec. 303.520(b)(3) (Policies related to payment for services) Federal or State law provides for a system of payments by families, including a schedule of sliding fees; and

(4) Meet the standards of the State, including the requirements of this part.

(b) Natural environments. To the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the child, early intervention services must be provided in natural environments, including the home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate.

Definitions, Maryland Regulation: COMAR [13A.13.01.02.B(4)]

Maryland State regulations are consistent with federal regulations, and add a provision about public supervision.


Early intervention services-
(c) Provided:

(i) Under public supervision (that is, federal, State, or local funds are used in connection with provision of services. This includes children receiving services through a program funded by public monies as well as children receiving services from a private provider, but whose services are supervised or paid for by a public agency),


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