Study looks at how states decide which child receives early intervention for developmental problems

A new study out by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, found large differences in the criteria that states use to determine eligibility for Part C early intervention services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays. A developmental delay is any significant lag in a child's development as compared with typical child development.

Current eligibility criteria for Part C services vary from state to state. With their colleagues, Steven Rosenberg, PhD, associate professor, University of Colorado Department of and Cordelia Robinson, PhD, RN, professor of and director of JFK Partners have found that many states make too many children candidates for Part C early intervention. This is a problem because although states make many children with mild problem candidates for services no state serves enough children to cover all those who have moderate or severe delays.

"States need to look at the criteria they use to determine which infants and toddlers are eligible for early intervention. They need to ask themselves why they have such broad criteria when they can't serve all children under 3 years who have severe . It may help for states to adopt more uniform eligibility criteria," said Rosenberg.

This article Part C Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers: Percentage Eligible Versus Served was published in Pediatrics, January 2013.

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