Early intervention associates provide services to special needs children as required by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
An early intervention associate provides identification and intervention services to families of disabled children through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that ensures educational services to children with disabilities. IDEA provides early intervention and special services to more than 6.5 million eligible children with disabilities. Early intervention associates work in many different capacities within healthcare and social services departments to provide educational opportunities, speech pathology services, hearing and vision screening and any other service necessary to promote the health, well-being and education of children with disabilities.
Hearing and Audiology Early Intervention
Hearing and audiology early interventionists help identify children from birth to 2 years of age with hearing and language delays. These specialists test children, provide support services and assist with finding educational opportunities at the earliest possible age. They also help educate families about the special needs of their children and provide support to create the best possible learning environments in the home. The average salary of a hearing and audiology interventionist is $50,000 annually.
Occupational Therapy Early Intervention
Children with disabilities need occupational therapy at an early age to promote self-help skills, adaptive behavior and play and sensory motor development. Intervention associates in this area help with these learned skills through occupational activities and play therapy and teach families members things to do at home with their children to promote development. Occupational therapists in early intervention make an average of $60,000 annually depending on the state where they practice.
Physical Therapy Early Intervention
Physical therapy early intervention deals with physical disabilities identified in children ages birth to 2 years of age. Disabilities are normally discovered through regular preventative health screenings. Families of children with disabilities are referred to a physical therapist specializing in early intervention. This person works with the child to improve movement and flexibility and prevent further loss of motor function. Physical therapy early intervention specialists earn between $60,000 and $90,000 annually. (see reference 4)
Early Intervention Service Coordinator
An early intervention service coordinator works with families of children with disabilities to ensure that the right services are obtained based on the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Through IDEA, children are entitled to services that help meet their physical, educational, occupational, mobility and other needs. Early intervention service coordinators work with other service providers to develop learning plans that meet these criteria. Early intervention service coordinators earn $30,000 to $40,000 annually.