Parents know their children best.
So, when they notice that their child is not reaching certain milestones, or they are developing slowly, parents will take steps to help their children any way they can. Early intervention services are available for the explicit purpose of providing such assistance.
Unfortunately, obtaining these services can often be challenging for parents.
Reports warn of serious delays in early intervention
There are many cases when early intervention services can make a significant difference in preparing children for school and life. Even though California law describes when children might be eligible to receive early intervention services, the process of actually securing these services is not always straightforward.
Many parents report that California’s system involves several hurdles that complicate the process and create dangerous delays in services. One of the most recent reports elaborates on the issues parents face, including:
- Obtaining services and proper diagnoses from health care providers
- Speaking with special education services
- Working with insurance companies
Parents must work with several different systems just to get early intervention. And many of these organizations and systems have varying rules and interpretations of the law. Essentially, one of the main criticisms is that the entire process and system are inefficient.
Naturally, the effects of the global pandemic, ensuing school closures and early intervention standstills have not made this process any easier for families.
What can parents do?
The purpose of early intervention is to help children during the most critical period of development. And the complexity of the system causing such delays defeats that purpose. So, what should parents do to reduce or avoid these delays?
One of the most important steps is being aware of the potential challenges that parents could face when they begin the process of obtaining special education services for their children. Awareness of these challenges can help parents prepare to handle them proactively.
However, it is also critical for parents to take time to learn and understand the rights that they and their children have in these situations so they can navigate this system effectively.