Ohio Early Intervention serves families during pandemic


XENIA — Greene County Public Health encourages families who believe their child may have a delay or disability to refer them for early intervention (EI) as soon as possible.

Early intervention can address all types of concerns, like crawling or walking, speech delays, or social interactions like playing with other children or smiling, GCPH staff said in a release.

“Parents and families are the center of a child’s development. Early intervention professionals work closely with the family to help build their skills and confidence in supporting their child and to help them navigate the journey with their child,” the release said.

Ohio Early Intervention, offered through a local EI team at GCPH, is evidence-based, statewide, and supports families of young children birth to age three with developmental delays and disabilities, including children with elevated blood lead levels, and those diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

Early intervention providers across the state have the ability to provide services using video-conferencing and phone calls as appropriate and accessible. Early intervention remains critical for children and families. Research shows that starting early intervention services early gives a child the best chance to learn and grow, and can reduce the need for services later in life.

The referral process is simple. Anyone can refer a child, and families can self-refer their child if they have concerns. The individual does not need to be a doctor or teacher to refer a child. Call to 1-800- 755-GROW or fill out an online form. After the referral is made, Help Me Grow will contact the family, complete an intake assessment, and connect the family with the early intervention provider. According to GCPH, there is no downside to referring a child; screening and eligibility determination come at no cost to the family.

Ohio Early Intervention is a part of the Help Me Grow system of supports. For more information, visit www.ohioearlyintervention.org or www.gcph.info.