Assembly recognizes March as Early Intervention Month

By Tom Momberg

The state Assembly unanimously passed a resolution last week, proclaiming March as “Early-Intervention Month” as a way to recognize the availability and importance of early intervention providers across the state.

The resolution was introduced by Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), who is the chairman of the Assembly Task Force on People with Disabilities.

“New York’s children are among our most valuable, precious and vulnerable populations,” Weprin said in a statement. “They require proper care and attention as soon as they are born and throughout their formative years. Oftentimes, many children and families face special challenges and need extra help, but are not aware that such assistance and services are available to them in our communities.”

Weprin said any health-care provider can speak to the importance of recognizing symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders or other disabilities as early in life as possible. Interventions are crafted to suit the needs of specific individuals of any age who have autism or other disabilities. Early interventions can give infants and toddlers the social, structural and educational foundation to improve the well-being of families and individuals for life.

The state Department of Health Bureau of Early Intervention is authorized to provide early intervention services for more than 75,000 children who suffer from developmental delays, as well as for their families.

There is a wide array of early intervention services available to residents of the city. Children under the age of 3 who have a confirmed disability or developmental delay are eligible for the Early Intervention Program, or EIP, which was first created by Congress in 1986.

Families can inquire about the EIP at the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, available in Queens County at 90-27 Parson Blvd., in Jamaica. Call 718-722-2998 for more information or to schedule an appointment.