West Ada Early Intervention Program
The West Ada Early Intervention Program believes that young children with significant developmental delays have the right to services and supports that improve their quality of life and maximize their development. The mission of the Early Intervention Program is to offer a diverse range of services for children ages 3 to 5 with developmental delays and disabilities. A comprehensive evaluation process has been designed to determine individual strengths and needs so an appropriate individualized education plan can be developed. The program will focus on developing goals that are considered vital to the child’s language, cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development. A plan will be developed to provide for a smooth and successful transition to future settings, such as home, community preschool, kindergarten, and family activities.
The West Ada Early Intervention Preschool Program has been in the West Ada School District for many years. There are 14 preschool sites and 24 teachers throughout the district. Each of these sites have at least one morning and one afternoon session. The classes are open to children who are eligible for special education services and are between 3 and 5 years of age. Our classrooms are designed to address each child’s individual needs while providing a quality preschool classroom experience. Idaho has adopted the Idaho Early Learning eGuidelines as standards to follow for children in preschool settings. The eGuidelines are broken into five developmental categories and can be found on the Department of Health and Welfare website below. A variety of related services are available including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language therapy, vision services, and specially arranged transportation depending on the individual child’s needs.
Developmental Domains addressed in Early Intervention
Social Skills: Abilities and characteristics that allow a child to engage in meaningful social interactions with adults, peers, and the environment or community.
Emotional Skills: Abilities that allow a child to cope with difficulties, express emotions accurately and effectively, and support others in expression of self.
Self-Help/Adaptive Skills: Behaviors that enable a child to become increasingly more independent in taking care of feeding, dressing, and personal toileting needs.
Cognitive: Refers to mental development or thinking skills. These skills include both pre-academic facts or concepts (such as color, shape, size, and position) and learning skills (such as ability to solve problems, engage in learning activities, ask questions, and describe ideas).
Fine Motor: Any small motor dexterity activity, generally with hands, such as stringing beads, using scissors, and writing skills.
Gross Motor: Any large movement activity that involves arms, legs, trunk balance, and coordination, such as throwing, skipping, climbing and hopping.
Expressive Language: What we do when we talk. It consists of words, phrases and gestures we use to communicate feelings, ideas and intentions of others.
Receptive Language: What we do when we listen. How we process the information we hear. It consists of understanding directions, language concepts and questions.
Speech: The sound pattern of language. Speech is made up of combinations of sounds that form words. Speech development is a gradual process beginning in infancy and continuing through the child’s seventh or eighth year.
Important Terms and Positions
ECSE Teacher Early Childhood Special Education Teacher – Public school teacher who has specialized training and experience in facilitating learning and development of young children with special education needs.
SLP Speech/Language Pathologist – A person who is qualified to diagnose and treat speech, expressive language, and receptive language disorders and delays.
OT Occupational Therapist – A person who provides expertise in the area of upper body development (fine motor skills) and sensory integration difficulties.
PT Physical Therapist – A person who provides expertise in the function of joints and muscles (gross motor skills).
Psychologist - A person who specializes in the identification and intervention for children with behavioral, developmental, social, and emotional needs.
IEP Individualized Education Plan/Program – This is the name of document used to write the educational plan including goals and objectives for your child as well as determine appropriate placement of services being implemented.
Goals - Broad statements that respond to the needs of the child.
Objectives - Tasks or steps your child will need to complete in order to master the goals.
MDT Multi-disciplinary Team – Members may include the people that assess (test) your child (ECSE Teacher, SLP, OT, PT, School Psychologist) and/or the school nurse, school administrator, and the parents.
LRE Least Restrictive Environment – The environment where your child can receive education with his or her peers to the maximum extent appropriate.
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – The public law that authorizes the provision of services for your child and safeguards your child’s special education rights.