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Many times parents first suspect a problem when their child does not reach a developmental milestone such as crawling, walking or speaking his or her first word. Parents likewise may not notice early signs of autism since motor development is not usually affected. If you are worried that your child is not developing normally, you should call your pediatrician immediately and discuss your concerns. Make an appointment to meet in person with your child's pediatrician. If you are still concerned after discussing this with your doctor you can call early intervention for an evaluation. If your pediatrician diagnoses delays in any area of development, you can be referred to Westchester County's Early Intervention Program.

Early Intervention Services can help make a difference
Young children learn and develop differently. One baby may walk earlier than another, while another baby might talk first. Often, these differences will even out. But, some children will need extra help.

Look for signs that your infant or toddler might need extra help. Early help makes a difference! If your child does have a delay,,research supports the fact that the earlier you get help, the better.

Where Can Parents Get Help? 
Call the Early Intervention Program at the Westchester County Health Department at (914) 813-5094. You will be put in touch with someone to evaluate your child's development. Then, if your child is eligible, together you'll make a plan to get help for your child - and you.

What Help is Available?
Early intervention services are provided to help your child grow and develop and to help you care for your child. These services, which are provided at no cost to you, include:

  • evaluation services (including hearing and vision screening)
  • home visits; speech, physical and other therapies
  • child development groups
  • family counseling
  • even help with transportation sometimes.

The New York State Department of Health Web site provides in-depth information about the Early Intervention Program.

What Children need early help?
Any child from birth to age three with a developmental delay, disability or condition that affects development may need help. Developmental delays may range from minor delays in speech development to more major delays in children with autism.