Hello! This blog is about my daughter Hailey (currently 12 years old) and her experiences living with auditory processing disorder. Auditory Processing Disorder is Hailey's primary issue, however she has also been given the labels Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Visual Processing Disorder, Mixed Expressive Receptive Language Disorder and Phonology Disorder at various points in her life.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Early Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers With Special Needs

I thought I would take a step back in time again and tell you about getting an IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) when our daughter was two years old.

By the time our daughter was two years old, we really knew something was not working so well for her.  She was not speaking, didn't seem to understand what we were saying to her, was having meltdowns and staring spells a lot, and she did odd things like keep things stored in her mouth, smell everything, constantly put her head down in between her legs, and most scary of all, she absolutely panicked when she heard loud noises.  It seemed that life was just getting too difficult for her, and she was not coping well.

So I kept a notebook or her issues and started doing some research on the internet.  I also spoke with our family pediatrician who was concerned the issue might be Autism.  So we set up an appointment with our state's early intervention program.

The state we lived in was the State of Missouri and their program is called Missouri First Steps. They came to our home and talked with us the parents while just observing our daughter at first. They listened to our concerns and decided that some testing of our daughter would be appropriate.

A speech and language pathologist came to our home and tested our daughter.  She was found to be significantly behind in her speech and language development, so this qualified her for their speech services.  Our IFSP had a plan of weekly home visits with a speech and language therapist to work with our daughter and teach us things to do with her ourselves to help build her receptive and expressive language skills

Next an occupational therapist came to our home to test her.  Our daughter was diagnosed as having Sensory Integration Disorder and the occupational therapist's services were added to our IFSP.  Like the speech services, an occupational therapist came to our home weekly to work with our daughter and teach us a sensory diet to use with her at home.

Third, a special education teacher was sent to our home to do some testing to determine if it seemed our daughter had an intellectual disability.  This teacher felt she was most likely at least average intelligence and did not show any signs of an intellectual delay at that time, but as she had severe speech and language problems, she was at a high risk of having a learning disability. Therefore, our IFSP maintained that we would have monthly visits from the special education teacher to track our daughter's progress and address any concerns we had.

These services continued until our daughter aged out of that system at three years old.  All of the states' early intervention programs are only for children birth to three years.  Then children continuing to need services are sent to the school districts to be tested and provided services as determined by them.

To look up services provided by your state for children birth to three years, search for "(your state) early intervention services".


  1. Hi there, awesome site. I thought the topics you posted on were very interesting. I tried to add your RSS to my feed reader and it a few. take a look at it, hopefully I can add you and follow.

    Form Processing Services

    1. dhasharath, Thank you so much for the compliment. I just checked out the RSS feed and it worked for me. (I signed up as my daughter's email and added the RSS reader and successfully added the blog to her reader.) So maybe it was just down for whatever reason when you tried. Please try again and I hope it works for you.