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Accessing Early Intervention for Children with Developmental Delays in Rhode Island

For over 60 years, the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center has been a leading provider of services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Rhode Island and surrounding areas. One of our key focus areas is Early Intervention programs for infants and toddlers exhibiting developmental delays or disabilities.

While all children grow and develop in unique ways, some children experience delays in their development. Research shows that children benefit most from intervention in the early years. If a developmental delay is suspected, Trudeau’s Early Intervention (EI) team will work with the child and his or her family to identify areas of need and provide services to address those needs so that the child can thrive.

Trudeau’s EI providers embrace the philosophy of “coaching,” an evidence-based treatment model. Young children learn by participating in the daily routines of the family (mealtime, playtime, etc.). Trudeau’s providers work alongside the parents and caregivers to support and guide them, discuss and demonstrate strategies, review progress, and plan for what they can work on between visits. The focus is to provide individualized services for each child, as well as instruction and guidance to families to ensure that learning continues between visits.

The Trudeau Center’s professional staff members work closely with families to identify their concerns and prioritize meaningful goals. These professionals may include Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists; Educators; Nurses; Social Workers; Behavioral Health Specialists; Nutritionists; Service Coordinators; and Parent Consultants.

Trudeau’s team will also help children to successfully transition into the pre-school environment. The EI transition process begins at the age of 28 months. At this time, if necessary, EI representatives notify the family’s local school district to make the district aware of any needs the child might continue to have and to plan for the testing required by the school district to determine eligibility within the school system.

Early Intervention services are available to children and families residing in:

  • Charlestown
  • Coventry
  • Cranston
  • East Greenwich
  • Exeter
  • Hopkinton
  • Johnston
  • Narragansett
  • North Kingstown
  • Richmond
  • South Kingstown
  • Warwick
  • West Warwick
  • West Greenwich

A parent may contact the Trudeau EI program directly to discuss receiving services for their child. A pediatrician, hospital employee, social worker, or others may also refer the child, with the consent of the family.

Once eligibility has been established, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is written in collaboration with the family to outline both the needs of the child and how they will be addressed. A service coordinator for the child and family will be assigned, according to the needs of the child.

Early Intervention services take place in a child’s natural environment, including but not limited to their home, childcare center, or community setting. The frequency of services and delivery options will be written in the Individualized Family Service Plan. Trudeau’s caring and expert EI team will work with your family to assess your child’s needs and create a customized plan of support.

Rhode Island state law requires that all children have access to Early Intervention regardless of their type of insurance. If their insurance does not cover the services, it is covered by Medicaid, and this ensures that there is no cost to the family.

If you live in Rhode Island or a neighboring area and have a child under 3 exhibiting developmental delays, don’t hesitate to have them evaluated and take advantage of Early Intervention programs like Trudeau’s. Acting early can make a huge difference in helping children reach their full potential.