The early intervention program for children three through five years of age addresses the needs of children in that age group who are experiencing identified developmental delays or have a diagnosed developmental disability in one or more of the following areas: cognitive skill development (thinking and reasoning), physical/motor development, speech and language development, and social/emotional development. In order for a child to receive services through the Three – Five Program, the child must qualify based on the results of a developmental evaluation and identified as having a delay or disability according to Wyoming’s Rules and Regulations governing services for children with disabilities. State rules and regulations mandate that services for children with special needs are provided at no cost to families. The amount of time allotted for various services will vary depending upon each child’s specific needs.
If a child qualifies for services from the Three – Five Program, then an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is created for the child by an IEP Team consisting of the child’s parents/guardians, a team of Early Interventionists, and other professionals. An IEP outlines a child’s current level of performance, the concerns and priorities for the child and family, and the course of treatment and therapy. The IEP will include goals for the child’s development, will schedule progress checkpoints/meetings to ensure that the child’s goals are being met, and/or determine if the IEP needs to be changed at any time to fit the needs of the child. The IEP may include goals in cognitive, physical, language, social-emotional and/or self help skills. A team of Early Interventionists, specifically trained and educated in early childhood, will provide services and support for the child’s academic, developmental and functional needs, toward the goal of success in an educational setting according to the IEP. The success of the child’s therapy/treatment plan is dependent upon the solid partnership and teamwork between the child’s parents/guardians and the Early Interventionists working with the child.
A child’s therapy/treatment plan is offered by Early Interventionists in a child’s least restrictive environment, which may include the child’s preschool setting or other educational location chosen by the child’s parents/guardians. If the IEP Team determines that the child’s educational needs cannot be met in the regular education setting, then the team may consider an alternative location.