Ask the Attorney: My young child isn’t forming words like the rest of her peers. Do I have to wait until she is in school to get help?

While all kids develop differently, you know your child best. If you’ve noticed differences in development between your child and other peers her age, then more information and expert advice will help you understand your options and make informed decisions about your child's speech and language.You do not need to wait! The Early Intervention program exists specifically for people like you and your child. All states offer an Early Intervention program to help families with children ages 0-3 who have developmental delays, or conditions or disabilities likely to cause delays. Early Intervention providers offer services to help children practice skills through play and support the child’s development. The providers also help the family learn how to encourage their child’s development at home. In many states, Early Intervention is funded through the Department of Health.Most importantly, if your child qualifies, there is no cost to you!Visit the Exceptional Lives Early Intervention Guide to learn more about Early Intervention, how to qualify, and how to find your local Early Intervention program. As your child gets close to the age 3 cutoff, you will want to start learning about the special education process and how you will work with the schools to create an educational plan that matches your child’s needs. We also have a Guide on How to Get Special Education Services, so be sure to check that out, too.The Guides will ask you questions specific to your situation and will give you the information you need to move forward in your community. Contact us at Exceptional Lives if you have any questions along the way!